We live in abundance!
The reality of North American life is that we live lives of abundance.
The way we often see it, abundance is about personal prosperity, wealth, and power, and we can credit where we live, resourcefulness, and opportunities.
We can, of course, also credit the God who breathed life into our lungs, and gave us our existence. In John 10:10, Jesus said, “I came that they (that means all people) may have life and have it abundantly.”
There is a dichotomy among Christians regarding abundance. There are those who pray for abundance, and there are those who pray for only their needs to be met.
I recently heard someone speak of abundance, and what he said was, “God calls us to abundant living, not just sufficient. Sufficient says we are expecting (praying) only enough for our needs, but not the abundance that allows us to be God’s hands and feet in providing blessing for others.”
I believe that 2 Corinthians 8:8-15 speaks clearly to God’s intent in proving for us abundantly:
“I am not commanding you to do this (God does not ever force himself, or his ways on us).
But I am testing how genuine your love is (God is always wanting our hearts to be in a place where we do make the best choices) by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches.
You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor,
so that by his poverty he could make you rich (God does not ever ask of us more than He has done, He is the example).
Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it. Now you should finish what you started
(This speaks to those of us who start good things with great intentions but never fulfilling those intentions).
Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have
(He’s not saying give beyond your means, or to the point of having nothing left). Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly (that doesn’t mean to give out of guilt, or duty, but out of your open heart).
And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have (reinforcing what He already said).
Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves.
I only mean that there should be some equality (our God is the only god who speaks of equality). Right now you have plenty (“right now” … things can change … we can all go from plenty to want, there are no guarantees that what we have today will always be here for us) and can help those who are in need (share our abundance with those who have need). Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it (not if you need it, but when).
In this way, things will be equal. As the Scriptures say,
“Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over,
and those who gathered only a little had enough.”
We DO live in abundance, but it is an abundance from the hand of God, to be shared, so that things might be equal for all.