Summary: God wants you to advance to the abundant life. Here’s how:
Advance to the Abundant Life (Part 1)
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - Aug. 5, 2007
*How is your life going today? -- Maybe great, maybe not so great. But the good news is that God wants you to move up in life -- Really move up. In John 10:10, Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
*God wants you to advance to the abundant life -- But you can’t even start on your way until you have His eternal life. As Jesus said in John 3, “You must be born again.” You must be saved by trusting in the truth that Jesus Christ died for your sins on the cross and rose again from the dead. You must be saved by receiving Jesus as your Savior and Lord.
*Jerry Falwell helped us understand saving faith, when he said:
-It is like taking a drink of water... In John 4:14 Jesus said, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
-Saving faith is like sitting down to a sumptuous feast... In Luke 14:16-17 Jesus said, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’”
-Saving faith is like accepting an invitation... In Matt 11:28 Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
-Saving faith is like walking through a door... In John 10:9 Jesus said, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.”
-Saving faith is like receiving a gift, because Rom 6:23 tells us that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
-And saving faith is like making a deposit in the bank... -As Paul said in 2 Tim 1:12, “I know whom I have believed & am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.” (1)
*Most of us have already made that commitment. We are saved! And we hope you will be saved before the service is over. But that’s just the beginning!
*God wants us to keep moving up to the abundant life -- but the reality is that sometimes we get stuck. Sometimes our Christian life gets stale. Sometimes we find ourselves drifting away from the things of God. We need renewal and revival.
*Dennis Selfridge asks, “When do we need revival?”
-When the things of God do not stir you
-When the glories of heaven do not interest you
-When the horrors of hell do not concern you
-When the peril of the lost doesn’t move you
-When the Word of God does not attract you
-When the idea of prayer does not draw you
-When the House of God does not delight you
-When you do not see the other things in your life as a way to perform the will of God. (2)
*God wants to revive His people, so that we can have His abundant life, and He shows us what to do in vs. 14: “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
1. How can we get to the abundant life Jesus wants us to have? First, measure your life against God’s majesty.
*As He says in vs. 14, “Humble yourself.” Take a big step down. The word picture is bending the knee -- Bowing down low before the greatness of our God.
*Why do we need to humble ourselves? One reason is foolish self-sufficiency, because the more we’re blessed, the more we’re tempted to think we did it all on our own. That’s why the Lord reduced Gideon’s army from 32,000 men all the way down to 300, facing an enemy army of 135,000!
*In Judges 7:2, the Lord told Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’”
*The more we’re blessed, the more we are tempted to think we did it all on our own, but the truth is that there is nothing we can do without God’s help!
-Every step we make -- Every breath we take.
-Every moment we live is a precious gift from God.