Jesus Has Come to Give Us Abundant Life
14 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God;[a] believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?[b] 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.”[c] 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.[d] From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.
For unto you is born this day in the City of David, a Savior, Who is Christ, the Lord!
We have looked at how we look to Christ in faith and hope for His salvation in our lives. Salvation from the penalty of our sin and salvation from the power of sin to steal and corrupt the life that God has for us. Faith and hope are a look to the future.
Today we light the candle of joy. We look to the quality of life that God desires for us to have in following Jesus. This is a look at the present, and the impact of the Coming of Christ on our lives today.
John 10: in a metaphorical discussion about what Jesus wants to do for people, He calls Himself the good shepherd. This speaks back to Psalms 23: YHWH is my shepherd, David says, because of that I have everything I need. Everything I need for what? For LIFE! And so, in this passage in verse 10 Jesus says about the sheep pen that there is a thief who would seek to rob the sheep from the presence, protection and provision of the shepherd, but Jesus the shepherd has come that the sheep might have life and have it to the full. (Superabundant in quantity, superior in quality!) Literally, may keep having abundance. There is a shepherd that gives life and thief that takes life! This is Jesus’ description!
We looked at the issue of joy earlier in Philippians. Joy is what makes life good, or rather, that which makes life good we describe as something joyful. So, a joyful life is the good life, the pleasing life.
Joy to the World, the Lord is Come!
So, let’s consider this, Jesus has come to give us a joyful life. What does He mean and how can we connect to this?
- What is the Good Life?
- God has good gifts of joy
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
Temptation and good gifts. Our hearts need to be attached to the giver and not the gifts.
Marriage: Helpers suitable: Competitors for time energy and resources
Work/ Environment: Creating order, beauty and purpose out of chaos. Vs. What we try doesn’t work, erodes over time and is opposed by the natural environment. (There are mice in the grain bin. Grain rots. The price fluctuates. The weather is unpredictable. You can have a major health crisis.) How should we act? Where is God and what has He called us to do that gives us purpose?
He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found.
- Sin perverts the gifts and diminishes the joy
Gift of sexual intimacy: Keep it in the marriage!
Gift of comfort: make sure you take care of your responsibilities. (And this may even change over time! We are not in control of this!)
Turn these stones to bread!
Gift of gaining material wealth: Greed amounts to idolatry. God is a giver, we are meant to be givers too! What you own can own you if you do not possess it as a gift from God! And if what you own has your heart, then you are not free! The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil!
In Proverbs 30:7-9
7 Two things I ask of you; deny them not to me before I die:
8 Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me,
9 lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the Lord?”
or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God.
All the kingdoms of the world I will give to you if you fall down and worship me! Greed: Worship God only! (Greed amounts to idolatry!)
Gift of personal accomplishment:
James 3: 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down! Make life about yourself! Pride! Do not put God to the test. Life is about God!
- Jesus is the gift of life
“Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
- Joy in His Going and Coming
- Christ came to give us life
He provides us with the way of life right now today!
John 6: 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.
Be great by being a servant
Be a giver rather than a taker
Live an unselfish life
Treat others as you would like to be treated
John 8: 12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 8: 31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 13: 33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
- Jesus goes to prepare a place with God
This is a guarantee that we are accepted by God for all of eternity. He has gone to the Father. He is our advocate. Satan comes to God to accuse like in the Book of Job. Think about your own life. Will he say things about you that are true that would make God justly condemn you? Well you have an advocate, a lawyer with you in court. Jesus can protect you from your rightful verdict of condemnation. And He does it not by getting you off on a technicality, but by paying personally for your just condemnation. Satan condemns. Jesus takes it on. As the Apostle Paul says in I Cor 2:
7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
In Satan’s attempt to steal, kill and destroy, He has participated in the sacrifice of justification for all who would believe.
Revelation 12: The dragon makes trouble over and over again and the dragon is defeated over and over again!
- If I go I will come again to get you
When does Christ come to get us?
At death we are with Christ!
The expectation of the Apostle Paul
Phil 1: 20 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better.
Jesus to the thief on the Cross: Luke 23:
42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Will be with me: What
In paradise: Where The Hebrew word garden is paradise.
Why? Because God loves and gives life
Gen 2&3 Revelation 21& 22
Paradise is where God is!
Jesus to me on the night my mother died
At His Second Coming! When this world will be no more, life will go on either way for those who believe!
So, how do we connect to Jesus as the bringer of abundant life?
III. If You Believe Him You Can Ask Him for Life
- The free offer to the Woman
John 4: 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
The gift of God is the offer of life! All you have to do is ask!
Shepherds, Magi, Anna and Simeon. Mary and Joseph, the Apostles, Zacheus, Widows, Prostitutes, the uneducated, ethnically deficient and ethically compromised. Jesus’ followers are full of stories of these people. They come because the offer of life is free!
- The reality of the treasure
44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
If you see it, you can have it!
The pearl merchant had many pearls, but there was nothing like this one pearl. The treasure in the field was discovered, and then covered and then bought. It was available to all who can see it and will buy it first!
- Wait and see
What will you see in your life as you follow Jesus?
You will see the blessings of the beatitudes.
You will see a pathway to live that yields fruit that honors God and gives purpose to all of your suffering.
You will see an ability to enjoy the good things of God without replacing Him with those things.
And you will see growth in your ability to experience all of this in increasing measure!