The Abundant Life
Read John 10:10.
Jesus promised in John 10:10 that we could “have life and have it in abundance.” Who doesn’t yearn to live a satisfied life infused with contentment and joy? Bookstore shelves are filled with thousands of titles such as “Your Best Life Now; Your Personal Code for Living a Better, Happier, More Successful life,” or “Better Than Good; Creating a Life You Can’t Wait to Live,” and “The Life You Always Wanted.” And the one I’m going to get; “Help Lord! I’m having a Senior Moment: A Note to God on Growing Old.” But the problem is, as we all know, that many times life has a way of tripping us up and knocking us down. 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 days 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.
· John 3:15 tells us; “that whoever believes may in Him have eternal 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.
· But we should not stop here; to have eternal life is great—but there is more.
o Christ came that we might have life abundantly.
· All believers have eternal life, but not all believers have abundant life.
· You are living beneath your privileges 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.
· I am afraid some think, to have the abundant life means;
o Having a really good paying job. Having a home. Having a vacation home, or insert whatever else one would say that determines the abundant life. (By world standards these might be….)
o All these maybe good to have but they in themselves do not impart the abundant life Jesus is talking about.
o There are Christians who have none of these things; good pay jobs, etc., 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.
o 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
o 4. “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.
5. “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 fuller life, the believer must abide in Christ Jesus.
· You may say “that abundant life is for preachers, Sunday school teachers, and other leaders….but me I don’t know.”
o The abundant life is not just for a few, it is God norm for the Christian life.
§ It is spiritual life in depth, and without it, the Christian life becomes immature and meaningless.
· If you are not living the abundant life, you will soon yield to the fleshly life around you.
o The fleshly life is circumstance—controlled.
o The abundant life is Holy Spirit—controlled.
o The fleshly Christian’s life leads to defeat.
o 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?” Romans 6: 10-13
10. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11. Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, 13. 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.” (Stoplight Ill.)
· How do we yield our life to God? By faith.
o When we first come to God by faith that is eternal life.
o Remember what I said about eternal life when I first started;
§ That we should not stop here; to have eternal life is great—but there is more than just having eternal life.
§ The more is when we by faith yield control of our lives to Christ and His Lordship in our lives. Romans 6: 13
· do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present (or yield) yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
o So 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 a life of service. Romans 12: 1-2 say:
1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
§ If we are to live abundantly we must serve the Lord Jesus Christ. After all His life was an example of obedient service all the way to the Cross.
The abundant life is a separated life. Romans 1:1 Tells us this:
1 Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.
§ When we were saved God called us to come out of this sin sick world to separate us from the world for service unto His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
o His eyes, His ears, His mouth, His hands, His feet.
§ We must not let sin reign in us but by faith separate our lives to serve the living God.
The abundant life is a Spirit-filled life. Ephesians 5: 18 says:
18. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.
§ When you were saved you received the Holy Spirit.
§ Even though we have the Spirit dwelling in us we are not always being filled by the Spirit.
o Making poor choices to not separate ourselves form the draw of this world will quench the Spirit in us and we can not be filled by the Spirit.
§ When we are filled we are to have joy, to be of service, to be His witnesses, to be ready for the hour of persecution, to walk by the Spirit and to be led by the Spirit
§ To be filled by the Spirit we must by faith believe and ask Him to fill us.
The abundant life is a mature life.
- 2nd Peter 3 verse 18 tells us that we are to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
- The spiritual growth as a Christian is a lot like our physical growth and maturing. (Baby, child, adult stages)
- All through the New Testament we are encouraged to grow spiritually so that we will be able to stand strong against sin that so easily ensnares.
- Paul told the Corinthians that they were babes in Christ that they were carnal Christians.
- He told them that they were still living in the fresh since there was jealousy and strife among them and that they were still living like any other person. They were not maturing in their Christian life and so they were not living the abundant life that God had intended for them to live.
What should the abundant life look like? Paul writing to the Galatians gives us insight into the characteristics of a person having the abundant life.
§ Galatians 5: 22-25:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23) gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24) Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25) If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
o The word “Spirit” is with a capital “S” – which means these 9 fruit are coming directly from the Holy Spirit, not from us.
o What this means is that God’s love, peace, joy, goodness, and faithfulness can start to be transmitted up into our personality by the Holy Spirit.
o Think about the ramifications of this – that God the Father Himself is allowing us to share in a part of His divine nature by allowing His Holy Spirit to transmit and impart these nine divine qualities right up into our soul and personality! THAT IS ABUNDANT LIVING!!
§ This is what happens when we as branches abide in Christ (the True Vine) and when we are walking according to the Spirit we will be living the abundant life.
o I am afraid that to many times people equate church membership to the abundant life.
§ As born again believers, God’s Word demands that we examine our lives to see if there is anything that is contrary to the characteristics and attributes of the living God living within us.
o Just before Paul wrote the words in verses 22-25 he wrote these words in verses 19-21: 19) Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, (Paul speaking of things contrary to God) which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20) idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21) envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
o Remember the first part of John 10:10, “The thief comes to steal, and kill, and destroy;”
o Satan wants us to follow after the desires of the flesh, he wants to destroy our lives and steal our joy and keep us from the abundant life, and he wants to keep us babes in Christ.
o If our lives exemplify the characteristics of this world, then we are living contrary to God, and we can not live the abundant life.
o We by faith believe God for salvation and by faith ask God to fill us and live His life in and through us; this is abundant living, and we can have it no matter what our life status maybe.
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?
§ Ask yourself these questions; Am I Abiding in Christ, living the abundant life with the characteristics and attributes of the Holy Spirit living in me?
§ Or am I really just a babe in Christ not really understanding or living the abundant life, is my life looking more like the world than that of a Spirit filled, abiding in Christ Christian?
o This morning we all need to examine where you stand before God and if you are not living the abundant life, by faith come and commit your life anew to Christ and start living life abundantly.
§ Maybe you have never surrendered your life to Christ. Verse 21 of Galatians 5 says; “That those who practice (ON GOING) such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
§ That means separated from God for all eternity in a place the Bible calls hell. You can change that today; by faith give your life to Jesus today?