John 10:10

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

We just want to welcome you. Um, Pastor Tim, as, uh, Randy had announced. Um, if you don’t know me, I’m in charge of Living Nativity, building facilities, children, kind of do a lot of different things. Um, but it’s my privilege to come and preach to you today.

So if you want to open up your Bibles, we’re going to be jumping into John, chapter 10, looking at verse 10. One verse. But we’re going to hit a lot of different scriptures today. So I’ll try to write, just write the references down. Don’t try to write every part of it down. Um, it’s not going to come up here.

So I’ll just say the references. You can hit those. You can look at them later on, um, dive in. But we’re going to hit a lot of references today. But this is what it says in John 10, 10. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came. that they may have life and have it abundantly. Let’s pray.

Father, we

are humbled by who you are. We’re grateful for who you are, Lord, and we’re excited to know you more deeply every day, Lord. So, pray that this time is glorifying and uplifting to you, that you prepare our hearts for the Word of God, that you prepare our lives for what we’re gonna hear, Lord. It’s from you.

And so we’re grateful to, to stand listening, Lord, and to, to be here to apply it and to, to move forward with what you have for us, Lord, in your heavenly name. Amen. All right. So a couple of thoughts with this. Don’t preach often. Um, so when I do, it’s usually if I’m not given a passage, I usually have to wait a little bit to the Lord shows me something to share on.

And so when I got this one, I was like, all right, I got it. It’s one verse. I can’t mess that up too much. Um, also what he said was I wanted you to preach about abundant living. And I’m like, All right, that sounds prosperity a little bit, Lord, so I’m going to need you to show me what this looks like, right?

I’m going to need you to lead me through it. Because when I first hit it, it was like, all right, abundant living, that sounds… Like, uh, you want us to have a lot of different things and live in that and, and gain those things. And, but what God shows us in scripture is, is the opposite. And that’s what we’re going to look at today of, of how we’re going to not live abundantly, how he calls us to not live abundantly, to then.

call us to living an abundant life. So we define life because there’s all kinds of different things about life. There’s all kinds of different qualities of life and, and the term gets tossed around a lot. But we’re jumping into Webster’s Dictionary to define it. And it’s a simple one. The quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body.

It’s simple. It’s basic. in its form, abundantly existing or occurring in large amounts. And so, we want to look at what that means and what God talks about and how we can live that way out in our gospel centered lives and how we can live that way out on the daily in our own areas of where He’s called us to be.

The first I want to share a little thing is because living life is challenging. I don’t know if you’re familiar with, with challenges or trials or difficulties, um, but I’m sure you’re like me and you’ve hit some of yours this past year. Um, whether it’s loss, whether it’s, um, difficulties and struggles and trials, we’ve all go through them.

This year we’ve had blessings in my own life and, and difficulties and loss and struggles and, and things going on in our family. We had a, If we do foster care, and so we had a little girl with us for eight months of pouring and loving in, and, and then she was not with us anymore. They moved her to a home, and so the difficulty and the struggle that hit our family was tough because you pour so much in to no end.

We know leading into that, that that has the potential of happening, but we want to give all of our lives to it. Um, we’ve now have a little two month old right now, and so there’s a lot of life happening there. A lot of ups and downs. We’ve had loss. My grandmother passed away after battling dementia for five to six years.

But as I look around, I’m sure you have similar losses. You have similar things going on, similar trials, right? They might not look exactly like mine did, but you have a lot of life lived, right? But there’s also blessings in that where you get to see life and miracles and healings, right? And protection and God’s at work.

And so we balance these things in. what we call life. And that’s the challenge, is that God calls us to live abundantly. How do I live abundantly in a world that gets tossed upside down, that has losses, and has struggles, and has trials? And I think we really have to look at what God calls us to live first, before we can really kind of overwhelm ourselves with what that looks like.

And so we want to look at what abundant living is not first, right? It’s not an easy

That can shock us here. Those that have lived in the United States for a long time, that kind of is what we have. A state of ease at times, a state of comfort, even though we’ve gone through trials and difficulties and we’ve suffered, we really haven’t faced what other countries have faced. So we live in comfort and ease.

