Abundant Life

November 8, 2015   John 10:10Life Abundant  

 

    Secularization theology has taught us to be tolerant of the world system to be more accepting and understanding and not bigoted.  G. K. Chesterton says it well tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.  It is always easier to claim tolerance and straddle the fence than to choose sides.  Tolerance will get you elected.  Tolerance keeps you popular with a voting congregation.  Tolerance doesn’t make waves at the office or across the back yard fence.  But tolerance makes no impact for the kingdom of God.   Chuck Swindoll    The world hated Jesus.  Why?  Because he spoke the truth.  Jesus spoke into lives the truth.  Men loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. 

    Our world is in a mess.  Our nation is a mess.   We are so far from God.  Tony Nassif writes Dear Friends, the United States is one of the great centers for human trafficking, child sexual exploitation and cartels.  Our nation, families and children are in great danger.   1.2 million Children reported missing in America annually. (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children),   Extremists use pornography for funding and message encryption.   Cartels infiltrated throughout America are now involved in human trafficking.  We know who is behind that.  Satan comes to steal kill and destroy.  He comes to wreck lives.  He wants to redefine marriage.  Satan has been defeated but not yet destroyed.  I saw an article from Billy Graham and he said persecution is coming to America.  The spiritual climate is changing.  I am thankful that it is not illegal to share Jesus in America today. 

    Satan hates it when you love your spouse.  Satan hates it when you love your children.  Satan hates it when you pray.  Satan hates it when you read your bible.  Satan hates it when you give your tithe to God.  Satan hates it when you worship.  Satan hates it when you go to church and do bible study.  He is against everything you are for in Jesus.  Satan hates it when you are successful in business and in your life.  Satan hates it when you get ahead.  Basically everything we love in life as Christians Satan hates. 

   We see the destructive power of Satan in Job chapter 1 and 2.   Satan caused the death of Job’s children.  Satan created a wind that destroyed their home.  Satan caused fire to fall from the sky to burn servants and sheep.  Satan caused Sabeans and Chaldeans to attack and carry off cattle and kill servants.  That is not nice.  He attacked God’s servant.  Job an upright man.  Then Satan was allowed to afflict Job physically.  Satan delights in doing that.  Jesus tells us that he is a liar and the father of lies.  He certainly can speak through people.  In the parable of the sower he is the one who snatches away the word of God.  He does not want the word of God in your life.  Satan likes to rob.   He is a robber.  He wants to steal your devotion to God and to your family.   No one loves a thief.  He can masquerades as an angel of light.  Satan can look pretty good and he likes to make sin look really good.  He likes to deceive the Christian.  We need wisdom today.  We need to see truth.   We need to walk in the Holy Spirit and hear God’s voice.     Satan afflicted Paul and he tempted Jesus.  He tormented the man from Gadera giving him such power that chains could not bind him. He is a good example of a life that is controlled or influenced by Satan or Demons.

    We are in a war and we have a powerful smart enemy.  He comes to steal, kill and destroy.   He has been around a lot longer than we have and he has lots of experience.   He has been at his craft for many years.  He is powerful and we cannot fight him in our own strength.  He is smarter than we are.   He is more powerful than you are.  He does not get tired and need to sleep.  He is a worthy opponent and you cannot beat him.  You and I cannot use physical tools and resources to beat him.  We have spiritual resources to beat him.  We have the word of God, the blood of Jesus, and we have prayer.   He has been defeated.  Jesus defeated him and Jesus is greater than Satan.  When you pray he trembles because our Father is all powerful and he loves us.

    We do not want to focus too much on the enemy Satan but we do need to know he can attack us.  You can’t be asleep all the time when you are in a war.  Being aware of him should push us closer to the Father.   Worship is focus in a sense.  We need to be careful what we focus on.  If you have known sin in your life you are a target for Satan.  Our only protection is in Jesus.   You have protection as you walk in the Holy Spirit and turn our life over to Jesus. 

    Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy and Jesus comes to give life and to bless us.  The last part of that verse is a lot better than the first part.   Some folks are motivated by Satan and some folks are motivated by God.   Some folks live their life to destroy and other people seek to build.  Some folks will oppose you and others want to bless you.  It is good to be around God’s people.  I like to bless people.  Some folks drag you down with constant complaining and negativity.   Some folks in the world today are into cursing and the enemy is into cursing.  God is into blessing and God’s people are into blessing. .  Jesus came so we can have an abundant life.  There are 2 path ways of life and this verse points out 2 main paths to follow.  This passage points out 2 powerful forces in this world, one for evil and one for good.  We see the results of taking either path.  One path is filled with the robber, killer and the thief and other path is filled with a blessed life. 

   What is an abundant life or full life?   I do not believe that the abundant life is always easy.  I believe Jesus experienced abundant life and the point can be made that Jesus had his challenges.  Jesus experienced hunger and thirst.   Jesus experienced physical and spiritual suffering.   After one of his spiritual suffering the angels came and ministered unto him.  Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights and then Satan tempted him.    Paul the apostle had a blessed life but he also suffered.

