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Portraits of Jesus

Today's Meditation
Knowing and
Experiencing God


I Have Come that You May Have Life
More Abundantly!

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" John 10:10.

Jesus is sharing His purpose and His relationship with those that He came "to seek and to save" Luke 19:10.

He said, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd" John 10:11, 15.

We've talked about the good shepherd in a previous in lesson series (part 1, part 2). However, what are some of the values that the good shepherd shares with us that give us this more abundant life?

Let's start with love. "For God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" John 3:16, 17. Jesus loved us so much that He was willing to lay down His life for us. John 10:11-16.

In contrast, the hireling, he who is not the shepherd, who does not own the sheep, he abandons the sheep when he sees trouble coming. The sheep without the Good Shepherd are caught, killed and scattered. The Good Shepherd encourages the sheep and invites them to "Learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" Matthew 11:29, 30.

What else does the Good Shepherd offer that provides for more abundant living? How about joy, peace, kindness, wisdom, understanding, gentleness, self-control, faithfulness and a host of other positive values; "against such there is no law" Galatians 5:23.

A friend of mine once said, "If the Lord gives a man or woman a job to do, He gives him or her the ability to do it. If they perform it faithfully, they are blessed for doing it. What more can you ask?"

Indeed, the Good Shepherd fulfills our lives in ways that we cannot imagine. Reflecting back on seventy plus years, it has been my experience that when I was totally yielded to God (to the best of my understanding), He fulfilled the desires of my heart. My life's ambitions and goals were fulfilled by my mid thirties. From then on He did some things for me beyond anything I could ever have imagined. When I became unfaithful to Him in my life and experience, my life became greatly restricted, much like the experience of ancient Israel.

I am in awe at the power, the love, the protection, the discipline and experience that our Creator shares with us. I truly believe that all things do "work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" Romans 8:28. His discipline in our lives leads us to understand more fully His love, compassion and desire for us to remain in harmony and relationship with Him. In this relationship, His promises are fulfilled to us and in us.

May the love, joy, peace, hope, health, healing, and so much more that our Good Shepherd has to share with us be with you now and forever. Amen.

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