Tuesday Night Bible Study
January 21, 2020
Christian Abundant Living Series
Rev. Dr. James A. May, D. D., M.R.E., Th.M. – Facilitator
Lessons – 4 “The Secret of Abundant Living”
2 Corinthians 9:8 NLT
“And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.”
In last week lesson, we
learned that we must acknowledge God as having ownership to everything that we
have. God gave man dominion over the
things of the earth. However, dominion is the right to make decisions and to
rule. Dominion does not mean ownership but rulership. God has an expectation
that we comply with His wishes when it comes to us being stewards over His
By focusing so intently on our gifts as being ours, we become short-sighted in two distinct ways. First, we lose sight of the reality that all of our possessions are gifts from God. Without Him, we would possess nothing. Second, we lose sight of the reality that all of our possessions are owned by God. When you receive a gift from God, you receive it for the purpose of glorifying God. In other words, God stills own it! It’s used for His glory. God never surrenders His rights as the primary owner.
God has given us the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Therefore, our bad choices can sometimes bring on curses or delay our blessing.
Ask God for It!
“…yet ye have not, because ye ask not…” James 4:2. John 14:14-15 says, 14If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 15If ye love me, keep my commandments.” I am not advocating “prosperity preaching,” it is a false doctrine that doesn’t line up with the teachings of the bible. You cannot “name it and claim it” because we cannot “claim” anything that doesn’t belong to us. Everything belongs to God (see Psalm 24:1-3). However, many things that we “want,” we simply don’t have because we refuse to ask God for it. (read Luke 11:5-13)
When we ask God for whatever we want or need, will it glorify God if he grants it? In James 4:3, it says, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” In other words, you ask and don’t have because you ask with evil intentions, to waste it on your own cravings. God is not in the business of “scratching our itch.” He has a divine plan, and everything must fall into his eternal plan. His Will must be done!
Be A Blessing to Others
The Bible teaches us the principle of sowing and reaping (see Galatians 6:7-9; Proverbs 11:18; Luke 6:38). Simply put, if we want to reap blessings, we sow it. Choose to be a blessing to others and see how God blesses you so that you can continue to be a blessing. Proverbs 11:24 NLT says, “Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything.”
The Promises of God
God has made us some promises that He is obligated to fulfill. However, most of the promises made are not absolute in nature, they are conditional promises, governed not only by our responses to God fulfilling certain requirements, but also by the perfect judgment of God. As James 1:17 says, “He gives only good and perfect gifts.” God will never give one of His children a "blessing" that would ultimately derail His purpose for His child or that would be too much for His child to handle.
Furthermore, God fulfills His promises on His time, not ours. In Genesis 12:2, God tells Abraham, at age 75 (verse 4), that He would make of him "a great nation," implying that he would have children. God makes this promise again in verse 7: "The Lord appeared to Abram and said, 'To your descendants I will give this land.'" Yet, He does not give Abraham the promised child at this time. In Genesis 15:2-3; Abraham pleads with God for an heir. He is now 80 years old. God repeats the promise, and Abraham believes Him (verses 4-6), yet Sarah does not become pregnant any time soon.
Abraham and his wife Sarah tried to help God fulfill His promise and Abraham laid with his servant, Hagar, and at 86-years old; Ishmael is born. This was not God’s plan and eventually, Hagar and Ishmael were sent away into the Desert of Beersheba.
Abraham was one hundred
years old when Sarah gave birth to his son Isaac (Genesis
Evidently, a great deal had to happen in the lives of Abraham and Sarah—predominantly in terms of spiritual maturity—before God felt the right time had come to give them their promised baby boy. Twenty-five years passed before God fulfilled His promise. Scripture itself informs us that God performed the miracle to allow Sarah to conceive "at the set time" (verse 2). There was one perfect time for this promise to be fulfilled, and God fulfilled it when all the conditions were right.
Abundance of Things or an Abundant Life?
At first look, we might be tempted to say, "What? I rather have a life of abundance so I can have the stuff I want and be happy!" But when you're in a state of crisis, what's worth more - a life full of fear, anxiousness, and tension, or a life full of tranquility and the fruit of the spirit? I think we'd agree that you can't put a price tag on love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.
If we concentrate on developing the “Fruits of the Spirit,” we will find out that this is more valuable than any material possessions. Think of this, you acquire great wealth, lavish home, yacht, luxury cars; and all your life you have to worry about someone trying to take it from you (see James 4:2-3).
Abundant life is spiritual abundance, not material. However, God knows that we need some material things to survive on this planet. We can increase our blessings both spiritual and material if we acknowledge that everything belongs to God. We can increase our spiritual and material blessings, by living for the purpose of glorifying God. We can increase our spiritual and material blessings, if we have faith on the promises of God. We can increase our spiritual and material blessings if we become a blessing to others. We can increase our spiritual and material blessings; by making the right choices.
We can increase our spiritual and material blessings; by asking God for what we need and want. Jesus not only gives us the promise of eternal life in heaven, He also gives us an abundant life here on earth. But His abundance has nothing to do with worldly pursuits and everything to do with those attributes that make us more like Him.