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Having Life More Abundantly

“. . . I have come that you might have life , and that they (you) may have it more abundantly.”  John 20:10 (NKJV)                         “have it to the full.” (NIV)

How many times have you heard that quote? I am sure that I have quoted it many times without truly realizing the extent of its meaning. My natural inclination is to refer to abundance as natural prosperity, but I always knew deep down in my spirit that there was more. I decided to explore verse 10, both and of John 10:10 because context matters.

The Good Shepherd Versus the Thief

The aforementioned part b of John 10:10 is about Jesus, the Good Shepherd who provides abundance and it contrasts with part which is about the thief who brings destruction. Here is what Jesus states in part a about the thief:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. . .”

The whole chapter of John 10 discusses the Good Shepherd; verse 10 then warns his sheep by contrasting himself with the thief.  You see, Jesus, the Good Shepherd, lay down his life for his sheep. He leads his sheep out to pasture and he provides physical sustenance, as well as spiritual provisions. As the gatekeeper, the Good Shepherd, also guards the sheep pen and prevents the wolves (thieves) from entering. We know that Jesus is also the gatekeeper and it is confirmed in John 14:6 where Jesus tells his disciples,

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 

No one can get into the sheep pen without following the Good Shepherd. Thieves and hirelings must climb over the walls and enter illegally.

In Genesis, the plan after the Fall was for Jesus, the Good Shepherd, to come to earth to deliver and redeem God’s creations. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, believers are saved through repentance and belief in him. He, and he alone, repaired the breach; restored God’s people to a right relationship with Father God and removed the stranglehold of death with eternal life. From the beginning, Satan had an alternative plan—to steal, kill, and destroy God’s people. He has used different sources to wreak havoc on the kingdom of God down through the ages. The Pharisees, in Jesus’ time on earth, were the thieves who tried to steal from, to kill and ultimately, or so they thought, to destroy the Son of God, eliminating God’s redemption plan for his people.

So, the abundant life of part b of John 10:10 brings a spiritual position to those who know and follow the Good Shepherd’s voice and not that of a hireling. They are not moved by the thief who enters the sheep pen illegally. They are not moved by the wolves who lurk in the dark and climb over the walls unlawfully. They recognize only the voice of the Good Shepherd. They do not recognize the voice of a hireling, whether the hirelings were the Pharisees of Jesus’ time or whether they today’s thieves. As long as believers (God’s sheep) stay connected to the Good Shepherd, the thieves—hirelings, false pastors, false teachers and false prophets—will be insignificant—null and void!

Abundant Life Brings Spiritual and Natural Provisions

Abundant life ultimately brings spiritual and natural provisions for the sheep of the Good Shepherd. David was a man after God with own heart because he followed the Lord with his heart, soul and might. David said in Psalm 23:1 that because of the Lord, his Shepherd, he lacked nothing! He clarifies that abundance with explicit examples throughout Psalm 23. Here is what David said: He makes me to lie down in green pastures. (v 2) He leads me beside still waters. (v 2)  He restores my soul. (v 3) He guides me in the path of righteousness. (v 3)  He is with me even in the darkest valley so, I will not fear. (v 4)  He comforts me with his rod and staff. (v 4) He prepares a table for me in the presences of my enemies. (v 5) He anoints my head with oil. (v 5) His goodness and his love follows me all the days of my life. (v 6) I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever! (v 6) Now, that’s abundance, both spiritually and naturally!

So, Christians can stand on natural and spiritual provisions of the abundance from Jesus. Philippians 4:19 notes that “

“. . . my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

There are no preconditions to getting saved—you come as you are, repent of sins and acknowledge Jesus, the Good Shepherd, as your Savior. There are conditions, I believe, to having life, abundantly. Believers—those who have received salvation—must follow (seek after) the Lord uncompromisingly, putting nothing or no one before him. That means loving and obeying Jesus, and Jesus, alone.

David walked in abundance because he was a man after God’s own heart—he followed and he obeyed. Where are your hearts, my friends? Do you hear and follow the voice of the Good Shepherd or do you have an itching ear for hirelings who have entered God’s space in your heart and in the church illegally? Do you compromise in doing God’s will or are you fully committed to obeying the Good Shepherd? Listen, my friends, Jesus must be your Lord and not just your Savior. He must be your all and all. Then, you can declare as David did—“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” 

Be blessed.

Spiritual References for Meditation:

2 Corinthians 9:8  God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Matthew 6:33  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Ephesians 3:20  now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.

 

Published inInspirational Commentaries, Articles and Stories

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