The Pulpit: How To Live The Abundant Life

Screen shot 2014-08-12 at 12.24.55 PMSubmitted By Pastor Jerry Alexander
Greater Community Baptist Church
9“I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:9-10
This passage of scripture unfolds during the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus confronts the illegitimate claim of the Pharisees. The Pharisees claimed to be the rightful shepherds of Israel. They presented themselves as the givers of spiritual life and access to spiritual food. The people of Israel had a history of suffering under the leadership of evil leaders. It is evident in Jeremiah 10:21-22, when the shepherds of Judah refused to whole-heartedly seek God. “The shepherds are senseless and do not inquire of the Lord; so they do not prosper and all their flock is scattered. Listen! The report is coming-a great commotion from the land of the north! It will make the towns of Judah desolate, a haunt of jackals.” As a result the growth of their nation did not prosper and the people were scattered. In Ezekiel 34:1-6, the shepherds of Israel failed to provide for their flock (people). They slaughtered them for their gain rather than feed them. The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? 3 You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. 4 You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. 5 So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. 6 My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.” In John 10:9-10, Jesus gave the metaphor of a shepherd watching over and providing for his flock.
I. In John 10:9, Jesus identified Himself as being the doorway unto almighty God.
a. It is through Jesus that believers enter the safety of God’s fold and proceed into the rich pastures of His blessings.
b. It is through Jesus, lost sinners can approach a Holy God and appropriate salvation.
c. Jesus is the good shepherd that gives spiritual life and access to spiritual foods.
d. If we are going to live life abundantly, the quality of our lives must first change spiritually. We must totally accept Jesus Christ as our savior and trust completely in Him.
II. In John 10:10, Jesus fingers the theft.
a. The thief’s spirit resides in those who have ill will toward the kingdom of God.
b. His purpose is to steal, kill and destroy the lives of people. His greatest gain is to redirect our spiritual destiny, by turning us completely away from God.
III. In John 10:10, Jesus reassures believers.
a. Jesus reassures believers that He came to give life to all of those who accept Him and He came to give it more abundantly.
b. The abundant life is a higher quality of living on earth and a promised heavenly home.
c. How do we live the abundant life?
First completely submit yourselves to Jesus Christ. This is accepting Him as your personal savior and allowing the Holy Spirit to conform you into the image of Jesus Christ. We must then live a life pleasing unto God.
Jesus is the doorway unto almighty God; through Him we will enter the safety of God’s fold and proceed into the rich pastures of His blessings.
Within the pastures of God’s blessings, the quality of our spiritual lives will change and we will walk in the promises of almighty God.
IV. Conclusion
a. Matthew 6:10 “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus was attempting to change the quality of His disciple’s spiritual lives. His objective was to make them kingdom focused and encourage them to walk in the promises of Almighty God.
b. Jesus taught them to pray in this manner: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus taught them to pray the kingdom of heaven onto earth.
The quality of Israel’s spiritual lives changed. They no longer lifted up their misery from earth to heaven. They prayed that the things of heaven would be unleashed in their lives here on earth. When heaven is unleashed in our lives, we are more than over comers. We will be able to love and help regardless of any situation.
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