Comfort’s a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint. The pleasant and satisfying feeling of being physically or mentally free from pain and suffering. Or something that provides this feeling. It’s what we want to do. We, I mean, raise your hand if you want to be trapped in pain and live in a daily feeling of pain.

Right? None of us do. Right? Just think about it for a minute and be in it. Right? You don’t. You can suffer and deal for a little bit if you know the end. But to constantly wake up that way or constantly in those moments. It’s a struggle. And we try everything to get out of them. We have an idea of how our lives and how our lives should go.

At times we see how the world is living and, and we want those things, we see how others or neighbors or people around us are living and, and we want it. Big house, nice house, a house, good job, a job, consistent work, a great big paycheck, not living paycheck to paycheck, family health, right? The list goes on and on and on in your own lives.

You can put your own things in there that you want to be comfortable with, that you want to have so that you can feel comfortable. in your lives. These aren’t bad things. We don’t want to condemn these things or throw these things out. In and of themselves, they’re not bad. And sure, at times, I’ve desired some of those things myself.

Right? I want to be more comfortable. I want to have a life that’s easier at times.

But we as believers, we’re called, are we called to a life of comfort? Are we called to a life of ease? Is that what the gospel, is that what God tells us this life that we live for Him is going to be like? Or this life that we’re living and how we share the gospel is always going to be easy, always going to be comfortable, it’s never going to be awkward, it’s never going to be challenging, it’s never going to be difficult.

I don’t see any of that in my Bible. I don’t see any of that in Scripture as I look and dive in and, and look to see what He calls us to do. We’re not called to have a life just sitting around on a big comfy couch waiting for Him to return. Sitting on my sectional, finding out, is it comfortable enough till the Lord comes back, or do I need a new one?

Is my TV big enough, or do I need a new one? Right? The ease of these things, the comfort that we want to live in, that we want to seek. And these aren’t bad things. I believe the idea of being a Christian in the United States has taken on the meaning of having a comfortable life. It’s a majority Western thinking, or even a Western ideation.

We have the freedom of speech, we have the freedom to practice our religious beliefs no matter what they are here in the U. S. No one’s outside the building writing down your name, writing down your license plate, taking the model of your car as you pulled into the parking lot today. No one’s watching to see where you go afterwards to arrest you, to persecute you, to kill you.

I can stand up here and say the name of Jesus as many times as I want and not have to be afraid of who’s coming in the door. I have the freedoms and the ease. And the comfort to do these things. Majority of us listening to this sermon right now have more than one Bible at home or even with us. We have our phones that can access over 70 different English versions at the touch of a button.

We have comfort. We have ease. When was the last time that you feared going to church? That you feared reading your Bible? Comfort’s not bad, right? I don’t want us to walk away and say I can’t have anything comforting and sell everything I have and get rid of every… thing I have. If the Lord leads you to that, great.

But if he doesn’t, that’s not what I’m telling you to do. But if it stops us from attending church, if it stops us from stepping out on our faith, for sharing our beliefs, if it stops us from preaching the gospel, then it is not a healthy place to be. In that comfort. I believe we as believers living in the US are seeking to have all the comforts of the world while trying to serve God.

That doesn’t work. It’s not what the early church looked like. We’re in acts now and if we jump back to Acts the beginning, acts seven and chapter seven, we see Stephen is martyred by Saul. He’s stoned to death for pre, stoned to death for preaching the Word of God, for sharing. It wasn’t a comfort stoning, right?

That’s, I don’t, I don’t know if that exists, right? But big giant rocks thrown at you to kill you isn’t a easy life or comfortable thing. It tells us that Saul starts to ravage the church. And this word ravage means to cause severe and extensive damage. He was on a rampage. He was out for blood. He was out to seek whoever he could to drag him to prison or to kill them.

for the gospel, because they were preaching the gospel, because they believed in Jesus. And there arose that day, Acts 8 1 tells us, a great persecution against the church. Believers scattered, they fled in fear. Doesn’t sound like they were just getting a little slap on the wrist, don’t preach again here, maybe go over there, but not here, right?

