Devotional: ‘Are You Abiding in the Good Shepherd?’

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John 10:10 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.

Christ wants to give to us abundant life. The word ‘abundant’ means something that is exceedingly beyond measure; something superior and surpassing. We might say that it’s Christianity with an exclamation point!

How different that is from what many seem to experience. For many church-members, their Christianity is anything but life with an exclamation point. Why is that?

1. The Abundant Life is a Saving Relationship

John 10:7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.”

John 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

The reason some church-members do not experience abundant life is because they do not have a saving relationship with the Good Shepherd. They are depending upon church membership or their own good works to save them. Yet Jesus said of Himself – “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved…” We read in Acts 4:12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

In order to find God’s green pastures, we must enter in through the doorway of Jesus Christ. 

2. The Abundant Life is a Satisfying Relationship

Jesus also promised that the abundant life would be a satisfying relationship.

John 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

First consider the pasture Christ speaks of. Peter gives us great insight into what the abundant life consists of:

2 Peter 1:2 May God bless you with his special favor and wonderful peace as you come to know Jesus, our God and Lord,  better and better. 3 As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! 4 And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature.

The green pasture that Jesus promises is His power that will enable us to live a godly life. It’s not a new car or a savings account filled with money. It’s not even our good health or continuous success. It’s the satisfaction of knowing God better and better, and sharing in His divine nature. Consider some of the abundance of such a relationship –

Abundant Forgiveness – 1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Abundant Grace – 2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Abundant Truth – John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Abundant Peace – Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Abundant Guidance – Isaiah 30:21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.

Truly a life filled with these things could be called – abundant.

Secondly, notice that Jesus speaks of those who ‘go in and out’ in order to find pasture. Another word Jesus used to describe this is the word ‘abide.’

John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

In order to find strength and nourishment for  each day, we must abide in and with the Good Shepherd. The word ‘abide’ means to remain. We must constantly remain in His presence. How can we do so? We do so through His Word, prayer, Christian music and Christian fellowship.

John 10:9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

If you need help in understanding these spiritual truths, please feel free to contact me – email: pastorterry@tobcchurch.com. God bless you brethren.

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