Thursday, July 01, 2010

What Is Authentic Abundant Life, Part II

The Abundance of Jesus in John 17

The “thing” our Lord seems most insistent about concerning His life and ministry was to complete His high mission of revealing the Father to the people of His choosing(17:6). He emphasized giving away “the words” of the Godhead (17:8, 14)! He made it clear that He was sending us to share the truth with others as the Father sent Him (17:18). His passion was to give people significance (glory) as the Father had given Him significance (glory) (17:22)! His heart was set on making the Father powerfully known to those who believed in Him (17:26)!

Once we begin to recognize these exalted realities, we enter Phase Six in the arena of Christ abundance. It is here, in the heart prayer of the Savior, that we dive deepest into knowing Christ. This results in a hunger to seek Jesus in the progressive fivefold way Paul knew from experience and speaks of with passion in Philippians 3:10-11. I will expand on this later, but, for the present, note that Paul wanted: 1) to know Christ more deeply, 2) to have resurrection power in his life, 3) to participate in the fellowship of the Savior’s suffering, 4) to become like Jesus even if carrying the cross meant death and 5) to experience daily resurrection out of all the death he saw around him. This is the fivefold path for each of us to understand and pursue! It is at the heart of what the Lord Jesus prayed in John 17.

The Progressive Abundance of the Cross Disciple

Abundant Life is this: to be abandoned to the Savior in the same way the Lord Jesus abandoned Himself to the Father. The Savior’s heart attitude is obvious: “Father, all I Am I give to You.” The Father’s response is also explosively clear: “Then, My Son, all I Am I give to You!” This should be our own heart cry as we seek our own abundance for His glory! Yes, there it is … Phase Six! Only those who have sought, accepted and endured the cups and the crosses given to us by the Savior will enter into such a transforming, telling and transcendent experience! Let us say it now for ourselves: “Father, all I am I give to You! Help me want to give more! Help me to desire only more of You.” Overwhelming grace comes upon us from discovering, “with our whole heart,” the cost the Lord Jesus must have paid to endure crucifixion on our behalf! (Joshua 14:7-9, 13-14). To know you are worth “that price” and that you are “the recipient” of those consequences is the most awe inspiring “abundance of wellbeing and significance” anyone can ever realize! The Abundant Life of the highest dimension is having the knowledge, compassion, wisdom, power and authenticity to reveal most fully to others the glory and significance of the Godhead as seen in Christ Jesus! It is to be an ambassador of the Words of the Messiah!

“Those who look to Him are radiant” … “If Your Word had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction” (Ps. 34:5 and 119:92). His words are our critical partner in the Jesus Mission of giving away the Abundance of God! “The Words I have spoken to you are Spirit and they are life!” (John 6:63). Such involvement in sharing “His Words” … His Mind about all things … is the most noble activity of living! This must be what Peter meant when he wrote that we “…might participate in the divine nature of the true and living God!” (II Peter 1:3-4). Please find me anything more abundant than that for a human life! You can’t! What fools we are then to succumb to or even chase so many lesser and trivial ambitions.

Only those who are grasping the significance of “the Jesus kind of abundance” are qualified to explain and witness to the meaning of John 10:10. I don’t know how qualified I am in living it, but at least I know there is a Sixth Phase. I know I have not attained it as fully as I desire, but I am touching it and I often feel the current of Sixth Phase Abundance flowing into me. I am constantly vowing to keep pressing on to attain more and more of such a prize! (Phil. 3:12-15). Here are some of my summary thoughts of John 10:10 Abundance. I pray, as did Paul, that I have the Spirit of Christ as I offer them (I Cor. 7:40).

Some Definitions of Life More Abundant

Mastering each of the following definitions in your experience … and some that you will create on your own … should prepare you for the Phase Seven level of encountering and becoming familiar with the Deepest Abundances of Jesus. Our personal highest abundance is reached when we never have a thought … never speak a word … never initiate an action … never hope an ambition … never make a response … never sow a desire … never utter a despair … etc. … unless … unless such a manifestation is inspired by and sourced in the Mind of Christ! The Disciple who has a passion to live thusly will truly learn how to live abundantly!!! These Phase Six realities provide our foundation to taste the even higher abundance of Phase Seven.

* The purest Abundant Life is not measured by how much you get from God being in you, but by how much of the true God in you that you reveal and give to others! Jesus came to give the Father to others! “I have revealed You, Father, to these You gave Me …” (John 17:6). We must learn that the supreme purpose of our existence is to receive the revelation of Jesus into our hearts and then to share that revelation with as many as we can!