   Do you think that you are experiencing abundant life?   Is this life that Jesus talks about worth pursuing for you?  What is a key to experiencing abundant life?  I suppose we could say many things.  I like John 3:30 where John the Baptist said he must increase and I must decrease.  I think the abundant life is a moment by moment surrendering of our life to Jesus.  The person who is filled with him or herself will not experience abundant life at least as God thinks about it.  God wants to bless us as we walk with him.  If we put him first then we can walk in his resources, his power and experience his life through us.  We die and then we live.  We die to ourself and then we walk in Him.  Abundant life and a full life is found in Jesus.  Are you living in Jesus?   Is Jesus living his life through you?  That life is a blessed life.  God is a good father and he delights in his children.  God delights to bless his children.  He delights to bless you. 

   I think we might ask ourselves if we have asked God to bless us lately.  Do you ask God to bless your time in the bible?  Do you ask God to bless your day?   Have you ask God to bless your work and your business?  I think God likes business and prosperity.  I do not think Satan likes prosperity unless evil is associated with it.  God wants to bless me.  God wants to bless his church.  Do you expect God to answer your prayers?   e is able to do exceeding abundantly He I want God to bless me abundantly.  I want God to bless my prayers.  I want God to prosper my family and my church.  Every good gift comes from God and his resources are limitless.  God wants to give our more blessings.  Jesus desires to prosper his people.  We have been given all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Jesus.   Jesus can do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think.  Satan would rob the church but Jesus can put 100 people here just as easily as he put you here.   It would be easy for God to fill this church.  What seems big to us is simple for him.  The big things you face are no big deal for him.  We have a big God and he is not a cheap God.  Is your God cheap?  Is your God stingy? 

 .  We are co-heirs with Jesus.  Have you thought about that?   Well what does that mean?  Well when you get married you gain the assets of the other person.  When Sally and I married I got what she had and she got what I had and it is the same today.  If something happens to me it is all in her name.  If something happens to her it is all in my name.  My inheritance and her inheritance is shared with each other.   You are co-heirs with Jesus.  In Matthew 28 Jesus said I have all authority in heaven and on earth.  The Christian shares that authority.  I share that authority.  Jesus told his disciples I have given you authority.  He has given us authority to drive out demons, to heal, to bless others.   Hebrews 1 God has appointed Jesus as heir of all things.  I am co-heir with the one who owns all things.  Jesus can bless us abundantly.  We need to ask and believe.  Jesus has blessed us abundantly and Jesus will bless us in the future.  We need to ask for the blessings and we need to trust Him for the blessings.  I read that old saying this week prayer is the key to heaven and faith unlocks the door.  There are plenty of resources for us.  My father is unlimited.  We need to believe God for blessings.   We need to appropriate them and claim them.   We have to do our part.  Jesus came to give us abundant life.   Jesus is still doing miracles today.  Jesus is till blessing people today.

   Joyce Meyer shares the story of a man who put his son in the back seat but did not strap him in.  He came to a corner with a stop light on it and he stopped and then made his right turn.  As he turned to the right his son fell out of the back seat right out into the road. There was a car coming in the other lane rather fast and all he had time to do was say Jesus. He shouted Jesus.   The father stopped the car and got out and the other driver got out.  The other driver said oh my gosh, Oh my gosh, oh my gosh.   The father said you did not hurt my son he is OK.  The driver was panicked and said you do not understand.   I never took my foot off the gas.  God can stop vehicles. That is an example of the kind of God we serve.  He is the God of miracles.  Jesus is the God who put out his hand to Peter when he was sinking in the ocean.  He offers his hand to us when we need him and when we are sinking.   Every one of us at sometime in our life will need Jesus to help us through a big crisis.   But every day we need Jesus.  We need his presence.  We need his wisdom.   We need his blessing and we need the abundant life.

     The world can offer a full life and a busy life but not an abundant life. The things that the world offers do not fill or satisfy us.   The world would say life is found in all the toys that we can collect.  The world would have you believe that true life is found in a can or bottle.    That real life is found in a better car, a better boat, a better camp, a better house, a bigger bank account, a different spouse etc.  Those things can fill a person’s life but never satisfy.  So in a sense it does not fill a person’s life.   There is always the lust for more.  A rich man was asked once how much is enough?   He said 1 dollar more.  Abundant life is not found in a pill.  Abundant life is not found in the lies of the world and the devil.  Abundant life is not found in lust, hate, fear and anger.   Jesus said I have come that you may have life and have life to the full or more abundantly.  We have forgiveness, peace, strength, wisdom and joy in Jesus. God has not given us a spirit of fear.  Abundant life is not in this world system.   I want to walk in Jesus abundance.  I want to walk in faith every day.  I want to trust every day to Jesus.  I want to sleep in peace.  I want my life to count for more than just myself.  I believe that you do also and as we walk in Jesus we can have those things.