Persecution was taking a deep root. This wasn’t comfort. This wasn’t an easy life for them. They’re now scattered around, separated from each other, fleeing in fear.

This is what God is telling us the early believers, the church, looked like. In Acts 12, James is killed by Herod and then he arrests Peter. Peter’s imprisoned three times. Paul wrote four of his letters while in prison. He was in prison for two years, and then house arrest for another two years, right? This doesn’t sound like how we are here.

It sounds a little different. I’m not asking us to invite persecution into our lives, but I want us to think about what they went through and what we’re going through.

Almost all of the apostles and disciples were martyred for their beliefs in Jesus. For preaching, and speaking, and witnessing. Jesus himself was crucified.

James 1, 2 tells us to count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds. It doesn’t say if you meet trials, right? The possibility of coming into trials. Right? There might be trials. He says when there are trials, right? We’re all gonna have trials. We’re all gonna have tribulations. We’re all gonna have these things in our lives.

It’s not a matter of if they hit us. It’s just a matter of when they come and present themselves to us. James tells us they’re gonna happen. So what do you do when you face them? I’m gonna count it all joy, but that comes later on afterwards. These trials will be all kinds of different things.

Unpredictable, unknowing.

I know many times we want that life that has no trials, has no difficulties, has no challenges. But I know my life, I know your lives, we greatly deepen when we go through those if we cling to the Lord. John 16 33 says, I’ve said these things to you that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation.

But take heart, I’ve overcome the world, and the world, if you live outside of my realm, if you live for a desire of comfort, if you’d live for the desire of ease, we’re living what the world desires, and there will be tribulation. Matthew 8, 19 through 20 and Luke 9, 57 through 58, Jesus says the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.

Functionally homeless, the disciples in Jesus, as they’re wandering around trying to figure out where their next place will be where they stay. Where are we sleeping tonight? Oh, it’s whoever opens the door to us. Maybe we’re camping outside, maybe we’re not. They’re functionally homeless, traveling to share the gospel.

And they’re not driving around in a big caravan or a camper, right? To have that comfort and that ease, that glamping style, right? It’s roughing it for the gospel. Many of us in the room have no idea probably what it means to be homeless. There are believers around the world, there are believers here that do.

This is how they did ministry. Believers around the world are experiencing what the early believers went through. Right, outside of the U. S., to be a Christian has a totally different take on it than it does here for us. Right, it means that you’re going to be persecuted, that you’re gonna have a lot more difficulties on a different level that match up more with the early church.

They’re being persecuted for gathering together, having a Bible in their possession, sharing the gospel message, and believing the Lord. The Voice of the Martyrs website lists 41 countries as restricted on their website. 41 countries that believers are in are restricted. And what that means, it means that the government has sanctioned circumstances or anti Christian laws that lead Christians to being harassed, imprisoned, killed, deprived of their possessions, their liberties because of their witness and because they want to live for Christ.

I’m not saying we want to have that. But I want to challenge us on how we live our lives for the Lord. If I’m just desiring comfort and ease, I don’t know if we’re following the same Lord. I don’t know if it’s the same Jesus that they believe in that I’m believing in, if I just want an easy way of life.

What are we willing to give up? What cost is it going to be for us? To dive deeper, to know Him more.

It’s also not a long life. All of the apostles were martyred except for one who lived a long life. They tried to, right? But then he got kicked to the island of Patmos and lived a longer life than most. Still died in the end. But it wasn’t a long life. Jesus lived till 33 years old. not a long life.

I’m going to have a quote here from a great movie of one of my favorites, and if you’ve seen it, you’ll maybe relate to it, but Braveheart. Yes, I’m going to go William Wallace quote here, alright? I didn’t paint my face, so that’s a good thing. And I won’t try a Scottish accent, I promise. But just before a large battle at Stirling, he addresses the Scottish army that shows up.

