Summary: Keys to the abundant life promised and provided in Christ.
It is easy to become disillusioned in this life. Heartaches come. Dreams remain unrealized. Hopes, sometimes, are dashed.
Jesus came to set these things right. In John 10:10 Jesus states, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Satan is the thief. He comes to kill and destroy the only thing that really matters—your eternal destiny as a child of God.
Jesus talked about during three main themes during His time on the earth. Following His teaching will ensure that we have life to the full.
1. Don’t let your life be marked by un-forgiveness.
a. Un-forgiveness in human relationships
MT 18:21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
MT 18:22 Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
b. Un-forgiveness in the God/man relationship
I John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
2. Don’t let the things of earth possess you, rather, be possessed by Heaven.
Luke 12:33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
• Definition of Worldliness: Worldliness is the lust of the flesh (a passion for sensual satisfaction), the lust of the eyes (an inordinate desire for the finer things of life), and the pride of life (self-satisfaction in who we are, what we have, and what we have done). Worldliness, then, is a preoccupation with ease and affluence. It elevates creature comfort to the point of idolatry-- large salaries and comfortable life-styles become necessities of life.
Worldliness is reading magazines about people who live hedonistic lives and spend too much money on themselves and wanting to be like them. But more importantly, worldliness is simply pride and selfishness in disguises. It’s being resentful when someone snubs us or patronizes us or shows off. It means smarting under every slight, challenging every word spoken against us, cringing when another is preferred before us. Worldliness is harboring grudges, nursing grievances, and wallowing in self-pity. These are the ways in which we are most like the world.
Dave Roper, The Strength of a Man, quoted in Family Survival in the American Jungle, Steve Farrar, 1991, Multnomah Press, p. 68.
3. Don’t forget that even though the burden is light, we still have one to carry.
a. The burden of holiness
i. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus would tell the people, “You have heard it said, ‘Do not murder’, but I tell you don’t be angry.” We have a standard given by Jesus that is more than the letter of the law. It is a standard God wanted from His people in the first place; the intent or spirit of the law.
ii. “But whom do you mean by one that is perfect? We mean the one in whom is the mind which was in Christ and who so walks as Christ also walked; a man that has clean hands and a pure heart, or that is cleansed from all filthiness of flesh and spirit; one in whom is no occasion of stumbling, and who accordingly does not commit sin. To declare this a little more particularly: We understand by that scriptural expression, a perfect man, one in whom God has fulfilled his faithful word, from al your filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you. I will also save you from all your uncleanness. We understand hereby one whom God has sanctified throughout, in body, soul and spirit; one who walks in the light as he is in the light, in whom is no darkness at all: the blood of Jesus Christ his son having cleansed him from all sin.
John Wesley from “Christian Perfection” found in John and Charles Wesley: Selected Writings and Hymns edited by Frank Whaling (New York: Paulist Press, 1981), pp 315-316.
iii. Chuck Colson says it well, “Holiness is the everyday business of every Christian. It evidences itself in the decisions we make and the things we do, hour by hour, day by day.” [Loving God p. 131]
b. The burden of testimony
i. What if we had each person that witnessed the resurrected Lord come up here this morning and talk for 15 minutes giving a testimony to what they saw.
If we listened to the testimony of all the people that Jesus appeared to, we would be here all day, and all night, and Monday and Monday night and Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday and sometime early Friday morning they would just be wrapping up the testimony.