Reading: Ephesians 3:1-21
[a] How would you explain ABUNDANCE?
[b] I suppose you could say that there is an abundance of snow in Alaska or at the South Pole; and that there is an abundance of fish in the sea.
[c] We also could say, there is an abundance of food in the earth, if only it was evenly distributed.
[d] But all of these things are totally inadequate illustrations, when we speak of the ABUNDANCE OF OUR GOD!
[a] In Ephesians 3:20, the Apostle Paul, speaks about a God Whose provision is beyond any expectation - in fact beyond our wildest dreams!
[b] He speaks of a God, Who is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or even think.”
[c] The Amplified Bible, (which just gives further insight into the different shades of meaning of the original language) says, that He is able to “do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think - infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams.”
[d] Is that the vision we have, when we come before Him in prayer - is that the boundless expectation we have of our limitless God?
[e] If we truly believed this revelation of His Word, could we ever come in doubt again? Could we ever be mistaken in thinking the devil was getting the upper hand? Could we ever believe that God’s provision could fail?
[a] I was speaking to an evangelist friend of mine, who lives, entirely by faith in God’s provision, with his wife and family.
[b] He said he felt that he needed a new car, as the
present one had done about 140,000 miles! He should start to save, but
he didn’t know how it was possible, as God always supplied their need,
without a surplus.
[c] God simply laid it upon the heart of someone to give him their car, and get another.
[d] So often in the past, we ourselves have been in need, perhaps to pay a bill, and have brought it before the Lord, and He has led someone to give us a personal gift, which often exactly or almost exactly was the amount required.
[e] Some years ago, we had a special financial need, and no way to met it. We prayed, and received a letter through the post, containing the money, and a note which said very simply, “The Lord told me to send you this for personal needs.”
[f] The Psalmist David said in Psalm 23, that when we have the Lord as our Shepherd, then we would not want!
[a] Someone has said, “It can take more faith to receive God’s answers than to ask Him in the first place!”
[b] The Apostle Paul had no doubts as to the ability and willingness of God to provide. He said “My God will meet all your needs, according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 - N.I.V.)
[c] It is NOT for a moment saying that He will provide all our ‘WANTS’ or the things we think we need. The Lord Jesus said, that God knows what we need, before we ask Him! (Matthew 6:8)
[d] Thank God, for those who are open to the Lord, and obey His prompting! Truly He is the God Who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and the wealth of every land. Hallelujah! He has simply entrusted it to mankind for safe-keeping.
[e] We are often tempted to think that what we possess is ours by right and that God has no claim upon it! Yet if we have truly given ourselves to Him, then that must include everything He has permitted us to hold in trust. Otherwise our commitment to the One Who gave everything for us, is seriously incomplete.
[a] Although the above is all so very true, and trustworthy, we must not think for a moment that it gives us the right to manipulate God, and insist that we get what we want.
[b] When my father lay dying, my mother said to me, “He won’t die! He can’t die - too many people are praying for his recovery.” She rebuked me for my lack of faith! But he did die!
[c] A woman turned against God, when her mother died!
She had prayed for healing, and therefore felt God was unjust in taking her
[d] The old lady was in her nineties when she died, and I ended up asking her daughter what age she would have wanted her mother to go home to Heaven. It was a question she couldn’t answer - but I think she got the point.
[e] The Christian’s only a sojourner on this earth. We are only on route to Heaven, where we will go to “be with Christ, which is far better.” (Philippians 1:23)
[f] There are many times when we will have to re-echo the words of our Saviour in Gethsemane, when He said, “Not My will, but Thine be done.” (Luke 22:42)
[g] We have however a mighty God of abundance, Who’s hand is limitless in it’s provision. Is our vision of Him great enough when we pray??
SALVATION ARMY SONG BOOK
SONG “Life, life, abundant life”