They’re less of an army and more of just tribes and clans trying to come together to be unified. The Scots are outnumbered against the English and they’re afraid, right? So he tries to rile them up to get them ready to fight. And if you know this scene, he’s on horseback, riding back and forth, challenging them, trying to psych them up, getting them to fight.

And he asks, are they going to fight? And they all respond with shouts of no. One man states, fight against that? No, we’ll run and we will live, he says. Sounds like a good idea. Sounds comfortable and easy to run away. Wallace replies, a fight and you may die. Run and you’ll live, at least a little while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance?

Just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives. But they’ll never take our freedom. He’s challenging their comfort. It would be easier to run away. It would be easier not to step up to an army that outnumbers you, that has more weapons than you, and is probably tactically better than you are.

And it’s more comfortable to run away. If we go, we’re gonna most likely die.

He’s challenging them to choose a longer, comfortable life, or a shorter, a potentially shorter life. But standing up for what you believe in. Choose comfort now, but it’s not going to last long. You could choose a longer life, but in the end we all die. It’s what’s in between those times of now and then that matters.

If you’ve ever looked at the Fox’s Book of Martyrs, or Jesus Freaks Put Out One, Volume 1 and 2, or the Voice of the Martyrs website, if you look in those things, you see all kinds of stories about believers and Christians from little kids all the way up to older people standing up for their faith, no matter what the cost, no matter what the circumstances are.

We see this, that they, it doesn’t matter to them if they’re not promised tomorrow. It’s where they find themselves rooted. Accounts. They’re willing to give up a long life for the gospel. Are we? James 4 13 through 14 says, Come now you who say today and tomorrow we’ll go into such and such a town, spend a year there, we’ll trade, make profit.

Yet you don’t know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. James gets the idea. We don’t know how long we’re around. We’re not promised tomorrow. We don’t know what tomorrow looks like. We don’t know what two hours from now, three hours from now, tomorrow morning, next week.

I’m not saying don’t plan, but I’m saying we have to hold them open. We have to plan knowing that we don’t know what tomorrow’s gonna bring. Our lives are a mist. They’re a vapor. They’re here one day and gone the next. How are we living those days out? What are we doing in those times of the mist? Our vapors that we have, what are we doing with this?

Psalm 139 talks about how you numbered my days. You formed me, you knew me before I was born, and you numbered how many days I have. The Lord knows how long we’ll be around. The Lord knows how many days we have, how many years, how many months, how many hours, how many seconds. Each one of us in this room has from here on out.

He’s already got them numbered, already got them written down.

The challenge is, are we waiting to do what He’s called us to do today? Are we waiting for tomorrow to do what we’re called to do today? To share what we’re called to share? Are we waiting for another time, another opportunity, something that’s better for our lives, something that feels more comfortable?

Time to share.

We don’t know what the future holds for us. We don’t know how many days. The Lord knows. We’re not promised a long life here on earth. We know that our salvation grants us and blesses us with an eternity in heaven, but we don’t know when we’ll enter into that eternity. Maybe tomorrow, might be today, might be a hundred years from now, but what are we doing with that time that we have left?

What is the Lord calling you to do? Someone once explained it to me like this, if you knew the cure for a certain disease, would you keep it to yourself? Would you hide it and keep it sacred and hold on to that? Or would you share it with the world? Would you share it with those that are affected with that same disease so that they can be healed?

The gospel is that cure that we have for our sinful lives. Are we sharing that cure with the world? Are we sharing that with our neighbors, with our family, with our friends, with those that we can’t even stand? Our coworkers maybe, and. Whoever else the Lord is bringing in, are we sharing the cure that we have so that we can have everlasting life?

Or are we hiding it, holding it, keeping that treasure to ourselves? What do you do with it?

It’s also not a self focused life. If you’re like me, you’re selfish probably, right? I’ve been there. Self centered at times, think about myself, um, especially sleep. Raise your hand if you love sleep. Like I, so we, we’ve had a baby, back to baby again, and so we’ve had a baby for about a month and a half now, a little.

