Are you satisfied with your life? Do you long for something better, something new, something different? Our materialistic world philosophy ties everything to money. But there are values more worthy than money. Those values have to do with peace in the heart and soul. An abundant life is possible even when there is little or much.
From the words of Jesus in John 10:1-10 let us bring our thoughts to THE ABUNDANT LIFE.
1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheep-fold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice; and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
In this text Jesus clears up several IDEAS about the abundant life. Let’s think about their relationships.
The first Idea:
A Close Intimacy.
This close intimacy is experienced between the shepherd and the sheep. Jesus said that the gate keeper knows Him, the Good Shepherd. He opens the gate to Him. All that came before Him and all that climbed up some other way were thieves and robbers. The gate keeper knows the Shepherd. There is a kind of warm acquaintance there between the gate keeper and the Shepherd.
There is more to this intimacy. The shepherd is also known by the sheep. They know his voice. “When he puts forth his own sheep, he goes before them and the sheep follow him for they know his voice.” Yes, sheep are very personable animals. They learn to know the shepherd very well. They can tell his voice. They can tell by his appearance whether or not he is, in fact, the true shepherd.
You’ll notice that Jesus said this intimacy means good following. He goes before his sheep and they follow him. I have seen shepherds in the holy land leading their sheep. They always go before them. They never drive the sheep, they lead them. Jesus said He goes before His sheep and they follow Him. They will not follow strangers because they do not know the voice of the stranger.
This is the kind of intimacy that the abundant life can bring to you. Jesus is the leader of that abundant life. In His close acquaintance with you, His intimacy, He can walk before you and you can know His voice.
A second Idea:
A Careful Instruction.
Jesus told them this parable but they did not understand what He was telling them. So Jesus explained further to lead them to a real understanding. He said in clear tones, “I am the door of the sheep.” If you are going to enter into the abundant life you must accept what Jesus is saying, “I am the door.” Then He said, “All who ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.”
“I am the door.” That is a very careful instruction which simply means that there are no other entrances beside the one that Jesus has prepared, in fact, the one that Jesus is. If you are going to enter into the abundant life that Jesus is talking about in these verses, then you must come by that door which He said He is. So to lead you to understanding, Jesus gave a very careful instruction here.
Then He also warned against others. He said, “All that came before me are thieves and robbers.” Very important it is then to get our directions clear. We have only one that we dare or care to follow and that one is Jesus. The true sheep do not hear the voice of strangers and will not follow thieves and robbers.
Jesus was very careful to give them clear instruction. It was necessary to come to a clear understanding from this careful instruction. Jesus said, “I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers.”
There’s a third Idea in which Jesus clears for us the relationships of the abundant life:
A Considered Intention.
He said, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” It is possible for you, just as for me, to enter in by this door, Jesus, and find a safe place. He said, “he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” All others are excluded. Only He is the way. Once you have entered in through Him you are safe and satisfied.
I wonder, really, do you know what it is to be satisfied? Satisfied in Jesus with this abundant life? Here is a very considered intention for you, that you might also with me find out what it really means to go in and out and find pasture, to have a perfectly satisfied life
But Jesus goes a bit farther than that. He said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” That’s why I called my message The Abundant Life. Life for us can be much more than just existing physically. Much more. In fact, God expected us to have more in life than just to live from birth till death. He expected us to have the abundant life, the overflowing life, the kind of life that comes when you enter in by the door, Jesus, and find in Him your satisfying portion. It’s more than existence, it is satisfying relationship.
I trust you to consider this intention very seriously because Jesus wants to impart unto you that abundant life of which He spoke to the disciples. He said, “I am come that they might have life,” yes, but that they might have more abundant life, life more abundantly, overflowing life, the kind of life that gives you real joy and peace.
All provisions have been made for you and me. I have chosen that way for the abundant life. Have you? If you choose it, you’ll have a very close intimacy with Jesus, the kind of fellowship that provides true leadership. You’ll have a careful instruction so you’ll be able to discern who is right and who is wrong and not follow the thieves and robbers. You can have a considered intention to receive that more abundant life which provides satisfying joy and peace.