Abundance is a great word to think about in connection with both God’s provision, and also His power that is working in us. Lavish is used in Ephesians in reference to God’s grace. (It’s a really long sentence!) We don’t often think of abundance and lavishness in connection with those things, do we?
God’s Abundant Provision
God provides forgiveness abundantly. He is not stingy in the sense that He has limits on what He will forgive or how many sins He will forgive in a given time frame. It makes no sense. He is holy and righteous, yet He forgives abundantly and His grace is lavish. It’s not that He ignores the hurt and pain caused by sin. He knows the depths of it even more than we do. But he forgives it. He doesn’t hold it against the sinner. He doesn’t bring it up again and again. When He forgives, it is finished and done once the sinner humbles herself and comes to Him for forgiveness.
Considering the high price He paid for our sin (a cruel death that He didn’t deserve to pay) it is hard to believe He is able to forgive so easily. While on the other hand, we find it so difficult to forgive over much less. Our offenses against God are so much greater than the offenses other people have done against us, yet we find it so difficult to forgive.
He also provides over the years for all kinds of needs that we have: emotional, physical, spiritual. Often, He has provided them when we weren’t even aware of the need. Frequently, it is because of our failures that we are having to deal with the need that we have, yet He still is willing to care for us. It is so upside-down!
God’s Power is Working in Us.
It will affect the Church and Following Generations.
That’s how Big and Abundant it is.
Because He is a way grander God than anything we can imagine! We think about what we want, but He has plans that are so much grander…both for us, for the Body of Christ, and for the world. Our dreams are like a dot in His plans. That doesn’t mean they are unimportant, it just means we can’t even conceptualize what He is doing in any of the areas where He is working!
Do we realize the abundant power that is at work in us? It is there to change us, to give us power over sin and its influence over us, it is there to broaden the influence of the new life in Christ on our everyday lives.
We don’t need to walk around in despair over the brokenness of the world around us and in us. God is working in us with His abundant power so we can live a life that glorifies Him and brings glory to His church down through the generations.
The ways we do that where He has put us will vary due to our circumstances, gifts, the gifts God is developing in us, and a variety of other factors. But if we are paying attention to His leading, we will be doing what He guides us to do.
Yes, God is able to do anything we ask for. But He doesn’t always answer our requests in the ways we ask for them. Why? One big part of the answer is because we don’t know everything He knows–
- about the situation,
- about the future,
- about what is truly needed for the people involved–just to name a few of the reasons.
How often have you asked God for something and He answered in a way you didn’t ask for, but it was better, very different, but so much better over the long run. It is a good reminder that His work is good, it is powerful, and it is grand. Your part of it may not look that way, especially in the now. But God’s work is grand and the outcome is definitely going to be amazingly grand.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly
than all that we ask or think,
according to the power at work within us,
to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV
- As you read this Benediction, what abundant provisions of God come to your mind over your lifetime? Jot them down.
- What powerful works have you seen Him do in your life and that of your family? In the life of your local churdh? In the life of the Church universal? Write a few down. You may have to google a few when it comes to the Church universal.
- Do you ever stop at the end of the day to think of the abundant, lavish provisions that He has given that day? What about the power He has worked in you for that day? Write down some of your thoughts here.
- Does it help you to have years to look back on your life for an overview to get perspective? Why or why not?