Two year old, two month old, and in the beginning, he started to wake up a lot. It’s like every hour, I feed him like, Alright, this is, this is tiring, and I get it, and, But, I get selfish, right? I get woken up in my sleep, and my wife and I are trying to split time so that she’s not totally drained, and, so that I’m not totally drained, and so, I, I struggled a little bit in the beginning, where I’m like, Alright, Lord, I gotta remember, you created him, you created him, you created him, right?

You died for him, you died for him, you died for him, right? It’s got to remember that because if you’re like me and you get woken up out of sleep and you got trouble going back, you’re just miserable and grumpy and I hate to admit it. But yes, I get miserable and grumpy when I’m woken up. Um, it’s the way it is for me.

I’m selfish. I try to die to that, but it’s a challenge, right? And so abundant living is not a self focused life. If we look at the Good Samaritan, we can see that in Luke 10 25 to 37, we see the Good Samaritan steps in. Right? Completely unselfish of himself, goes above and beyond the same person’s own, uh, culture.

This Jewish man was beaten up by robbers and everything taken and so what happens is Jewish Pharisees and Jewish leaders and people of the law come by and they walk by and they either step over him or go to the other side of the street or even turn around because they don’t want to walk by him and go the opposite way.

The Samaritan, someone who is disliked and probably hated by the Jews, steps in and goes above and beyond. Anything that we can imagine. Doesn’t just care for him and help him, but pays for his inn. Pays for the person to take care of him, watch him. Comes back and says, Whatever the tab is, I’ll come back and pay.

Does that reflect us at all? Is that who we are?

James 1. 27 tells us, Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. Is that how we’re living? Are we sitting with those that are in affliction? Are we visiting with those that are sick?

Are we visiting with those that are hurting? Are we just sitting there listening and feeling with them and being present? I know sometimes that means that we gotta give up stuff to do this, right? Maybe it’s giving up watching the Phillies and the Eagles, which they’re both on winning streaks right now, right?

I mean, 5 0, and the Phillies again are finally, it’s red October again for them, right? If someone comes to your house during the game, right? You lock in the door, lowering the blinds and hiding so that you don’t have to help, right? Are we gonna open that up, turn the TV off, and invite them in? Is it about me?

Or is it about what the Lord is leading me to do? I’m not a Phillies or Eagles fan, but if it’s the World Cup, that’s a challenge, right? So if you wanna learn how selfish you are, get married. You’ll learn real quick. And if you’re still struggling with that, have some kids, cause then you’ll find out you’re really selfish.

Alright, this is how the Lord keeps showing me. what I need to die to in my own life. He shows me, he graces me with those gifts. And our example of a non selfish life is one, the Good Samaritan, but two, Jesus tells us in Mark 10, 42 through 45, that he came to serve. The King of Heaven came down to us to serve, not to be served and to ransom his life, to die for us.

So we can have that relationship, so that we can have that life with Him. That’s a servant, that’s what our lives should be modeled after. That is the ultimate unselfish act. To die for all of us.

I don’t know if I’m willing to do that. Don’t be offended. Right, there’s a few people in my family, right? It’s probably you, same thing. Die for your family. But outside of that, who’s there? So we know what it’s not. It’s not an easy or comfortable life that we’re called to. It’s not a long life necessarily that we’re called to.

You may live long. But we’re not guaranteed it. And it’s not a self centered, self focused life. Abundant living is not these things. So let’s focus and shift to what it is. Abundant living is focused upward. It turns our eyes to the Lord. It turns our eyes to heaven. It turns our eyes to what He is doing.

Right? Because we want to be what the Lord is about. We want to be what God is about. We want to be what He desires in this world. Not what we desire. Allow me to ask this question of you today. Where are you focused in your life?

Is it upward or is it downward? Is it up there or is it on earthly things here? Is it internally or is it outwardly? What are you focused on? If we took a deeper look into our personal life, what is at the center? Is Jesus on the throne? Are there more than one thrones? And so, yeah, I got Jesus on one, but I got all these other little ones that I’m serving.

