By Lori Willard
Abundant – “ABUND’ANT, adjective Plentiful; in great quantity; fully sufficient; as an abundant supply. In scripture, abounding; having in great quantity; overflowing with.
The Lord God is abundant in goodness and truth. Exodus 34:6.”
Taken from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
New King James Version (NKJV)
Jesus the Good Shepherd
7 “Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 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.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”
Jesus not only provides us life; but also, He provides abundant life – to the full! It all begins with the Holy Spirit bringing us to recognize our need for the Good Shepherd to save us from our sinful nature and to direct our lives. We are nothing without Him! We enter this abundant life through Jesus – The Door. Included in this full life is pasture which provides shelter/protection from enemies, food to eat, a place to rest, and most importantly – A Good Shepherd Who watches over us and does His work through us. Abundant life is ours if we do not resist the Holy Spirit leading us to “The Door” and we allow the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to be our guide, always.
Protection is found in our Jesus Who has promised to never leave us or forsake us. Hebrews 13:5. We have protection whether we are in the sheepfold – a place where sheep are collected, and protected – (Devotional Time with the Lord, Church Worship Services, etc.) or in the green pastures of abundance (new eternal life here on earth and in Heaven) He is ever present with us. Oh the joy to have peace and freedom found only in His presence! Have you ever seen young lambs bounding and jumping for joy?! The Lord wants the same for us spiritually, emotionally, mentally and quite possibly – physically. J
John 14:27 NKJV
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 NKJV
Vs. 17” Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
Jesus mentions thief, thieves and robbers in connection with this abundant life. They come to steal, kill and destroy. We are deaf to them. We have ears only for our Great Shepherd. We listen to Him through His Word and His Holy Spirit. We follow only Him. John 10:1-5. Jesus warns us of those evil deceivers but He is ever present to protect us and comfort us from them. No one can snatch us from His love for us.
Romans 8:35-39 NKJV
Vs. 35 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Vs. 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
Vs. 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
Vs. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
Vs. 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
In the pasture, we:
EAT, DRINK, LIVE, PLAY – How He desires for us to feed and grow in His word; and to apply His Word in our daily lives while in the world!
Psalm 1 NKJV The Way of the Righteous and the End of the Ungodly
Vs. 1 “Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
Vs. 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
Vs. 3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
Vs. 4 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Vs. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
Vs. 6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
Meditating is another word for MUSE – Deep thought; close attention or contemplation, to ponder; to think closely; to study in silence. When we want to illustrate the opposite of something, we usually put the letter “a” in front of it, for example, AMUSE – which means to not think deeply, not to pay attention to, not to contemplate, not to ponder, not to think closely, not to study in silence, etc. We need to be careful to muse on His Word.
Psalm 94:12-15 NKJV
Vs. 12 “Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord,
And teach out of Your law,
Vs. 13 That You may give him rest from the days of adversity, Until the pit is dug for the wicked.
Vs. 14 For the Lord will not cast off His people,
Nor will He forsake His inheritance.
Vs. 15 But judgment will return to righteousness,
And all the upright in heart will follow it.”
The Lord does several things for us as we feed on His word:
- Instructs or disciples us in truth.
- Guides us in His law.
- Gives us rest or relief from evil days until the very end when the pit is finally completed for the wicked and we are together in Heaven with Him.
- He also provides us encouragement.
He promises He will not:
- Cast off or abandon His people.
- Forsake His inheritance. Forsake: To quit or leave entirely; to desert; to abandon; to depart from.
Friends and flatterers forsake us in adversity.
Jesus is The Door to eternal life and fullness in this life because the judgment that was intended for us was placed on Him. We are transformed to righteousness through faith in Him. We will follow that righteousness.
Through Him, we go out from the sheepfold, into the green pastures, and there, Jesus continues to go with us. He provides us strength, endurance, ability, joy, peace, patience, etc. (Galatians 5:22, 23) to the FULL so we can fulfill His will for us – to just “be” with Him or to carry out His ministry through us.
Oh! The fulfillment this brings! He planned this indescribable abundance He has for each of us before we were even born. Life to the full!
In the movie, “Second Hand Lions”, a nephew was being interviewed regarding his deceased uncles. The interviewer said, “Well, they died with their boots on! Did they really LIVE?!” The nephew said, with a smile on his face, “YES! They REALLY lived!!” May we say the same about our lives with Jesus too!!