Week of October 13
"Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift from God." ~ Ecclesiastes 5:19
Divine abundance is a wonderful gift from God. Thankfully, divine abundance is not defined by or limited to material possessions. Rather, it encompasses much more. In The Parable of the Rich Fool (Lk. 12:15) Jesus says, "a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
What Jesus is saying is that there is more to our purpose and identity than material things and that we must first "be rich toward God" in our hearts, our spirits and our minds by receiving all of Him and walking in His ways, guarding our hearts against greed and mammon in order to have a right attitude toward abundance (Lk.12:21). In other words, we must first have God's character in abundance before we can sustain His blessings in abundance. And we cannot accomplish this alone.
It is only through the abundant grace and love of our Heavenly Father that He gave His son, Jesus Christ, as our savior—who is the essence of abundance, who modeled The Father's finest principles and who also intercedes for us now at the right hand of the Father—to help us receive all of His gifts and rewards, many of which are not material. It is through Jesus that divine joy, love, grace, favor and mercy overflow to us. James 1:17 says that every good and perfect gift comes from above. For this alone, we owe an abundance of thanksgiving to God.
Receiving divine abundance is also linked with our faith and actions concerning giving. Malachi 3:10 says, "'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.'"
Receiving divine abundance is also linked with how we treat others. Luke 6:38 says, "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Remember, motives count. If we just give for the sake of getting, this principle won't work. God looks at the heart and sees all things and knows all things.
Both tithing and loving others fit into God's greatest commandments for us, which is to love Him with all our hearts, souls and minds and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt. 22:37-39). This mature level of loving involves walking in obedience to God and forgiveness toward others no matter what the circumstances. Obedience brings divine favor and rewards that are material and immaterial.
Psalm 65:11 says, "You crown the year with Your bounty and goodness . . ." So let us ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and reveal privately any matters that do not please God, the very issues that would prevent us from receiving Our Father's greatest abundance. Let us repent and ask Him to fill our hearts with a fresh love for our Heavenly Father and others so that we may have a right attitude of divine priority. And let us give Him praise for and celebrate that which He has already given us and that which is to come. Only then will we be positioned to receive His accelerated abundance that He longs to give us during this season.
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ.
Originally published Sunday, 13 October 2013.