A RELATIVE of mine has consistently used the phrase "Let us live abundantly." I used to find it somewhat distasteful.

I have also heard evangelists and preachers talk of living "abundant" lives and tithing more as one enjoys abundance. Somehow I shunned away and was somewhat wary of said preachers.

I had always been raised up with values of simplicity and living on necessities, rather than on pursuing the fulfillment of one's numerous and unending wants, though I do otherwise at times.

When I had no other book to read on a trip than "The Abundance Formula" by Bro. Bo Sanchez, I suddenly found myself thinking about the concept of "living abundantly." For me, living abundantly means having more that what is essential, while not being showy and pretentious.

Does God want us to live abundantly?

Deuteronomy 8:18 says, "But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your forefathers, as it is today."

If God gave us the ability, doesn't He want us to use that ability?

1 Peter 4:10 says, "Each of us are given special abilities, use them to help others, and to share God's many kinds of blessings. Are you asked to speak, then speak as though God were speaking thru you; are you asked to help others, then help others so that God may be glorified."

And Jesus used many parables, including the famous parable of the talents, to emphasize God's desire for us to use our abilities to produce wealth.

The key to the abundance teaching is the purpose for producing wealth.

It must be to give, to help!

Bo Sanchez says, "Earn as much as you can." "When you earn money, it's not the money that's important. It's who you become through the process of earning money that is important."

Do we forget that it is God who gave us our abilities?

Use them and their fruits wisely. As Rick Warren says, "Life is a Test. Life is a Trust. And life is a Temporary Assignment."

Bo continues and says, "Your wealth isn't your money. Your wealth is who you are. Money is merely a symbol of value."

I have a friend who was promoted to a position of power that allows him to make tons of money. When I congratulated and acknowledged him for having maintained his humility and for not abusing his power, he said, "What are we in powder form?" (He has kept his values intact by remembering that we are dust and unto dust we shall return.)

Through the years, we have learned that in growing one's wealth, one must:

1. Build Competence

2. Build Character

3. Have a Mindset of Success

No. 1 and No. 3 are no brainers to understand. It is "Building Character" that is most challenging when climbing the ladder of wealth production.

Bo says, "A good business is not about money. Business is about serving others. Business is about blessing people. Business is about love. Profit is sacred. The purpose of profit is to serve more. Because with profit, you can improve your product. And you can create more products. And you can even create new businesses to serve more people."

Our country specially needs entrepreneurs and business people! Businesses create and provide job opportunities. Providing jobs help keep families together in our country.

Bo continues by saying: "Don't be content with just maintaining the special gift that God has given you. Develop it. Expand it. Multiply it. Make it grow. The best thing about growing? You inspire others to grow as well."

My Dearest Michael,

Learn from Bo! Not easy to do, but God wants you to!

Do not let your right hand know the good that your left hand is doing. Remember that if people praise you for the good you have done, you will have received your reward on earth and will no longer be rewarded in heaven.

Use your abilities! Give back to God! Share your blessings!

Be focused. Live purposefully.

And live abundantly.