Study 2 THE LIFE MORE ABUNDANT
The Shining Pathway
by Francis Dixon
(Key verse: John 10: 10, KJV)
In this study we shall see that the Christian life, the life of the Lord Jesus which we receive when we become Christians, is an abundant life. One of the great purposes our Lord had in coming into the world was to bring to us the gift of spiritual life; and the quality, or the degree of life He came to make possible for us all, is described as ”life more abundant!”
Is there any difference between life and abundant life? In our gardens we can see plants which are just alive while others are abounding with life, and in the realm of human life we can see those who are weak in body whereas others are robust and vigorous; but it is equally true in the realm of spiritual life that we may have life but not abundant life. Every Christian has life, but not every Christian enjoys the abundant life which Christ came (and now lives) to give. The deficiency is not on His side, but on ours. His is the abundant life, but often we possess so little of it - of Him. The lack is not in the giving but in the receiving.
1. Note the following facts about the abundant life.
- 1. God’s plan and purpose is that the abundant life should be the NORMAL life of His children. Many think that the life of spiritual abundance is the abnormal experience of Christians, but it is not meant to be, for anything less than abundance is the abnormal. God’s desire and provision for every believer is fullness of life.
- 2. This abundant life is for EVERY believer. We sometimes think that the abundant life is only meant for a few special children of God. Not so! If you are a Christian, God’s desire and plan for you is fullness of life.
- 3. This abundant life is to be enjoyed NOW. When we die we shall enter into a fuller life altogether, but the abundant life of which we are thinking is to be enjoyed while we are on earth.
2. What are the characteristics of this abundant life?
The abundant life is the life of the Lord Jesus Himself, imparted to us and lived in and through us by the Holy Spirit.
The abundant life is the same life of fullness and abundance that possessed His human body when He was upon the earth, imparted to us and received by us by faith, and reproduced in and through us.
What were the characteristics of Christ’s abundant life lived on the earth? His life was:-
- 1. A life well-pleasing to the Father. For 33 years His life was wholly pleasing to His Father - look up Matthew 3:17, and compare John 8:29. Of ourselves, we can never live a life that is pleasing to God, but the life of Jesus is entirely pleasing to Him, and when His life fills us God is well-pleased with us.
- 2. A life of utter dependence upon the Father. Look up John 8:28. The abundant life is a life of constant dependence upon ”Christ who is your life” (Colossians 3:4), and who lives in us (Galatians 2:20).
- 3. A life of complete submission to the will of the Father. See what Jesus said in the word of prophecy in anticipation of His coming into the world - Psalm 40:7; then look up Luke 22:42. One of the chief characteristics of the abundant life comes in the words of F. R. Havergal’s consecration hymn:
- “Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine …”
- 4. A life of moment-by-moment fellowship with the Father. During His earthly life there was not a cloud of sin or self between our Lord and His Father, until “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us” upon Calvary’s cross (Matthew 27:46; 2 Corinthians 5:21). The abundant life is a life of constant, intimate fellowship with God.
- 5. A life of constant victory over sin and the Devil. Our Lord was tempted in all points as we are, yet He never yielded to sin or the Devil; He always overcame - look up John 8:46; Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 2:22; and He offers to us also a life that is victorious and triumphant over sin and Satan.
- 6. A life of abundant peace and joy. When did He speak of “My peace…” (John 14:27; 16:33), and “My joy…” (John 15:11; 17:13)? It was when He was facing the cross of shame and suffering. His peace and joy is the experience of all who enjoy His abundant life.
- 7. A life of sacrificial service. He “went around doing good” (Acts 10:38), and He gave Himself - look up Matthew 20:28.
3. How may we live and experience this abundant life?
We enter into it as we live in dependence upon Him. The abundant life is one of submission, fellowship, victory, joy, peace and sacrificial service; but the whole point is this: it is His life, and only as we receive Him fully into our life and surrender ourselves completely to Him is He able to live out His abundant life in and through us.
The measure in which I can know and experience His abundant life depends upon, and is in exact proportion to, the measure in which I am surrendered to Him.
Will you yield yourself fully to Him, and let Him fill you with His more abundant life?