My grandmother was a great cook. Homemade yeast rolls! Pies and cakes from scratch! Every family get-together was a feast. Literally. Three-four meats, 5-6 vegetables, at least that many salads, and 5-6 desserts. Sometimes more. And there was a dish for each specific person. “I made the creamed corn for you.” “The garden salad is for John.” Then, when you had eaten so much you were hurting, she would offer you more. “Oh, I’m stuffed!” “Well, I thought you liked sweet potatoes!”
That’s the way it is with God. He’s a God of abundance. Jesus didn’t just feed the 5000, there were 12 basketsful left over. Jesus said if we remained in Him and He in us, we wouldn’t just bear fruit, it would be much fruit. He doesn’t just give us life, but abundant life. One of my favorite scriptures is Ephesians 3:20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,… On and on throughout scriptures, we read of God’s abundance.
The scripture that is used so often at stewardship time is Malachi 3:10, and you could probably recite it with me: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
…so much blessing… Why do we always think this is money? Yes, He’s talking about bringing the tithes. That is money. But is the “so much blessing” money? It certainly can be. But what if He’s talking about more friends than you know what to do with? More abilities so that you don’t know which one to use? More peace than you need to get you through? Ephesians 1:7-8 tells us In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us.
The prosperity preachers would have us believe that God’s blessings are monetary. And He certainly can do that if He wants to. But I’d like us to consider that He is lavishing mercy, grace, and love on us every day. His mercies are new every morning! He gives us beautiful landscapes, mountains, clouds, refreshing rain…all to enjoy. He sends us respect of co-workers, the love of family and friends, peace that surpasses understanding…and that’s just the beginning…if we’ll just stop long enough to notice.
…God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times (in every situation…good times and bad, in every season of your life), having all that you need (let’s not confuse “need” and “want”, but all the patience you need, all the grace you need, all the ability you need, all the provision you need) , you will abound (not just get by, but flourish and thrive) in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)
We can say with Paul that The grace of our Lord was poured on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Johns Creek Baptist Church