“So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 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 comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
I have at times wondered what an abundant life is supposed to be. I know for years I was not experiencing an abundant life. I existed, but I didn’t live. What is abundant life? What is abundance? Abundance means lavishness, copiousness, plenty, more than enough. It means not only not lacking but full. Jesus said, He came that we may have life and have it abundantly. Later in the same chapter John 10:28-30, Jesus says,
“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
He came so we could have eternal life. Eternal life is not something that begins after our earthly death, it begins the moment we are saved. We live in the Kingdom of God, we walk in Christ and in The Spirit. We walk in power! How many Christians walk or even limp in weakness as if they are citizens of the world rather than citizens of Heaven. But believer you are a citizen of Heaven. (Philippians 3:20). You are not like the world. In Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus taught the disciples to pray and that prayer teaches us about walking in the Kingdom.
“Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.”
The will of God is carried out effortlessly in the Kingdom of Heaven. And you and I have the ability to bring about His will on earth. We are provided for. We are forgiven and because of that we can offer mercy and grace. We are delivered from evil, we don’t have to try and work to be good, we are saved from sin and the enemy. This is wonderful! But there is more. Our Father lavishes gifts on us. He gives provision. Philippians 4:19 says,
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
He provides our needs according to His riches. Do we think He will just barely provide? Do we think He will ever let us lack anything? He is God, He is Everlasting and Eternal God. (Isaiah 40:28). He gives is spiritual gifts as well. Did you know that Spiritual gifts are manifestation of The Holy Spirit Himself. That’s a big deal. And those gifts are meant to be used. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 reads,
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.”
An abundant life is a choice, God wants to fill us, not merely be in us. He wants us to be filled with Him. Ephesians 5:15-21 reads,
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
Abundant life means we are not alone, we live connected with our brothers and sisters in Christ. And look at how we are with one another, addressing one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. We use scripture, joy, and the Holy Spirit to encourage, build up, and keep each other on track. Church is not a solemn place, it is a joy-filled Spirit-filled connected people.
Too many believers live as paupers instead of princes. But look at just some of the titles we hold in our new identity in Christ. We are sons and daughters of God and coheirs with Christ. (Romans 8:14-17). We are royalty, we are priests, chosen by God to stand out and by our lives proclaim how awesome God is. (1 Peter 2:9). We are minsters of God’s grace, and stewards of the Gospel. (1 Peter 4:10, Ephesians 3:7). And we are friends of God. Can you believe it, God, The LORD, the Creator of the entire universe calls us His friends? John 15:12-17 reads,
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.”
How is it possible that we could live anything other an abundant life with all that in our favor? We should be living abundantly, not in paucity. Is your life bare? Is meager? Are you working, going home, sitting in a church pew twice a week, and merely existing until you finally make it to eternity? Or are you walking in Christ, filled with the Spirit, lavished with gifts, surrounded by your brothers and sisters as a son of God? Are you living your abundant and eternal life in the Kingdom of God now?