The More Abundant Life

Pursuing an authentic relationship with Jesus Christ

Dan Augsburger

Part 1 of 4 on the More Abundant Life
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The Promise of a More Abundant Life: Is there such a life?

Notice how the following individuals described their more abundant lives:

Hudson Taylor
“I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize this; for He, I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest position He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult His grace is sufficient…. And since Christ has thus dwelt in my heart by faith, how happy I have been!” Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret

Rosalind Goforth
“Like a tired, worn-out wanderer finding home at last I just rested in him. Rested in his love--in himself. And, oh, the peace and joy that came flooding my life! A restfulness and quietness of spirit I never thought could be mine took possession of me so naturally. Literally a new life began for me, or rather in me.” How I Know God Answers Prayer, p. 140

Nancy DeMoss
“I was blessed to grow up in a home where holiness was emphasized. It was taken very seriously, but at the same time, it was presented as something wonderfully desirable and attractive. From earliest childhood I can remember thinking that holiness and happiness were inseparably bound to each other. My father said that he wanted to be as holy, and he wanted us to be as pure, as the driven snow. While he hated sin and he was disturbed by it, he was a happy man. He actually enjoyed being a Christian. Prior to my Dad's conversion in his mid 20's, he was wild. He was a gambler. He left home … and wandered around the country … in pursuit of happiness and thrills. When God reached down and saved my Dad … his lifestyle changed dramatically. After he found Jesus, he found what he had been lacking for so many years, and he came to love God's law. He never considered holiness to be a burden. He knew that the real burden was sin, and he never got over the wonder of the fact that God had been merciful enough to relieve him of that burden and to give him new life through Christ.” Holiness & Joy (reviveourhearts.com)

What is the too common reality?

Hannah Whitall Smith
“You Christians seem to have a religion that makes you miserable. You are like a man with a headache. He does not want to get rid of his head, but it hurts him to keep it. You cannot expect outsiders to seek very earnestly for anything so uncomfortable!”
The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life

Ian Thomas
“By the age of nineteen, I had been reduced to a state of complete exhaustion spiritually, until I felt that there was no point of going on….” The Saving Life of Christ, p. 8

I recently received the following description of a spiritual life:

• Sometimes close to God; sometimes distant.
• A transitory devotional life.
• Ongoing defeat.
• Little passion for spiritual things.
• Indifferent to much of what goes on in the church.

“…wanting God’s will and power to be manifested in my life,
but not knowing how to experience such a life!”

Enough Christianity to make a person miserable;
not enough Christianity to make a person happy!

What do you want for your life?
More of the same “up and down”?
More of the same, better?
The More Abundant Life?

Is there such a thing as a more abundant life? Jesus said He came to bring the following:

“…I have come that they might have life
and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10:

We want to spend time learning about the more abundant life.
1. Is there such a life?
2. If so, what is it like?
3. How may I obtain it for myself?
4. How can I practically maintain it on an ongoing basis?

The Promise of a More Abundant Life: Is there such a life?
1. The Life Defined in Scripture
2. The Life Described in a Person.

The Life Defined in Scripture
John 10:10
“The thief does not come except to steal, to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly.”

John 15:11
“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”

2 Cor. 2:14
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ…”

Rom. 8:37
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

1 Thess. 5:23
“Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it!”

Eph. 1:4
“…He chose us in Him… that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”

1 Peter 1:15
“As He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct….”

1 Thess. 3:13
“…establish your hearts blameless before the Lord.”

Heb. 11:33,34
“…who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies. Women received their dead raised to life again…. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment…”

Nancy DeMoss
“Our generation has been programmed to pursue happiness, wholeness, good feelings about ourselves, positive self-image, affirmation, and cures for our hurt feelings and damaged psyches. But God is not as interested in these ends as we are. He is more committed to making us holy than making us happy.” Brokenness

Testimony to Ministers, p. 18,19
“The Lord Jesus is making experiments on human hearts through the exhibition of His mercy and abundant grace. He is effecting transformations so amazing that Satan, with all his triumphant boasting, with all his confederacy of evil united against God and the laws of His government, stands viewing them as a fortress impregnable to his sophistries and delusions. They are to him an incomprehensible mystery. The angels of God… look on with astonishment and joy, that fallen men, once children of wrath, are through the training of Christ developing characters after the divine (pattern). The church, being endowed with the righteousness of Christ, is His depository, in which the wealth of His mercy, His love, (and) His grace is to appear in full and final display….”

The Promise of a More Abundant Life: Is there such a thing?
3. The Life Defined in Scripture
4. The Life Described in a Person.

The Life Described in a Person: Joseph

The Life of Joseph: His Instructive Childhood.

Education, p.52
“In his childhood Joseph had been taught the love and fear of God… the story of the night vision at Bethel, of the ladder from heaven to earth, … of Him who … revealed Himself to Jacob, of Jabbok, when, renouncing cherished sins, Jacob stood conqueror, and received the title of a prince with God.”

The Life of Joseph: His Petted, Forward-looking, Childhood.

He received an opulent robe from his father.
He dreamed of future grandeur (literally when dreaming of the sheaves, and the moon and stars. Gen. 37:3,7,9)

The Life of Joseph: Bitter Betrayal by His Brothers.

Patriarchs & Prophets, p. 213,214.
“Joseph believed that the God of his fathers would be his God. He then and there gave himself fully to the Lord, and prayed that the Keeper of Israel would be with him in the land of his exile. His soul thrilled with the high resolve to prove himself true to God--under all circumstances to act as became a subject of the King of heaven. He would serve the Lord with undivided heart; he would meet the trials of his lot with fortitude and perform every duty with fidelity. One day's experience had been the turning point in Joseph's life. Its terrible calamity had transformed him from a petted child to a man, thoughtful, courageous, and self-possessed.”