What directs and guides our paths, our everyday decisions? Does it matter that the decisions are big so I bring them to the Lord and all the other little ones I just handle on my own? Where’d I bring everything to him?

James 4. 15 says this, instead you ought to say, if the Lord wills, we’ll do this or that. We’ll go to this place or that place. How often do we ask that in our lives? How often do we challenge ourselves to come to this place and say, if the Lord wills me to do this, I’ll do it. If it’s His will for me to go there, to do this, to do that, do I ask that daily?

Do I go before Him daily and say, Lord, I’m holding my hands open with what my plans are. You can do what you want with them, or do I grist them tightly and hold onto them so that He can’t take them and He has to pry them from my hands? How tightly do I hold onto my own plans, my own leading, my own stuff?

Abundant living is focusing on Him. With open hands, laying my plans at his feet and saying, change them as you want to. Change them and align them with you. Change them. I want to follow your desires, your leading, your calling. I want my life to align with your life, and I want my hands to be open to what you’re doing.

Do I reflect that in my prayers, in my walk? Do you? It’s easy to stand up here and say these things, but am I living them out? I want God to challenge each one of us with these things and ask us these questions. Are we living this way?

Paul, Peter, Jesus, their mission focus was upward so that then they could move to the outward. They had their eyes on what God desired, they had their eyes on what they were doing, and they let him lead. Paul, so many times, as we see in the book of Acts, he wanted to go here on a mission strip, he wanted to go there on a mission strip, he wanted to go there on a mission strip.

The Lord says, no, we’re going to go here. Right, but he didn’t fight the Lord. He moved with God. When God moved and when God called, he answered and went. He didn’t dig his heels in and say, No, Lord, I’m not, I’m not doing that. I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to go. But he went and he followed. He held his plans loosely unto the Lord and laid them at his feet and saying, Lord, lead me, guide me, direct me.

Am I doing that every day? Are you?

It might mean going across the street to that neighbor who needs to hear the gospel. That you’ve lived there for 15 years as a neighbor, but you haven’t gone there yet. Or the co worker you see every day, and they know something’s different about you, but you haven’t told them yet. Maybe your family members, who they know you go to church, they don’t know what it’s about.

Are we willing to be led to those moments for the Lord? Are we willing to hold those open to Him and say, Lord, direct and guide me? As you see fit, that’s an upward focus because it’s him first. It’s what he desires, he seeks, he wants first. I’m submitting to God’s will in my life.

Colossians 3, 2 says, set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. A lot of us, we need to shift our thinking on the daily to be upward focused. We need to shift how we see what the Lord is doing to be focused more on him. Matthew 6 33 says, But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Seek Him first. Seek Him first. When we abide in Him, when we focus on Him, we have this joy that comes and a peace. Galatians says that, right? We have the fruit of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. When we abide in Him, we have joy and peace. No matter what our circumstances are, no matter what we’re going through, when we have our eyes focused upward, we don’t get distracted on the downward focus.

And we can see what the Lord is calling us to do. And we can see what He’s going to do through our trials, and through our sufferings, and through our pain. But first, we have to shift our eyes, outside of ourselves, to Him.

And then from there, we get outward focused. Abundant living, abundant life is focusing outward. After I focus upward, then I can shift and focus outward to see who the Lord is bringing into my life for this impact. Who the Lord is going to bring to me that I need to share this with? Right, like I said, is it the neighbor?

Is it a family member? Coworker? It’s putting others before ourselves again. Right, it’s that idea that selfless acts and putting others first. What does it look like every day? How can we continue to live this way? Right? Every day we have to have that gospel centered focus of going out, going up and going out.

Do I start every day with a focus on Him? I don’t mean this long. Maybe you can’t dive in so deep in the morning and spend an hour with the Lord, but maybe it’s five minutes on your car ride, ten minutes on your car ride. Maybe it’s praying continually throughout the day. Maybe it’s listening to the Bible app and just over and over hearing Scripture, hearing what the Lord is doing, hearing what He has for your lives.

