Abundant Life

Grace For The Journey

graceforthejourneythemefor2017

27June  Jesus promised in John 10:10 that we could “Have live and have it more abundantly.”  Who doesn’t yearn to live a fulfilling and satisfied life infused with contentment and joy?  Bookstore shelves are filled with thousands of books such as, Starting Your Best Life Now: A Guide for New Adventures and Stages on Your Journey, Your Best Life Now: Your Personal Code for Living a Better, Happier, and More Successful Life, Better Than Good: Creating a Life You Can’t Wait to Live, and The Life You Always Wanted.  But the problem is, as we all know, many times life has a way of not turning out like we hoped or turning out different than we wanted.  How can we capture this abundant life Jesus promised and experience life at its best?

God’s Word provides the answer.

Only when we regulate our lives according to God’s priorities and learn to focus on Jesus will we begin to realize what Jesus meant by the promise of John 10:10.

Now, before we talk about the abundant life God wants to give each of us, there is something everyone must understand and experience before He gives us abundant life,

His greatest concern is that we have eternal life.

The Bible says in John 3:15, “… Whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  The only way to have eternal life is through faith in Christ as personal Savior.  There is no other way, name, nor are there any religions where by anyone can be saved.

All believers have eternal life, but not all believers have abundant life.

You are living beneath your privileges and position if you are a believer and not enjoying the abundant life.

When the Bible tells us that we are to live our lives abundantly it is not talking about what some people may think.  Some think, to have the abundant life means:

  • Having a really good paying job.
  • Having a normal family.
  • Having a nice home.
  • Having a vacation home
  • Insert whatever else one would say that determines the abundant life. (By world standards these might be …)

All these maybe good to have but they in themselves do not impart the abundant life Jesus is talking about.  There are Christians who have none of these things, but they know how to live the abundant life.

For life to be abundant it must have abundant resources, and the only unlimited resources for life are in the person Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

In John 15 verse 1 Jesus says that He is “the True Vine.”  Then down in verses 4 and 5 Jesus continues with these words, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

To possess this abundant life, the believer must abide in Christ Jesus.  You may say, “That abundant life is for preachers, Sunday school teachers, and other leaders….but I don’t seem to be able to live it.”  The abundant life is not just for a few, it is God’s norm for the Christian life.  It is spiritual life in depth, and without it, the Christian life becomes fruitless and meaningless.

If you are not living the abundant life, you will soon yield to the fleshly life around you.

The fleshly life is circumstance-controlled.

The abundant life is Holy Spirit-controlled.

The fleshly Christian’s life leads to defeat.

The abundant life leads to victory in Christ over sin.

Man seems to know everything about life except how to live it abundantly.  You may ask; “If the abundant life is God’s norm for every Christian, then how do I get the abundant life?”  The Bible tells us in Romans 6: 10-13, “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.  Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”

To have the abundant life it must be a “Yielded life.”  How do we yield our life to God? By faith we yield control of our lives to Christ and His Lordship in our lives.  So then, why do most Christians live beneath the privilege of living the abundant life?  It is a choice; we can yield to God by faith and live the abundant life or we can yield to sin’s temptations and endure a defeated life.

The abundant life is choosing God’s best for our lives by focusing on Jesus, being faithful to Him, growing spiritually, worshiping and witnessing with confidence, and being more consistent in our Christian walk.  All we have is this one life to get it right.  As Christians, we’re on our way to heaven.  Wouldn’t it be a shame not to live life abundantly and enjoy the journey?

The life that Jesus purchased on the cross is abundant life in more ways than one.  To be sure, it is abundant because it gives us everything we need for eternal life.  But it is also abundant because it gives us everything we need for everyday life.  The problem comes in when we choose to live a life smaller than the one Jesus paid for with His own precious blood.  Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

Now the “thief” is very crafty in executing his plan in destroying life.  It really doesn’t look like destruction at all.  In fact, on the surface it looks pretty good.  It is a life that is lived with the greatest goal of personal happiness.  We want our home to be loving, our health to be good, and our harvest to be plentiful.  And what is wrong with that you ask?  On the surface there is nothing wrong with wanting a loving home, good health, and a plentiful harvest.  These are good gifts that God is often pleased to give to His people.  But when these gifts are our greatest goals we are living lives that are smaller and narrower than they were ever meant to be.  You see . . .

Jesus didn’t die on the cross to make you happy;

He died on the cross to make you His.

And in making you His you may find your home troubled, your health tested, and your harvest threatened.  When Jesus says in verse 10, “I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly,” he means, “I came that they might know Me and the power of the resurrection in the daily lives, have peace with God, have the peace of God which passes all understanding, and have joy unspeakable and full of glory.”  In short, the abundant life is experiencing and enjoying life as God designed and desires it.

Abundant life is not about having stuff.

It’s about having peace, having joy, and having God.

So what kind of life have you been living lately?

Have you been living in pursuit of your happiness or His holiness?

You were not blood-bought to accomplish your goals and meet your needs, but to yearn after and yield to the Most High God and living to expand the cause of His kingdom.  It is being driven to get up early and stay up late to know better, to love deeper, and to serve more faithfully the One who has promised to never leave you nor forsake you. Now that is abundant life … that is true satisfaction, fulfillment, and happiness in both life and death.

This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey

Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!

Pastor Terry

Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

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