A. A. Proctor
“Many, if God should make them kings, Might not disgrace the throne He gave;
How few who could as well fulfill
The holier office of a slave.” F B Meyer, Joseph, p. 25

The Life of Joseph: Faithful Service in Potiphar’s Home.

Education, p. 53
“In the bitter life of a stranger and a slave, amidst the sights and sounds of vice and the allurements of heathen worship, a worship surrounded with all the attractions of wealth and culture and the pomp of royalty, Joseph was steadfast. He had learned the lesson of obedience to duty. Faithfulness in every station, from the most lowly to the most exalted, trained every power for highest service.”

The Life of Joseph: Imprisoned In Spite of Innocence.

Patriarchs & Prophets, p. 217
“Joseph suffered for his integrity, for his tempter revenged herself by accusing him of a foul crime, and causing him to be thrust into prison. Had Potiphar believed his wife's charge against Joseph, the young Hebrew would have lost his life; but the modesty and uprightness that had uniformly characterized his conduct were proof of his innocence; and yet, to save the reputation of his master's house, he was abandoned to disgrace and bondage.”

The Life of Joseph: Twice Forgotten, But Still Faithful.

Patriarchs & Prophets, p. 218
“Joseph's real character shines out, even in the darkness of the dungeon. He held fast his faith and patience; his years of faithful service had been most cruelly repaid, yet this did not render him morose or distrustful. He had the peace that comes from conscious innocence, and he trusted his case with God. He did not brood upon his own wrongs, but forgot his sorrow in trying to lighten the sorrows of others. He found a work to do, even in the prison. God was preparing him in the school of affliction for greater usefulness, and he did not refuse the needful discipline.”

F. B. Meyer
“To the soul which is absorbed with God, all places and experiences are much the same.” Joseph

The Life of Joseph: Promoted to be a Great Blessing.

Patriarchs & Prophets, p. 221
“In all the realm Joseph was the only man gifted with wisdom to point out the danger that threatened the kingdom and the preparation necessary to meet it; and the king was convinced that he was the one best qualified to execute the plans which he had proposed. It was evident that a divine power was with him, and that there were none among the king's officers of state so well qualified to conduct the affairs of the nation at this crisis. The fact that he was a Hebrew and a slave was of little moment….”

The Life of Joseph: Generously Invited to Bring Family to Egypt.

Genesis 47:5,6
“Then Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, saying, ‘Your father and your brothers have come to you. The land of Egypt is before you. Have your father and brothers dwell in the best of the land; let them dwell in the land of Goshen. And if you know any competent men among them, then make them chief herdsmen over my livestock.’”

Did Joseph experience the more abundant life?
How did God work to bring about his totally abundant life?

1. Specific dreams awakened early stirrings of an important future destiny.

2. God delivered him in a moment from softness to manhood through slavery.

3. He was providentially conveyed to the place God needed him via slave traders.

4. He learned to accept direction and proved himself faithful while serving Potiphar.

5. He “died to self” while languishing, seemingly forgotten, in the prison.

6. He died not only to self, but any self-efforts or lingering dreams of glory also died.

7. Having patience, wisdom and a positive attitude in spite of dismal circumstances brought promotion to the most senior role in all of Egypt.

8. His family was also greatly blessed as a result of God’s good work in His life.

Summary Thoughts

Joseph was brought to a place of much responsibility and prosperity through providentially-ordained circumstances.

God knew what He was doing; Joseph’s calamities were marvelous blessings in disguise!

Joseph’s apparent extremities were God’s opportunities to qualify him for tasks he would have never dreamed of, nor could have qualified himself for when he was young.

God doesn’t necessarily call the qualified, but always qualifies the called.

Joseph’s faithfulness in spite of his dire straights was necessary to God’s plan.

Be faithful; God’s plan depends on it!

Joseph’s positive attitude under duress made an unforgettable impression in the prison, and a history-changing impression on Pharaoh.

Your attitude greatly impacts God’s ability to complete His plan!

As a result of God’s work in Joseph’s life, and His faithfulness, his family was marvelously blessed.

Your accepting of God’s work in your life will bring blessings to others, and the more abundant life!

As a result of accepting God’s preparatory work in His life, Joseph truly experienced the more abundant life!

As did…

• Moses C. T. Studd
• David Hudson Taylor
• Daniel Rosalind Goforth
• Jesus
_______________(fill in your name)

Romans 8:28
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

C. Murray
“Behind our life the Weaver stands
And works his wondrous will;
We leave it all in his wise hands,
And trust his perfect skill.
Should mystery shroud his ideal plan,
And our short sight be dim,
We will not try the whole to scan,
But leave each thread to Him.”

F B Meyer
“In all the discipline of life, it is of the utmost importance to see but one ordaining overruling will. If we view our imprisonments and misfortunes as the result of human malevolence, our lives will be filled with fret and unrest. It is hard to suffer wrong at the hands of man, and to think that perhaps it might have never been. But there is a truer and more restful view: to consider all things as being under the law and rule of God; so that though they may originate in and come to us through the spite and malice of our fellows, yet since before they reach us they have had to pass through the environing atmosphere of the Divine Presence, they have been transformed into his own sweet will for us.”

Are you experiencing that kind of life? Would you like that kind of authentic life for yourself? Begin to trust God to do in and through your life what you can never do for yourself, and He will bring miracles to pass.

Next: Understanding the More Abundant Life: What is it? A