Saturday, July 22, 2006

Wealth and Moderation

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you always have all sufficiency in all things, may have abundance for every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8 )
It’s fine to live in moderation. There is only so much that a person needs to live well. But notice that God’s plan is not only for all sufficiency, which is quite enough for every need we have, but also for abundance, which is more than enough, so that we can give to every good work.

Many Christians settle for sufficiency for meeting their needs — but then they have nothing left for giving to all the good works God wants to do through His people. To me, that is selfishness.

Now, this sufficiency and abundance generally do not come by outright miracles — although these can and do happen. But God has many ways to get His provision to us, ways in which we can partner with Him in the process. For example:
  • God gives strength for labor. Work is not a dirty word. God had work for Adam and Eve in the Garden, to tend and keep it. Work is part of the blessing; toil is part of the curse.
  • God gives wisdom for conducting business, for craft, for trade, and even for investment.
  • God also gives favor and opportunity to His people.
  • To the one who is ready to sow, God gives seed.
God is never at a loss for the means to supply for His people.

God’s plan is for abundance — excess! Yet, it is always very much a matter of the heart. That’s why the apostle John said, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 2). Do our hearts know what to do with the abundance, the more than enough that God desires to bless us with? If not, then a little heart surgery is in order.
Lord, if I’m only going to blow the abundance on myself, and forget about You, then please don’t let me have that abundance. Instead, teach me what to do with it, so that I may have the abundance to give to every good work. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
The abundance of God has always been about being blessed and blessing others. Those who have not learned how to bless others have not yet learned what it truly means to be blessed.