Yesterday, we dug deep into John 10:10 (The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly). We looked at both the thief and the giver of life. Today we will focus on what the abundant life doesn't look like and what it does look like through the life of two women in the Bible.
As a child I wanted to be so much: Nurse, Actress, Singer, Fashion Designer, Defender and Redeemer of homeless people, Teacher, Wife, Mother, Rich, Important and well known, I wanted to be BIG.
As a teenager: Beautiful, Loved, Romanced, Desired, Cherished, Popular. People and Boys were my fuel.
As an adult: Possessions, Power, Fullfillment in relationship, Purpose.
However, in all these things there remained a void, an emptiness. And whether I accomplished one or accoplished none, one question echoed in each time: Is there more to life than this?
I grew up not in a Christian home per say. I did know who God was, and when I say I did know God, I mean I had an understanding of his existance but I didn't know God and knew nothing of him. Allow me to explain: It's like the earthquake that hit Haiti exactly a year from today. We knew of it, there was a head knowledge that we knew there was an earthquake, it was a tradegy, lives were lost, people were suffering. We knew that. Again, there was knowledge of it. Yet because we weren't there, we were unable to experience it. We have knowledge of it but because we weren't there our entire being knows nothing of it. Same goes with God. I knew God but there was no experiencing of God. There was no relationship, no evidence of an intimate walk with him.
In my teens I gave my life to Jesus. The emptiness of my soul was filled. Yet even in knowing God personally, in being a "Christian", a certain void remained- a lack of living you could say. Was there more to life for me? Was I created only to breath, blink, eat and sleep?
A car is created to be driven.A shirt is created to be worn.
A Pizza is created to be eaten.
A song is created to be heard.
A book is created to be read.
A life is created to be lived!
Each thing is created with a unique purpose.
Life has a purpose (to be enjoyed to the full, to the max, to overflow). Than there must be a Creator!
----> Psalm 139 (click HERE to read) is a beautiful description of Creator God and us His Creation!
> we are wonderfully made. YOU ARE WONDERFULLY MADE!!!
> We have a maker. YOU HAVE A MAKER WHO: loves you! has amazing plans for you. longs to reveal to you, your worth and value as His precious child.
> God took His time creating you
> He labored over your design and formed you uniquely out of divine love for you
> V16 says, "The days fashioned for me before there were none of them: God's plans include you and me! We were created with a purpose!
---->Isaiah 62:3 says, "For you shall be a crown of glory in the hand of your God, and a royal diadem in the hand of your Lord.
>When I think of royalty certain words come to mind: prestige, glory, worth, importance, purpose, meaning, position, divine calling.
>If we place our lives in the hand of God He will begin to shower the abundant blessings in our life!
Let's take a closer look at two women, who were both given the opportunity to live an abundant life.
The remainder of this post we will be looking at the book of Esther, click HERE for it or open your Bible!
> King was hosting a banquet and showing off all his great possessions, his greatness, power and wealth
> Fine linens, gold, silver, turquoise, marble and alabaster are among the valuables
> The king however wanted to display the most valued of all the his possessions: Queen Vashti
> *** The king was not a godly man, and this feast was a scare tactic that he was using to manupulate fear unto his guest. And might I add that He was drunk.
> Commenators disagree on their veiws of Queen Vashti's response to the King. But one thing we do read in the scripture: she was summoned but she did not go. (Matthew Henry & Warren Wiersbe are great commentators on Esther)
> A new queen needed to take her place
> Esther was a young jewish orphan being raised by her older cousin Mordecai
> She's taken to the the court of the king with other women
> The year beautification process consisted of being cleansed, washed, anointed with oils and
>Esther is chosen
We now have two Queens to contrast and compare
***reminder, the King is not a godly man, or a spiritual leader BUT I want to bring our focus now to our perfect King: God.
>He desires to bring us out before the world and display us as his prized possession (remember we have been bought), to present us as His daughter, His princess, His Queen, His bride.
> He looks to us and says, "Though I created the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, the air that you breath, the rain that waters the crops you eat, though I have created this earth for your enjoyement You have been created in my image. I died for you and defeated death so that you can have the abundant life here and eternal life thereafter. You are the crown of my creation and I want to present you to the World.
1. Queen Vashti had an opportunity to be displayed (in a proper setting) as the most precious being in King Xerxes' kingdom yet she refused to be displayed. She was robbed of the abundant life, her hopes were killed and her position destroyed.>And so it is with us. God has created us for more. We have been created to live a life of purpose and meaning. Today, He desires to use your life to display and refect His glory, His salvation, His mercy, His grace and truth to a dying world.
2. Quen Esther is now chosen by the King, and though we do not read that King Xerxes summons her to display her beauty, God makes sure to display her for His.
As you continue to read the story and I highly encourage you too, we read about an evil man named Haman and his horrible plot to rob the jews of their possessions, to kill them and destroy their God. Mordecai is a wonderful picture of those godly leaders that God places in our lives to give us sound wisdom.
Let's pick up in Esther 4:13-16>I love how Mordecai reminds Esther, as if almost painting a picture of Queen Vashti, that if she chooses to not do this, God will send deliverance through another way.
>God doesn't lose when we disobey, we are the ones that lose.
>God desires to use our lives this specific time to accomplish a specific purpose to bring about the savation of one person or of many that He may be glorified!
>He longs to achieve His purposes through us, and not because He needs us but because He has chosen to use us.
That is the abundant life, a life with purpose.
I challenge you: Would you allow God to use you in the circle of people that you find yourself in, for such a time as this? Would you be a crown of glory in His hand? Allie Marie Smith writes in her book: The Heal Journey, "Just as you'll never discover your life's purpose apart frm God, you'll never experience an abundant life apart from Him, either.
Queen Vashti was robbed of the abundant life because she placed the focus on herself.
Queen Esther was able to experience the abundant life because she made God and others her focus.
The only thing we can take to heaven, is people.
Matthew 20:28: just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
The abundant life is a life of purpose, a life of service, a life of sacrafice, a life centered on God and others, not centered on ourselves. We have been made free from the thief and made for more!!!
2 Timothy 2:20-22 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Ephesians 2:20 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.