Morning Thoughts on John 10:10


Elder Philip N. Conley

John 10:10, "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."

This morning, there are those in this world that will never see or know God, for the Lord declares that they are none of His. Still, there are others in this world that are capable of having abundant fellowship with God (even though they know Him in the inner man) that are either ignorant or walking stubbornly after the flesh. When we display outward effects of grace (good works), the Lord's people are the only ones that will appreciate what they see, for the natural man considers such actions to be foolish. So, as we walk in this life, let us seek out the inquiring minds that are capable of receiving the things of the Spirit of God instead of casting our pearls before swine.

Here, our Lord is declaring His work as the Shepherd of the sheep. First and foremost, it must be noted that our Lord does not care for or tend to goats. In the 25th chapter of Matthew, the two classes of people are referenced as "his sheep" and "the goats." So, our Shepherd does not have affection or care for those that are one day going to be told to "depart from me for I never knew you." He is the Shepherd that gave His life for the sheep. Willingly and obediently, He submitted Himself upon the alter as the perfect sacrifice to God for His sheep. This offering "perfected forever them that are sanctified." This offering brought us peace with God. This offering gave life (spiritually) to all of His people that have ever lived or will live. When a child of grace is called out of nature's darkness into His marvelous light, it is the application of the blood that was shed for us. So, our Lord's coming brought life, but He also came to bring abundant life. Since we cannot measure the end of the fullness of the beauty and wonder of heaven and immortal glory, all of God's children will partake of that fullness alike (joint-heirship).

So, how would one have it more abundantly?

If the glory in the world to come is beyond measure, how would it be more abundant? The answer lies in the fact that our eternal home is forever secure in Jesus, but we have the ability to enjoy the sweet promises of our Lord while we walk here on earth. Abundant life comes from the knowledge of what our Lord has done for us when we were yet without strength. Abundant life comes from exercising our faith that He put within to His praise, honour, and glory. Abundant life comes when we present ourselves in assembly to our Lord to worship Him in spirit and in truth. Abundant life is being able to see all the ways in our natural life that God has cared for us, watched over us, and as a Father chastened us for our wayward steps. While not all of that is easy (or joyous) all the time, it is for our good, and our Lord is always far more gracious and merciful to us than we deserve. Do all of God's children experience this abundant life? I am afraid that many are in ignorance about much of the Lord's goodness, and others willfully remain so due to their pride. Even some of us become stubborn and want to walk after our own paths, but thanks be unto God that He has given us some light and understanding. May we take the talents that He has given us to make more, and use the life He has given.