01: Discovering The Higher Christian Life
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Welcome to the Abundant Life in Christ
Yesterday was a wonderful day together as we committed ourselves to strive after what the saints of old called the “Higher Christian Life” and Jesus described as the “Abundant Life” found only in Him.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” – John 10:10.
The context of this verse is Jesus revealing Himself as the “good shepherd” who “gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11), in contrast to a “hireling” (John 10:13) or “thieves and robbers” (John 10:8) who care little for the sheep. And the ones He promised “abundant life” are the sheep, you and I by inference, who only enter into salvation through the “door” (John 10:9), defined as Jesus Christ.
I know it sounds confusing, but this is what Jesus is saying in this passage:
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I (the Good Shepherd, Jesus) have come that they (the sheep, you and I) may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (perissós – over and above, superabundant, much, great, beyond measure)” – John 10:10.
But what does this promise really mean?
Are You Experiencing a Life Beyond Measure?
This the where things get personal. If you are like me, and most believers that I know, our spiritual life has been a series of ups and downs, peaks and valleys, two steps forward followed by two steps back, and is less than what we would call abundant. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about our salvation or the grace of God so lavished upon us by the sacrifice of His Son. I’m talking about living a life of holiness, a life of sanctification, living as someone “set apart” for God’s holy purpose, a life surrendered to Him only to be selfishly reclaimed whenever things get tough, or painful, or boring. And for me, this is less than what Jesus promised and less than I am willing to live with.
So what do we do?
First, we realize that maybe, just maybe, there is more to this Christian life than what we have been experiencing. Then, we look for confirmation of that fact. Are there people that we respect, people we can trust, that are experiencing more of this elusive “abundant life” than we are? And if so, how did they experience the life with Christ we only dream about? What can they teach us? And, more importantly, what are we willing to learn from them?
The Higher Christian Life
Which brings us to today’s podcast. In setting a foundation for what is to come, we are going to look at the testimony of a few heroes of the faith who can testify to the Higher Christian Life (a phrase quite popular in the last century that has fallen out of vogue today). And these men and women can be trusted by their words and what the Lord accomplished in their lives.
We will hear from D.L Moody (today’s podcast), Oswald Chambers, Andrew Murray, Amy Carmichel, John Bunyan, Charles Finney, and so many more that should be familiar to each of you. And the purpose of this is to establish a foundation in each of us that maybe there is more to the Christian life than we presently know. And, if so, “I want all of You, Lord!”
Remember, I will be sending these out on a daily basis so we, as the body of Christ and as a family, can grow together in our faith and in the image of Him (Rom. 8:29) until:
we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love (Ephesians 4:13-16).
As a final note, some of these will be longer (like this one) and some shorter. But commit to joining with us each day as we strive to be more like Him and grow together.