Summary: Discover the secrets of a rich and satisfying life.
Do you ever feel like the fellow I saw in a cartoon? He was carrying a burden on his back. A number of things contributed to his burden: car note, house, boat, job, family, golf game, time, etc. The caption beside the cartoon reads “Have you been thinking, ‘There’s got to be more to life than this?’”
All of us struggle with life issues from time to time.
• The struggle may be worry: over a bill, an issue at work, a family issue.
• The struggle may be time pressures: a deadline to meet at work, too many demands on our schedule, not enough time in the week.
• The struggle may be an emotional issue: discouraged, depressed, angry, resentful.
• The struggle may be an energy issue: too many demands, not enough you to go around.
• The struggle may be concern over the economy: will I have a job, when will we pull out of the recession?
In the midst of these struggles, a common question comes to our minds. There must be a better way? There must be something more than what I am experiencing? Jesus once made a statement that will be of interest to all of us. “My purpose is to give…a rich and satisfying life.” (Jn. 10:10 NLT) That sounds appealing. That sounds like a better way.
Sometimes we look in the wrong places to find answers. The story is told of a drunk who was seen by a police officer looking for something. The drunk was down on his hands and knees and explained in slurred speech to the police officer that he was looking for his wallet.
The police officer inquired, “Well, where did you lose it?”
The drunk motioned with his hand as he replied, “About two blocks that way.”
The confused and amused policeman asked, “Well, why are you searching here then?”
The drunk replied, “There is no street light down there!”
We sometimes look for answers in all the wrong places. Let’s be honest, like can throw some challenging curve balls. At those times it may seem impossible to find a rich and satisfying life.
Sometimes circumstances disrupt our lives.
Sometimes poor decisions cause us to miss life’s best.
Sometimes people cause life to be bumpy.
Jesus Christ wants to help us find a rich and satisfying life. Before looking at John 10 I would like to dispel some myths. These are myths about life.
• A person of faith does not automatically have a trouble free life. (Job)
• A person of faith does not always have happy feelings. (Elijah)
• A person of faith does not life free of doubts doubts. (John the Baptist)
• A person of faith is not always popular. (John on Patmos)
• A person of faith does not by-pass the anguish of death. (Jesus died; Moses died; Paul died)
The nerve of Jesus! He made such a statement even though he knew we would face trials, unhappy feelings, doubt, death, and difficulty. I would like to look for the answer as to how we can find a rich and satisfying life. In searching for scriptural guidance concerning this life I want to examine the context of John 10. The description of the abundant life is found in verse 10. That is the verse I read a moment ago. The Greek word abundant in verse 10 is “perisson” which means that which goes beyond necessity. John wanted all his readers to know that Jesus gift is life beyond our wildest dreams. This promise is given within the context of Jesus discussion of the Good Shepherd. He compares himself to a shepherd and people to sheep. If we are going to be true to the context then we must find a definition of the abundant life within the context of the shepherd/sheep analogy. Jesus said the thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy. He came to give abundant life. According to this scripture an abundant life is to be found in the shepherd (Jesus). Why is that the case?