Abundance

You’re in the desert. You have a bottle of water and a whole lot of sand. Is God the bottle of water you take delicate sips from and the sand the gritty details of life? Or is He the overwhelming plenty of earth you stand on, and your problems the bottle you release and empty into the sand?

In Mark 6, before the feeding of the 5000, Jesus is leading his disciples into a time of rest. They have been busy performing healings, driving out demons and teaching in the surrounding communities. In an overwhelming passion to know Jesus however, crowds have followed them. Jesus has compassion on these people and teaches them until evening. It’s time for dinner, and the disciples are ready to send people out to feed themselves.

Jesus then tells the disciples to feed the people. A cost which would be equivalent to more than six months wages. If you were someone in America today making $80,000 a year, that’s more than $40,000. That’s a nice chunk of change. And these disciples, who had just been out performing miracles, healing the sick, driving out demons, couldn’t imagine a solution to this. Feeding so many people. These disciples, who got to be literally seeing the miracles of God through their own hands, couldn’t imagine an abundance like that.

How often do we do that- do we minimize His abundance? How often do we say His abundance doesn’t cover my sin like that? His abundant dreams are for her, not for me. His abundant love doesn’t release it restricts.

Your sins and your troubles are not so impressive that it’s greater than the blood of Jesus Christ.

His grace isn’t limited to sin. Grace is the unmerited favor of God. Favor that extends to each of the moments of your life. Time with your family, lectures in class, late shifts at work. Favor like the favor in Fred Rogers life. A man whose passion for ministry coincided with media presentation for children. “Mister Rogers” aired for 33 years. John 1:6 says, “from His fullness we have received grace upon grace.” His favor for us overflows. I saw it in many ways through the duration of my summer too.

On the last day of VBS at the camp I worked at we were going to have 70 kids. We had a consistent 40 during the summer, but mention free back packs and moms go crazy. We started the summer with zero back packs, zero school supplies, and not a lot of money for either of those things. But when we discovered how good this vision would be for the community and in furthering the kingdom, we said yes. We told churches and youth groups all summer long about our mission. The supplies came in waves. Some weeks a couple packs of pencils. Some weeks ten fully supplied backpacks. This was a vision totally out of our control. But by saying yes, and hosting an environment that let that ‘yes’ thrive, God could move in His abundance. His grace and favor was upon us, and all the kids went home that last day of VBS fully supplied for their first day of school.

I’m not saying I live in that abundance all the time. Sometimes I feel like the disciples who see all the good works of God and don’t imagine how it could possibly relate to me. Which is silly- right? Because don’t I know how he calls me home? Like the prodigal son who hopes for scraps and receives a feast?

There’s no way to earn this feast. There’s nothing you or I can do, except love God and receive His love for us. When we walk in the abundance of God’s grace, we experience the fullness of His freedom.

– Brittney Schwind

August 23, 2018

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