That’s how we focus. That’s how we align. So the question is, is after I focus upward, and I’m working to focus outward, what’s my witness look like? Where am I shining the light of the gospel? Do I have an urgency where I may just complacent in the comfort? Do I view the people around me and have a desire for them to know the Lord, that I have an urgency to go to them?

To tell them, to share with them,

or am I just waiting?

Romans 12, 9 through 13 says, Let love be genuine, abhor what is evil, hold fast to what is good, love one another with brotherly affection, outdo one another in showing honor. Don’t be sinful, don’t be slothful and zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer, contribute to the needs of the saints, and seek to show hospitality.

Are these the characteristics that reflect my life? Can I look at this passage and say, Yes, I’m living that every day. Or does this passage hit me and say, You know what? That’s not what I look like. That’s not what I look like. That’s not what I look like. Am I living in the urgency to live this way? To love others, to pray constantly, to be focused on the Lord throughout my day.

Good or bad, is this the characteristics of my life? Galatians 5,

13 says, For you are called to freedom, brothers, not only, but only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. We need to be outwardly focused. We need to share this with others and tell people about this. If we see an acts, it is what the disciples are all about.

Few more verses. Proverbs 1917. Galatians six two, John 15, 12 through 17 shares all about how we are to reach out, bear one another’s burden, share with one another, serve one another. Commit to being there to one another. Are we doing this? As we look at what abundant living is, we need to focus upwards so that we can then have a better outward focus.

Align our lives right with the Lord and what He’s doing so that we can share with others that need to hear about Him. As we approach the table this morning and we get ready to take communion, this is what it is about. Jesus came and died and gave His life for us so that we may know Him, so that we can have an eternity with Him.

And we tie this in as we are talking about what it looks like to have an abundant life. It’s found in this, in His sacrifice for us, in what He did in laying down His life for ours. I

pray that we remember that daily as we look to serve Him. As we look to have an abundant life in what He says is an abundant life. Not what we view, or not what the world views, but aligning our lives with His. So we come to this table remembering what Jesus came to earth to do. The symbol of our relationship, the symbol of our upward focus.

The baskets are going to be passed in a minute. So please take this time as we do it to focus your lives, focus your hearts. Have some quiet time and go before the Lord if there are things there that you need to give over, to turn over. Or if this has stirred your heart to ask Him to lead you in a certain way.

Take this time now and do that. Ask the Lord to direct you and guide you. to be a part of what He is doing. And we want to make sure as we approach this that our hearts are aligned with His. 1 Corinthians 11, 23 29 says, For I have received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when He was betrayed took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, This is my body, which is for you.

Do this in remembrance of me. In the same way, He also took the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this as often as you drink it in remembrance of me. For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Whoever, therefore, eats the bread and drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and the blood of the Lord.

Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. As the ushers come down and get ready, we’re going to get ready as our welcome team comes forward to get ready to pass this out.

We’re going to go before the Lord. And as the song is playing, as it’s being passed out, take this time to quiet yourselves before the Lord. Father, we humbly die to ourselves, Lord, as you have died for us. We ask that we remember you in this. That every day we’ll have our lives focused and aligned with you.

Praise you and thank you for your… Sacrifice so that we can have an abundant life rooted in the gospel, in your death and in your resurrection, in your heavenly name, amen.

The night he was betrayed. The Lord took the bread. Open it up. Don’t open up the…

bottom. You’ll leak all over. Just take that little guy out. Took the bread. You broke it, saying, this is my body broken for you. Do this in remembrance of me.

He then took the cup. Now we can open that up. Lord took the cup and he said, this is my blood, which is poured out for the forgiveness of your sins. Do this in remembrance of me.

The worship team is going to come back up on stage, and while they’re coming back on up, we have our prayer team is going to join us on the sides up front. If you feel the Lord leading you to come up, if you need prayer, if you need to talk to somebody, they’ll be up here. You can come up during the music, come up after the music, but please, they’re going to be here for you to pray with you.

So if you need to cast your cares and be prayed for, come join us.