* The most fulfilling and abundant thing we can do on earth is to give His salvation, magnificence and abundance to blind, needy and desperate people. The more wondrous the Lord Jesus is to you, the more wondrous “the Christ” you can give to others. Jesus gave others the Father’s glory (significance). That was His mission and remains our mission. His glory (significance) should influence every aspect of our life … spirit, soul, body … so that our hearts will be transformed. “I have given them your glory Father … and I have sent them into the world for the same purpose You sent Me …” (John 17:22, 18). We are to give the glory and significance of Jesus to others!

* Abundant Life is fully experienced, not only by getting from God, but, most completely, by being qualified to give away His abundance to others! Again, Jesus gave us the Father’s words! “The Words I have spoken to you are Spirit and they are life!” (John 6:63). When we can speak words of “Spirit and Life” into other people’s hearts we are Disciples of Abundance in fullest measure! What are you and I speaking into the lives of others? We are to be “abundant speakers” of His words to others and to ourselves.

* Abundant Life is possessing the power of sharing the Jesus in you with the Jesus in others! Jesus had the authority to lay His life down for the sheep … and then to take His life back. Or, to use another term, “to find it again!” (Luke 9:24). To die for others as He directs is to be guaranteed resurrection as He decides! The Father loves us most evidently and most powerfully when we sacrifice ourselves for His sheep. His abundance to us will, in His timing, gush forth! “The reason My Father loves Me is that I lay down My life for His sheep by crucifixion, but even then I have the abundant power to come back to life …” (John 10:17-18, HDM). We are to sacrifice for as many people as we can and trust the Master’s promise of restoration.

* The bigger the Lord Jesus is … to you and in you … the bigger your gifts to others of Who He is. The clearer and more precise your giving can be of Messiah to others, the more you help others to also see, seek and taste His abundance. Jesus is the Lamb of God Who takes away sin … the spiritual drought and emptiness of the world. “I have come into your existence to show you what life, as the Father intended, really is! When you listen to Me you’ll be joyfully overwhelmed by the abundant wonder of His kind of living that you can have right now!” (John 10:10, HDM). “Behold the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). We are to give others fresh hope by demonstrating how “Jesus hope” works and how it will take away their groans and grief!

* The more profoundly … the more often … the more precisely … and the more fragrantly … you give Jesus to others, the more you live your own life “more abundantly”! Jesus gives the living water that never stops flowing from within. “If anyone is thirsty for reality and meaning come to Me and drink … the one who risks his life on what I say will discover abundant streams of living water flowing from within him” (John 7:37-38, HDM). Our own coming to Jesus must be daily, diligent and daring. We are to produce living water for those thirsty around us who are desperate to drink the reality we know is in Jesus.

* Those who most zealously “give Jesus” to others are those who live most authentically as ambassadors of Messiah Love! Their very life preaches and teaches. All who radically pursue the Master’s “grace/truth” ambition (John 1:14-18) will attain and fulfill John 10:10! Jesus enables us to overcome the world by giving us His abundance of grace (love) and truth (messiahship). His words of grace and truth will be our abundance as they transform our minds. Our ignorance of the details of Scripture should shame us! “I have told you these things so that…! Take heart then! I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33). As John 1:14 so clearly displays it: We, like Jesus in His Own humanity (flesh), should be reflectors of the glory of grace and truth!

* Seeking and sacrificing to give the truth of Jesus to others is to discover and experience the abundance of eternal life that is already yours, but of which you were mostly unaware! All of us plant seed. If of the flesh, the seed dies and we are diminished! If it is the good seed of Jesus, it grows and we become recipients (treasure holders) of His abundant harvest in others (Mark 4:1-20; II Cor. 9:6-15). Jesus gave eternal life … mankind’s most significant gift! Amazingly, we, too, can give eternal life to others through sharing the progressive precisions of the Gospel. When we do, we will touch the zenith abundance of living! “Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, Father, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Who You have sent!” (John 17:3). We will live in the image of our God when we also “so love” that we lay down our lives to give His abundance to the world (John 3:16).

10I want to know Christ (the salvation principle) and the power of his resurrection (the Spirit principle) and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, (the suffering principle) becoming like him in his death, (the self principle) 11and so, somehow, right now, to attain to the out-resurrection from what is dead all around me (the standing principle). Philippians 3:10-11, annotated by HDM

How much we yearn for John 10:10 abundance and yield to the Christ Mind within us will determine our Phase Level. What I have written above should reflect the essence of Phase Six. But one consideration still remains before we mentally grasp the fullest liberation of Phase Seven! We must learn how the abundance of verses like Philippians 3:10-11 can be understood, applied and released in our lives. Phase Seven holds the key to every question asked and every solution sought by the Cross Disciple! This is the reward of the one who has determined to wholeheartedly embrace and endure whatever is necessary to follow Jesus the Messiah.