7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
When I was just in highschool, I was told by a close friend of mine that I had a tendency to be negative. Oh, when she told me that I felt a loathing I hadn’t felt before. I started thinking of other people I thought that about myself and how they drained the energy from me, and… How could she think that of me? But, I started paying closer attention to my conversation and reactions, etc., and, to my horror, I realized she was right. I cannot tell you how much I hated to admit to that.
At that point, I made it my priority to change that about myself. I didn’t want to be known as the “Debbie Downer” or “Negative Nancy” among my peers. Months went by, and with much effort I took time to think about the words that would escape my lips. But, the thoughts that entered my mind were another story. Although the negativity I dwelt on didn’t get a voice, it still caused damage to my inner peace.
I got so frustrated with myself. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I fix this? I’m trying so hard!
And then I read this Scripture.
The most important line would be the last- “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” When Jesus gave His life for us, it wasn’t just for our salvation. He ever lives to make intercession for us; to take our sorrows, our grief, our fears, our weaknesses, etc. He came that we may have life… abundant life!
Abundant- more than adequate; well-supplied; abounding; richly supplied; lavish.
When I read that, something new registered with me. I claimed to be a follower of Christ, and yet, for some reason, I didn’t feel that my life was “abounding or richly supplied.” Oh, how wrong I was! I realized I needed to work on the relationship I had with Him. Something was off. I should be experiencing unspeakable joy (1 Peter 1:8), sustainable peace (Colossians 3:15), and overflowing thankfulness (Colossians 2:7). Going forward I determined that my outlook would be clearer and my life would be lived differently.
I can’t say it’s always been easy. There’ve been periods throughout my life that were trying. I battled fear and frustration. Defeat knocked at my door. My words stayed positive, but my mind needed redemption at times. But, that was okay. I knew Who I could lean on and trust to redirect my thoughts. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
Just today I heard a clip of a sermon that resonated within me. When you ask, “Why does the enemy keep attacking me?” Remember, it’s because you won’t go down! If you have to face sickness, do it while rebuking it in the name of Jesus. When regret and loss bring you to tears, quote verses of hope through your crying. Should fear take a tight grip on your life, plead the blood of The One that can break every chain!
He came so we could live an abundant life! We will not be defeated! We are blessed, protected, cherished, and provided for! We are His.
Let’s take the words of Apostle Paul and pray them over our lives today:
Prayer: “But we have this treasure… to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” We can live life abundantly because of You, Jesus. We thank You for that today!