Living the Abundant Life
“The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would enjoy life, and have it in abundance.” John 10:10
Over the past four weeks, we’ve been reminded that God keeps His promises and we’ve immersed ourselves in His unfailing love. We’ve seen that God is on our side and that nothing can separate us from His lavish love.
We’ve learned that we can trust God. God truly is who He says He is. We’ve seen that God is bigger than our challenges and burdens.
We’ve also been reminded of the hope and assurance we have for today and for our future. We’ve seen that Christ alone offers the peace, contentment, and rest that we long for and desire.
This week we’re going to come face to face with another incredible promise in Scripture. God’s Word assures us that He equips those He calls! God has surely called us to be mothers of children with special needs. We don’t dispute that any longer. But how has He equipped us? What weapons are available to us and how do we get them? How do these weapons enable us to live the abundant life God promises?
God assures us that He has given us two powerful weapons to battle the giants we face: His Word and prayer. Eph. 6:10, 17–18 exhort us, “Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Take…the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”
This week we are going to unlock one more treasure the Lord has in store for us…an abundant, fruitful life—a life fully equipped to carry out our calling! To discover this treasure, we’ll eagerly ignite those two powerful sticks of dynamite: His Word and prayer!
WEEK 5, DAY 1
CALLED BY THE LORD…
EQUIPPED FOR HIS PURPOSES
As I write this final week of study, my son faces partial hospitalization for outpatient treatment. Do I see it as a coincidence? No. I know that God’s timing is perfect and that He has so much to teach me. I still struggle with finding joy in my daily life when my son is unstable. I long to live the “abundant life,” but often find myself worrying that somehow I’m missing the mark.
Life can be bleak when mental illness rears its ugly head in our home. But it’s precisely in the midst of trials like these that Christ calls us to an abundant life. We can enjoy our life today—even when we’re facing huge struggles. But we need to stay connected to the Word. His Word is alive and active and overflowing with hope!
Please read each passage. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart so that you will understand what He is saying to you.
1. John 10:10: Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
A. Who is the thief?
B. What is the thief’s purpose?
C. Why did Jesus come?
The New Living Translation tells us that Jesus came to give us a “rich and satisfying life.” The New King James Version uses those beautiful words with which we are so familiar: “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
D. What do you think “life to the full” or an “abundant life” looks like?
I like the way the Believer’s Bible Commentary states it. “We receive life the moment we accept Him as our Savior. After we are saved, however, we find that there are various degrees of enjoyment of this life. The more we turn ourselves over to the Holy Spirit, the more we enjoy the life which has been given to us. We not only have life then, but we have it more abundantly.”
The Good Shepherd searches for His sheep. He calls us to follow Him. Then He equips us for our unique tasks.
2. 2 Chron. 16:9: “For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.”
A. For whom is the Lord searching?
According to thesaurus.com, one of the definitions of the word strengthen is to “encourage, hearten.” Some of the synonyms include “back up, brace, carry weight, embolden, enliven, fortify, rejuvenate, restore, uphold…”
C. When you look back at your past, specifically with your child, how have you felt the Lord strengthening you?
3. Ps. 4:3: “Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for Himself; the LORD will hear when I call to Him.”
A. Whom has the Lord chosen to be His very own?
B. How would you define “godly”?
Do we need to be perfect for God to view us as godly? No. God considers us godly when we place our trust in Him and are faithful and devoted to Him. We can be assured that, as believers, we have been set apart by God. He has chosen us as His very own and He loves us completely!
C. What promises do we receive in this verse?
4. 2 Peter 1:3–4: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. 4Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
For each verse below, fill in the blanks.
A. What has God’s “divine power” given us? “His divine power has given us _______________________ _____ ________ for ________ and ______________….”
B. How do we know of this divine power? Please finish 1 Peter 1:3. “Through our _________________ of ______ who has called us by His own glory and goodness.”
C. What has God’s “glory and goodness” revealed to us? “Through these He has given us His very _________ and ________________ ____________________….”
D. What do these great and precious promises enable us to participate in and escape from? “…so that through them you may participate in the ____________ ___________ and escape the ___________________ in the world caused by evil desires.”
God has pursued and chosen you to be the mother of your precious child! Yes, it’s a daunting task, one that often seems impossible. But He has promised to give you everything you need to do the job—and to do it well. Those whom God calls, He also equips.
It is immensely important to abide in His Word. We must have personal knowledge of the One who has called us. If we just scratch the surface of His Word, we will miss so much. How can we have an intimate, personal relationship with the Lord if we never spend time with Him, never listen to Him, or never speak to Him? God is inviting us to participate in His divine nature. He desires that His nature would become part of us. It’s almost incomprehensible! What an amazing promise!
Are you ready to be given “everything you need for life and godliness”? Will you open your arms to receive His divine power? It begins as simply as sitting still before the Lord, opening your heart to receive His promises as you read His precious words. We must abide with Him…
5. How did the Lord speak to you today?
WALKING THE JOURNEY
I am so down this morning. I have a lot of pain in my heart when I think of my son going to partial hospitalization. It’s a relief in a sense (getting help for our son), but also very sad. It’s not even in the ballpark of how you plan to spend the first few weeks of summer. I’m sad for what he’s missing in life. I’m sad for what my husband and I are missing. I wish my son could play ball, hang out with friends, work, and just love summer. I wish he could go to camps and Serve projects and start dating. He’s being denied all of these things, and in a way, so are we. Our days are filled with anger, impatience, anxiety. Hiding and seeking. Bargaining. Bribing. Threats. I just want a happy, carefree 16-year-old boy.
These were my thoughts on the summer morning we admitted our son to partial hospitalization.
 William McDonald; Believer’s Bible Commentary, p. 1525.