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Abundant Life
Mickey Stonier - August 17, 2014

Message Recap

Pastor Mickey opened today’s message with the testimony of a woman who experienced tremendous heartache and difficulty in her childhood and young adulthood.  After years of seeking happiness in broken relationships and being surrounded by drugs, bad choices, mental illness, and abusive cycles, she finally was given a Bible.  Simply by reading Scripture, she received Christ and experienced an amazing life transformation.   That woman was Pastor Mickey’s wife!

God loves and accepts you just as you are, but desires for you to experience a much richer and more abundant life than you can have on your own.

If you’ve ever doubted the transformative power of God’s Word, all you have to do is look at the remarkable life of this woman so passionate for the Lord.  Pastor Mickey urged everyone today to open your hearts to God’s love.  God loves and accepts you just as you are, but desires for you to experience a much richer and more abundant life than you can have on your own.   As John writes concerning his gospel message:

…but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.  John 20:31

Today, Pastor Mickey talked about the life that Jesus wants to bring to us.

Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.  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.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.  As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.  And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

“Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.  No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”  John 10:7-18

In this passage, Jesus speaks of two leaders: one is the good shepherd who knows his sheep and gives his life for them and the other is the hireling, who leads people astray.

Jesus, as the good shepherd, is the door of the sheep, the guardian who keeps them safe and keeps watch over them in the sheepfold at night.  This is a narrow entrance and is the only way to access that safety.  Jesus tells us that He is the way for us to reach the Father and that He has come to give us abundant, extraordinary, remarkable, valuable life!

The thief, on the other hand, only comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  This is as true today as it was in Jesus’ day and applies not only to false and selfish leaders, but to our spiritual enemy, the devil (or “thief”).  This thief lies to us and deceives us as a culture.  One example is that if you were asked what the divorce rate in America is, you would likely say 50%, but that is a falsification of statistics and is not even close to the truth.  Yes, in San Diego County last year there were 27,000 marriages and 13,000 divorces (about 50%), but what is not stated is that many of those divorces are second, third, fourth, and fifth marriages.   These are the true statistics on marriage:

According to the most recent Census Bureau, 72% of people are still married to their first spouse. Currently in the U.S., the divorce rate is dramatically declining. 80% of marriages state they are happy in their marriage and 93% state that they would marry the same spouse over again. Among Christian marriages of church-goers, the divorce rate decreases another 25-50%. The most active couples in their faith report being the happiest in their marriage.
– The Good News About Marriage by Shaunti Feldhahn (Available in the Rockpile Bookstore)

Why do we all know a false statistics?  It is because we are given a false message to erode our faith and joy.  Our adversary wants to steal our hope and seeks to draw us away from God’s abundant life.

Are you embracing that abundant life that God offers?

Pastor Mickey’s nephew in the Special Forces told him that in his work, when he lands at his mission point, there are three things he needs to know:

  1. his location in relation to the mission
  2. where his enemy his; and
  3. where his buddy is
  4. Like the Special Forces, spiritual life is not meant to be done alone.  That is why the Rock offers life classes, membership classes, and life groups.  If you are feeling like the church is too big, it’s time to get connected to a smaller group on a more intimate level in loving relationships.  There’s nothing that the Rock wants from you, only what we want for you – abundant life!

    Is it time for a perspective shift?

    Stop going to church; BE THE CHURCH.
    Church is not a destination; it’s people of God.  We need each other!

    Stop serving the church; SERVE JESUS.
    If you always look to please people, you will be disappointed and betrayed. But if you keep your eyes on God, you will experience His joy in all types of circumstances.

    Stop getting into the Bible; GET THE BIBLE INTO YOU.
    Don’t look at the scriptures as just information. The Bible is meant to transform us. It is living and active!

    “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.” – Desiring God by John Piper

    “The worth and excellency of a soul is to be measured by the object of its love. We are most satisfied when we seek God’s pleasure above our own, and we gradually become conformed to what we most love and admire. We do not exist for ourselves—we exist for the Father and through the Son. Our souls become emaciated when our pleasure is affixed to position, pos-sessions, and power, because these things are destined to corrupt and perish.”
    The Life of God in the Soul of Man
    by Henry Scougal (Scottish Theologian, 1650-1678)

    Jesus is:

    1. The Bread of LIFE. John 6:48
    2. The Light of the world. John 8:12
    3. The Door. John 10:9
    4. The Good Shepherd. John 10:11
    5. The Resurrection and the LIFE.  John 11:25
    6. The Way, and the Truth, and the LIFE. John 14:6
    7. The True Vine. John 15:1

    God is our:

    1. Healer (YHWY Rapha) Exodus 15:26
    2. Peace (YHWH Shalom) Judges 6:24
    3. Provider (YHWH Yireh) Genesis 22:14
    4. Banner (YHWY Nissi) Exodus 17:15
    5. Righteousness (YHWY Tsidkenu) Jeremiah 23:6
    6. Presence (YHWH Shammah) Ezekiel 48:35
    7. Our Shepherd (YHWH Raah) Psalm 23

    Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve been close to God.  Come back to your first love!  As the disciple John’s life is nearing its end about 60 years after he has written his gospel message, he writes:

    And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. 1 John 5:11-13 (NKJV)


This Message

In this message, Pastor Mickey encourages us to pursue the rich and more abundant life we can have when we open our hearts to God.

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