Sunday 7 June 2015
Speaker: Pastor CHARITY TONY-UBAH
Key Passages: Genesis 26: 12 – 33, 1 Corinthians 3 : 6 – 15, Luke 4 : 25 – 26, Luke 12:13 – 34
It is imperative for the word Abundance to be defined generically:
(a) A large quantity that is more than enough, it also means ‘Many’
(b) An overflowing fullness or ample sufficiency, profusion, copious supply, Superfluity and Plentifulness.
(c) Wealth, affluence, plentiful amount of resources.
Synonyms of Abundance are- exuberance, plenteousness, plenty, copiousness, overflow, riches, Affluence and wealth.
Antonyms – Rare, scarce, deficient etc.
We will consider Abundance in the context of the Scriptures read above:
-Isaac did not take it for granted that God had spoken to him to stay in the land; he did not fold his arms and wait for what God would do next. Isaac set out to work. See Proverbs 22:29.
-There is also a manifestation or illustration of hard work in the life of Paul and Appollos: one planted and the other watered and God gave the increase.
Thus, although God may grant us open doors to financial favour, we have a responsibility to work towards getting to the pinnacle of all round abundance.
The Abundance we talk about is beyond material abundance;
- Abundance is a soul at peace -“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” “For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” The devil can offer you the world – money, sex, influence, position, prosperity – but he cannot offer you peace. The devil says- look at all I can give you – look at all you can obtain – all you have to do is – lie a little, cheat a little, break the rules a little, look man if it feels good it can’t be bad right – so just follow me. Keep a little more for yourself – after all you only live once. See Matthew 4: 3 – 11. In tempting Jesus the devil on all 3 occasions presented distractions from the goal. Today’s temptation is the same. On one occasion he took him up and in a moment showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and said, “I will give You all this domain and its glory.. if You worship before me..” Jesus reply, “You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.”
- Abundance is contentment – 1 Timothy 6:6. The problem with all the counterfeits of the enemy is that they leave us wanting more. More money, more power, more control, more intensity of feeling, more excitement… The wonder of God is that His abundance comes with contentment. Here is what Paul said – “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Contentment is not found in how much we have but in who has us. God offers us the heart of contentment that is found not in treasures here but in an eternity with Him.
- Abundance is being free to be me – When I say free to be me I mean to be the “me” that God created me to be. Abundance is found when I find and become what I was made to be. Philippians 1:6 Paul says “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” God wants to help be become what He made me to be. (Psalm 139).
The following are required if to experience abundance;
(1) Diligence – the farmer selects the seeds, planting, pruning alongside weeding, weather changes and harvest. Proverbs 22:29.
(2) Prayer: in the process of work, prayer is expected. God always takes into consideration our hard-work.
(3) Put God First: Pay your tithes and first fruit (honour God with your first fruit). See Haggai 1:3 – 11. Failure to put God first can lead to failure. It is so sad that People, in the bid to keep all for themselves by failing to give God, end up wasting the Proceeds of their Harvest.
(4) Consistent sowing: see 1 Kings 17: 10 – 16. Sometimes, the door to blessings is the first seed sown. However, there must be persistent sowing to keep the door of blessings open. Solomon’s example- his first offering of one thousand animals was followed by a second offering of 22 thousand oxen and 120,000 sheep. See 1 Kings 8: 63. The increase Solomon received in wealth was attributed to his constant giving. He attained a level of ultimate financial breakthrough. See Proverbs 11: 24- 26.
(5) Uncommon faith as experienced by the Widow of Zarephath, Joseph in the Prison, and Esther in the King’s Palace. Similarly, Ruth was widowed, yet exhibited uncommon faith by clinging to her mother in-law and she received her reward.
(6) Make God’s business your business.
To experience the secret of abundance, you need to manifest this uncommon faith in God, remove all resistance to Him. You will not achieve your aspirations by your strength or power, you will not achieve with God. Learn from all those that have earlier been mentioned including true life examples of people who trusted God completely. What men with their physical minds, calculations and eyes thought could not be achieved, God has brought to pass in their lives. Trust Him whole heartedly, let those who laughed at you, snared at you, called you all sorts of names, just like they would have done to the widow, Esther, Mordecai, Joseph, Daniel and the 3 Hebrew boys etc. They all had a testimony at the end and experienced abundance in their lives.