We hope you’ve noticed by now that the word enrich is very much a part of our worldwide ministry, our local ministry, and our personal lives. The word enrich comes from 1 Corinthians 1: 4 – 9 in the New Testament portion of the Bible where the apostle Paul prayed that God would enrich the Jesus believers in the city of Corinth in every aspect of their lives. That’s a power-full prayer Paul prayed for those people in Corinth. It’s a power-full prayer we pray almost daily for those people—including you!—whose lives we are in contact with through Life Enrichment Services. The Greek word for enriched in this reference is ploutizo, meaning to have abundance, or to have all one needs supplied for one’s mortal journey through this life.
That’s why we chose the name Life Enrichment Services as the name of our ministry when we founded and incorporated it in September 1984 as a not-for-profit religious and educational corporation. We’re a legal corporation in the state of South Dakota, and duly registered with the United States Internal Revenue Service.
We want your life and the lives of everyone we are privileged to meet to be full and complete; we want you to have all you need in order to have a good journey through this life. That’s why we’re here! Specifically, what was Paul praying for when He asked God to enrich every aspect of the lives of the Jesus believers in the city of Corinth?
Shades of Meaning
In the original Greek language in which it was written, “Enrich” has at least 10 shades of meaning.
First, Holy Spirit “adds” to our lives; that is, He helps us grow, develop, and mature as believers in Jesus—if we ask for his aid and assistance. One of the saddest sights to see in all the world is someone attempting to grow, develop, and mature in Jesus by his or her own efforts. All such efforts are simply futile religious strivings and dead tradition to no avail . . . just wasted time and energy.
It is impossible for you or anyone else (besides Jesus) to live a godly life. Only Jesus can live a godly life in you, through you, and as you. It’s impossible for you to live for Jesus. He must live his own life out from within you. The essence of phony religion and dead tradition is to feel you can grow spiritually by your own efforts. Few things in this life are more lamentable than people trying to live religious lives! Jesus simply wants to live his own life through you, “wrapped” in your skin!
Second, “enrich” means to “change for the better.” Holy Spirit helps us change more and more into the image of Jesus—if we ask Him. What does the image of Jesus or the image of God mean? It means we are visible representations of the invisible God. How well do you visibly represent or exhibit God in your own day-to-day world? Just asking. Are people able to see Jesus displayed or exhibited in your skin—as you? I want people to see Jesus wrapped in his Bill Boylan skin! Remember, Holy Spirit won’t force us to change and represent Jesus in a wholesome (holy) manner, but He will certainly assist and empower us from within to change—if we choose to do so. There’s an interesting thing about change—if we’re not changing and growing, we’re probably “dead,” because all living things must change and grow or they die. We’re either green and growing or we’re ripe and rotting!
Third, “enrich” means “to make more effective.” Each of us has the potential to do all God requires us to do with the talents He has given us. Holy Spirit takes our God-given potential and helps us use it in the most effective manner—if we ask Him. Let me share with you the definitions of potential and effectiveness. Potential is all your unrealized, undeveloped, God-given possibilities. Your potential consists of three things:
1. Your God-given talents
2. Your education and training
3. Your desire to grow, change, and develop
We all have many talents. Many people have more education and training than they actually use. Each of us desires to become the best “me” God created us to become. Effectiveness is the degree to which you use your potential. Potential can be compared to a huge iceberg; about 95% of the iceberg is under the surface; only 5% is above the surface. We can equate that 5% with our current effectiveness. Each of us has s-o-o-o much potential, but we effectively use only a small portion of it.
Holy Spirit helps more of our unrealized, undeveloped potential to “surface” so that we are more effective in all areas of our lives—if we ask Him. More effective husbands, more effective fathers, more effective wives and mothers, more effective friends, more effective employers and employees, more effective professional people, white collar and blue collar workers, More effective Jesus believers, as we attempt to accomplish whatever it is God has assigned us to do. Those are merely a few thoughts about your potential and effectiveness and how Holy Spirit living in you helps you develop more of your God-given potential and become a more effective human becoming—if you ask Him.
Who You Think You’re Not?
Here’s something else to think about in terms of your God-given potential: It’s not who you think you are that keeps you from accomplishing all God wants to accomplish through you. It’s who you think you’re not! Stop telling yourself “I can’t . . . ,” “I can never . . . ,” “I’m too old to . . . ,” “It’ll never happen,” “I don’t have enough education,” “It’s too late for me to . . . ,” etc. Those are just negative statements (negative self-talk) which are not true at all—now that you know the definition of potential and realize Who lives inside you.
