Text: John 10:1-10
Someone once said, “Abundant living means to have an overdose of living.” That’s the way I want to go, with an overdose of living. We need strength in times of weakness, but sometimes we don’t even have the strength to ask for strength. All of us face times of difficulty encompassed with all kinds of problems and heartaches. We all have times of going through the valley after a mountaintop experience. We all have times of a melancholy spirit, and in those times, one need only look at David, Elijah, and Peter for encouragement. The Lord did not come to deliver us from trials and troubles, but to give us joy in the midst of trials.
I learned many years ago that Martin Luther was human just like the rest of us. He got so mad that he started swearing and threw an ink well at the devil. John Wesley had an unreasonable wife, and he learned that there are no strong people, only weak people who look to God for strength. We all feel lonely, depressed, and insecure at times. Jesus did not say that you will never have a problem; but He said, “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:20).
Lots of money, pleasure, and a good wardrobe will not cure your problems, so what can a Christian do to live life more abundantly?
SEEK PEOPLE TO LOVE
Selfishness is often the reason for despondency. The answer is to get our eyes off self and on others. Help others and watch the joy come back. Find somebody who needs somebody to love him/her. Before self-pity takes hold of you, jump up and find somebody having bigger problems than yours. Look up and see His creation rather than looking down at the cracks in the sidewalk! If you always look down, you will never see the good around you. Look up and live life with an overdose of living by seeking people to love.
SET IT RIGHT WITH EVERYBODY
Doctors say that many diseases are caused by bitterness and thinking that people do not like you. First of all, let me say that you cannot help it if people do not like you; but, you can keep your heart right with everybody in the whole world. Don’t die of criticism, die of an overdose of living. Get out the bitterness and hard feelings. Let them hate you—just don’t ever hate back. Don’t feel hurt toward people and say, “I’ll get him!”
SEARCH FOR SOMETHING TO DO
Don’t live an unscheduled life, but get an overdose of life—how?
- Get on a schedule and keep it.
- Get active by being a participant, not a spectator.
- Have a sweet relationship with Jesus.
None of us has more than one life to live. In just a few years we will be gone from this life. Let’s live life to the fullest while we have it. Try not to focus so much on your needs, but think about those with greater needs. I am of the belief that all of us would be better off by living life in such a way that helps us to be concerned about others.
SACRIFICE WITH A WILLING HEART
2 Corinthians 8:12, “For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.” In other words, if there is readiness, and if the heart is in it, the sacrifice or service will be acceptable to God, whether you give much or little.
First, there has to be willingness without reservation. A willing mind is the main thing because it speaks of motive. See Mark 12:43.
The key to this poor widow was that she gave more in proportion to what she had; therefore it was more acceptable to God. She did not give more as far as value was concerned but demonstrated more self-denial—and probably more sincerity—in what she gave. She gave what she had, and the others gave of their abundance. In other words, they gave what they did not need. They gave without denying self. She gave what she needed to live on while trusting God to provide for her.
SET SOME SPIRITUAL STANDARDS FOR YOUR PERSONAL LIFE
Ask yourself the question, “Why am I doing what I am doing?” Is it to gain acceptance with family and friends, or is it to please God? When it comes to our spiritual lives, only God has the right to judge how far we have come in our walk with Him. There are several things we ought to be thinking about as we hope to develop in our spiritual lives:
- How am I doing in following Christ’s example?
- How do I measure up to the example of others God has set before me?
- How am I doing in my personal prayer life and study habits?
Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
Are we living life more abundantly?
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Bro. Nikoley emigrated from Germany to the United States with his family at age 13. He served full time in the Nevada Air National Guard for six years. At age 32, He was saved, and in 1977, he graduated from Bible College. He pastored for over 31 years, 27 of them at Pomerado Road Baptist Church in Poway, California. Bro. Nikoley has served at Golden State Baptist College in the Bible Department and also as the Student Employment Director since 2007. He and his wife Mary have two children and have been married for 58 years.