In this series on God’s abundance it is vital to see how much we need Him. Only through revelation from God can we see the depth of our need and, as we do, restoration will begin to come bringing His abundance. God’s plan is that it will bring praise, honor, and glory to Him.
It’s good to be with you again at the beginning of a new week, sharing with You Keys to Successful Living which God has placed in my hand through many years of personal experience and Christian ministry.
My theme for this week is God’s Abundance. I believe you’ll find it rich and exciting.
But first, let me say thank you to those of you who’ve been writing to me. Before I finish this talk, we’ll be giving you a mailing address to which you may write. It means a great deal to me to hear how this radio ministry of mine has been helping you and blessing you. So please take time to write—even if it’s only a brief personal note.
Now back to our theme: God’s Abundance.
One distinctive aspect of God, as He is revealed in the Bible, is His abundance. God is not poor, He’s not stingy, He’s not limited. He’s a God of abundance. His grace is abundant, His love is abundant, His provision is abundant. If we are to represent God accurately, and as He really is, to the world around us, then we must learn to represent Him as a God of abundance. Otherwise we will be misrepresenting Him.
However, we cannot represent God’s abundance to others until He has first revealed it to us. It’s important to realize that God’s abundance can never be properly apprehended by our carnal mind. It can be apprehended only by God’s own revelation.
I want to turn now to some passages in the Prophet Jeremiah as a basis for this truth that abundance is apprehended only by revelation. And in order to come to that revelation, we must first acknowledge the depth of our need. So I’m going to quote in succession two passages from the Prophet Jeremiah. The first in chapter 30 where God shows Israel the abysmal depth of their own need. Then we’ll move on to chapter 33 where God promises to reveal to them His abundance. But first of all, Jeremiah, chapter 30, verses 12 through 14. These words are addressed to the people of Israel, to their land and to the City of Jerusalem. And this is what God says:
“For thus saith the Lord, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous. There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines. All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased.” (KJV)
God, as always, speaks very plainly to His people. He says, “Your condition is hopeless.” The language used, “Thy bruise is incurable, thy wound is grievous,” and God very plainly states the reason for this situation, “Because thy sins were increased.”
Ultimately, the consequence of sin is misery, poverty, destitution. God says, “Thy bruise is incurable.” He tells His people there is no source to which you can look for help because there is no one who can help you.
Then we move on into the 33rd chapter of Jeremiah and God promises the help which He alone can give, having first excluded all human sources of help. This is what he says in Jeremiah 33, verses 6 through 8, speaking again to His people Israel, to their land and to the City of Jerusalem. Jeremiah 33:6 through 8:
“Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth. And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.” (KJV)
Now, that’s God’s remedy for a situation which He has declared to be incurable. But of course, when He says it’s incurable, He’s accepting Himself. God is able to cure that which man cannot cure. And always, as with God’s remedy, He goes to the root of the problem. He says, “Your sin has to be dealt with; when you’re cleansed from your sin, when your rebellion is pardoned, then I can help you. And He says in this connection, “I will bring it health and cure; I will cure them and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth; I will cause their captivity to return.”
We have here three purposes of God associated. The first is restoration. The second is revelation. The third is abundance. We need to see them in that order.
First comes restoration. Restoration is a sovereign act of God on behalf of His people, giving back that which sin has robbed them of. Out of restoration comes revelation. And out of revelation comes abundance. But I want to emphasize very emphatically, that unless we have revelation from God, we cannot apprehend God’s abundance and that revelation comes out of restoration.
We are living in a season when God is restoring His people. He is restoring Israel. He is also restoring the Church of Jesus Christ. In the process of that restoration comes his revelation and out of His revelation, we can apprehend once again, His abundance which we had lost sight of. This revelation comes only from the Word of God through the Spirit of God.
Paul emphasizes this principle in 1st Corinthians, chapter 2, verses 9 through 16:
“However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him’ [What God has prepared for His people cannot be apprehended by the natural senses or the natural reasoning of man. That is excluded. The alternative is then stated in the next verse:] but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. [Notice, it must come by revelation, the revelation comes by the Spirit of God.] The Spirit [capital S, the Holy Spirit] searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. [The only way we can understand God’s thinking, God’s purposes, is through the revelation of God’s Spirit. Then Paul goes on to make a really dramatic statement] We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. [That’s what we’re speaking about in the theme of abundance; it’s understanding what God has freely given to us and it’s only understood by the Holy Spirit. Paul goes on:] This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. [Not merely is the truth from the Spirit, but the words that adequately express the truth must be given by the Spirit also. We’ve got to learn God’s terminology. Then Paul says the natural man, no matter how educated or sophisticated cannot appreciate these truths.] The man without the Spirit, [the Greek says “the natural or the soulish man, the man who relies on his own soulish understanding] does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, him and he cannot understand them because they’re spiritually discerned. [Let me emphasize again, the whole revelation depends on opening up to the Spirit of God. ‘part from the Spirit of God there is no possibility of this revelation. Paul then ends with some marvelous words.] The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.’” (NIV)
That’s a dramatic statement. Through the Holy Spirit we can receive the mind of Christ. With the mind of Christ we can appreciate all that God has freely given to us. We can apprehend His abundance. God’s abundance is revealed and made available to us for one supreme purpose—it is for God’s glory, not for human satisfaction, but for God’s glory.
In that passage I’ve already quoted from Jeremiah, chapter 33, the Prophet continues in verse 9 after his promise of restoration and abundance. This is what he says, Jeremiah 33:9:
“It shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.” (KJV)
He’s pictured his people, his land, his city desolate, captives, ruined, hopeless; he’s told them that the condition is incurable then out of his grace and his sovereignity, he promises restoration and out of restoration, revelation, out of revelation, abundance and then he says, “When I have done this, it will bring glory to me.” The completed work of restoration will be to me, God, a name of joy, a praise and an honor before all the nations of the earth which shall hear of all the good that I do unto them. And they (that’s all the nations of the earth) shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.
That’s a dramatic statement. It impresses me deeply that God’s purpose is to restore to His people such abundance, such prosperity, such manifest demonstration of His goodness that all the other peoples of the earth will fear and tremble at the demonstration of God’s goodness. That’s the level of God’s abundance but it can be apprehended only from the Word of God and by the Spirit of God.
Our time is up for today. I’ll be back with you again tomorrow at this time. I’ll continue with this theme of abundance. I’ll be explaining exactly what abundance means.