Fourth, “enrich” means “to increase wealth.” What does it mean to have wealth? The best biblical definition of wealth and prosperity means “to have enough for one’s pilgrim journey through this life.” Holy Spirit gives us what we need in order to accomplish his plans and purposes for us—if we ask Him. Always keep in mind there are differences between needs and wants; sometimes they might be the same, but most of the time they are markedly different. God promises in the Bible to meet our legitimate needs, not necessarily our wants. Some of us haven’t yet sorted out the differences between our genuine needs and what we want.
Fifth, “enrich” means “to decorate.” Holy Spirit decorates our lives with the fruit of the Spirit described in Galatians 5: 22 and 23: love, joy, serenity, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith-full-ness, humbleness, and self-control—if we ask Him. I don’t know about you, but I’d sure like to exhibit more of those types of character traits in my life.
Sixth, “enrich” means “to adorn.” Holy Spirit adorns our lives with the supernatural and trans-rational gifts of the Spirit as found, for example, in Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12, 13, and 14—if we ask Him.
Seventh, “enrich” means “to fertilize.” Holy Spirit “plants the seed” of the Gospel of Jesus in the “good soil” of our lives and then “fertilizes” it with the Bible so that full and complete salvation grows inside us—if we ask Him. The Good News about Jesus is much more effective than Miracle-Gro we use to fertilize our flower gardens and houseplants.
Eighth, “enrich” means “to concentrate power.” Jesus said He has all power in heaven and earth; by means of the power-full Holy Spirit, Jesus delegates some of that power to us so we can live power-full lives, overcoming setbacks, failures, mistakes, and temptations, instead of being overcome by them—if we ask Him. He helps us to be victors instead of victims! Speaking of failure, always keep in mind that failures are events, not people. If you fail at something, it doesn’t mean you are a failure. Failures are merely stepping-stones to further achievement, growth, and development of our potential.
Ninth, “enrich” means “to add nutrients.” Holy Spirit adds just the right amounts and right blends of nutrients to our lives so, in a sense, we become the “bread of LIFE” to others who are hungry for something real and genuine in a world full of phoniness, sham, and duplicity. Yes, Holy Spirit makes us the bread of LIFE to others—if we ask Him. At this point, I encourage you to take a few moments and read another brief, but interesting, teaching on this web site entitled God’s Bread Recipe.
Finally, “enrich” means “to give greater value.” Holy Spirit inside of us teaches us how highly God values each of us. Human life is not cheap to God. He values us so much that Jesus paid the ultimate price of death on the cross. Jesus died as a substitute for each of us so we won’t be dead eternally. Sin de-values us and often makes us feel cheap and worthless.
God highly values us and causes us to know we are loved and worthwhile—if we ask Him. Often we find ourselves mis-valuing and treasuring all sorts of material things which are so readily available to most of us. But God values and treasures people. In fact, He considers all of us valuable, bright jewels in his “crown,” jewels He is cutting, grinding, and polishing while we live this mortal life here, so we can be “placed” in his crown when Jesus returns to earth. That’s how highly God values each of us.
He Who Dies With the Most Toys . . .
By the way, what do you value in this life? What is most valu–able to you? Is it God? People? Relationships? Or . . . is it your “toys”? It is decidedly not true that he who dies with the most toys wins (as many bumper stickers proclaim). The truth is “he who dies with the most toys still dies!” And people cannot take their toys with them into their next life. I’ve peered into all too many coffins during my lifetime and I have yet to see anyone take anything of earthly value with them.
The only thing you can take with you into the next life are the intangibles you have given away, not the “toys” you have kept! There you have it: some thoughts about why we included the word “enrich” in our ministry name. We just want to enrich the lives of as many people as we are able to while we journey through this life. Only you can determine if we are somehow enriching your life. We hope we are. We pray we are. That’s why we exist as a Bible-based ministry!
God can—and will!—enrich our lives in amazing, wonder-full, supernatural ways—if we ask Him! The Bible puts it pretty simply: “We don’t have from God because we don’t ask Him.”
“Every time we think of you–and we think of you often!–we thank God you always have free and open access to Him, given you by Jesus. We pray for God to enrich your lives in numerous ways. In a sense you don’t need a thing, since you already have everything you need because of your relationship with God through Jesus. Just remain on course and continue to wait expectantly for Jesus to return for the Great Finale. God, who got us started on this lifelong adventure, shares with all of us his own LIFE and will never give up on us. Never forget that!” –1 Corinthians 1: 4 – 9, paraphrased
To think about this month:
“Time is a companion that goes with us on our journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived.” –Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek
Life Enrichment Services, Inc
Revised and updated December