“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”
I. Experiencing Life as God intended:
continually overflowing with love, joy, peace, grace, victory, intimacy, and fruitLk 12:15…"Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses."
II. Essential Elements of the Abundant Life
A. Hear and Follow Jn 10:4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.Jn 13:17 "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them (serve one another). 15:7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 15:10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain/abide in you, and that your joy may be full. 17:17 "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 "As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 20:21
B. Exclusive (full of Christ; dead to world) 10:5 "Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them. 7 Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 "All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. Jn 12:46 "I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. Cf 8:12 flashlight &amp;amp;amp;amp; path 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 17:13…I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 "I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. “fork..that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me. "- Jim Elliot
C. Purring in the Pasture 9 "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. Ps 23: The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. My cup runs over. Jn 16:24 "Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. = Contentment!Jn 21:6 "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find" So they cast, &amp;amp;amp;amp; now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. 2Co 8:1 grace given 2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
D. Steadfast Trust 11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.” Rm 8:32Jn 14:1 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 27 "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 15:18 "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." Rm 8:28
E. Intimate Knowing 14 "I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.” Ps 27 Jn 14:21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." 17:3 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 "I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.
F. Unity 16 other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, &amp;amp;amp;amp; they will hear My voice; &amp;amp;amp;amp; there will be one flock &amp;amp;amp;amp; one shepherd. Jn 13:34 new commandment…love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples 17:21 "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 23…they may be made perfect in one/unity, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. 1Cor 1:10
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
- Do most Christians experience the daily delights of the Abundant Life or dreary doldrums of the independent life? Why? How fix?
- Do you have a sense of God going before you? Are you feasting on His banquet, or scrounging scraps that fall from the dumpster?
- How does your relationship with God affect your purpose in life, dreams, checkbook, and relationships with those around you?
- Would you be called a groupie of God or are you loath to linger in his presence? What would make a difference? Love Him!
From prayer that asks that I may be; Sheltered from winds that beat on Thee; From fearing when I should aspire; From faltering when I should climb higher; From silken self, O Captain, free; Thy soldier who would follow Thee; From subtle love of softening things; From easy choices, weakenings; (Not thus are spirits fortified; Not this way went the Crucified); From all that dims Thy Calvary; O Lamb of God, deliver me; Give me the love that leads the way; The faith that nothing can dismay; The hope no disappointments tire; The passion that will burn like fire; Let me not sink to be a clod; Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God. -Amy Carmichael
"God, I pray Thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long life, but a full one, like you, LORD Jesus." -Jim Elliot
en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Jim_Elliot "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."
"Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation that you believe to be the will of God." "God, I pray Thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long life, but a full one, like you, LORD Jesus." "Saturate me with the oil of Thy Spirit, that I may be aflame. Make me Thy fuel O flame of God."
"We are so utterly ordinary, so commonplace, while we profess to know a Power the Twentieth Century does not reckon with. But we are "harmless," and therefore unharmed. We are spiritual pacifists, non-militants, conscientious objectors in this battle-to-the-death with principalities and powers in high places. Meekness must be had for contact with men, but brass, outspoken boldness is required to take part in the comradeship of the Cross. We are "sideliners" -- coaching and criticizing the real wrestlers while content to sit by and leave the enemies of God unchallenged. The world cannot hate us, we are too much like its own. Oh that God would make us dangerous!" "Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road; make me a fork, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me. "- Jim Elliot
"Those whimpering Stateside young people will wake up on the Day of Judgment condemned to worse fates than these demon-fearing Indians, because, having a Bible, they were bored with it - while these never heard of such a thing as writing" - Jim Elliot
"No one warns young people to follow Adam's example. He waited till God saw his need. Then God made Adam sleep, prepared for his mate, and brought her to him. We need more of this 'being asleep' in the will of God. Then we can receive what He brings us in His own time, if at all. Instead we are set as bloodhounds after a partner, considering everyone we see until our minds are so concerned with the sex problem that we can talk of nothing else when bull-session time comes around. It is true that a fellow cannot ignore women—but he can think of them as he ought—as sisters, not as sparring partners!" - Shadow of the Almighty, Chapter 4
need citation Yet at the same time, if I am not happy now, an amazing job, a spouse, a role in ministry is not necessarily going to change that fact. What needs to change is a new perspective in my own life. Running after my dreams is great and wonderful and important, yet that can never be the sole source of my satisfaction and happiness. Determining to find and live that abundant life has taken me to many places. The thing I am realizing now is that to find the abundant life Jesus talked about, I don’t need to go anywhere—rather, I need to go to Someone. In Jesus alone will I find that abundant and satisfied life that I have been longing to find in other things, all of which are great but need to complement my satisfaction and fulfillment in Jesus, not replace it.
What made Jesus' life abundant? It wasn’t a life without suffering, a life of pure bliss. But He was always in tune with His Father. This is what brought Him great pleasure and fullness despite the heartaches. Jesus came and fulfilled His destiny, but it wasn’t in fulfillment of His calling that He found the abundant life—it was in His relationship with His Father. (cf “boring” early years pre 30)
I have spent so many years searching for and coming up empty and less fulfilled in my quest for that abundant life. I have come to the realization that the abundant life isn’t an unending state of bliss and eternal happiness, but rather a full life lived with great joys and deep sorrows, filled with the mundane and the exciting, filled with intimate love and pain. It’s a life that has its source in the Father’s love.