Monday, January 26, 2015

God of abundance

Do you think God is stingy? 
Before you point and shout "sacrilegious" hear me out. I am prone to a belief that God doesn't want me to have "much more." Sure, the Bible says that God will give me much more and that He is a God of abundance but I don't always live like I truly believe those words. I claim to believe the Bible with my whole heart yet I skim past the abundance and focus on the "sell everything," "don't take an extra cloak" scriptures. Those passages convince me that God wants me to live with the bare minimum - nothing extra, frivolous or unnecessary. Dare I say, stingy.
This line of thinking has suited me just fine until I opened my Bible to the story of Joseph. Although I've read the account of Joseph more times than I can count and have seen it on the stage and TV, I had never really grasped the entire message of Joseph's life.
My previous understanding was that Joseph was a man who was treated unfairly and unjustly but was spared by God and ultimately used by God. This is all true. But there is something more to Joseph that I had always missed.
Let's start from the beginning.
Joseph wore a multicolored robe given to him by his father. That is until his brothers stripped him of it, threw him in a well, sold him into slavery and thought they had gotten rid of that little twerp for good. They didn't like their little brother's attitude or the favoritism his father showed him so they devised a plan to do away with the thorn in their side, the unwanted member of their clan.
You know the rest of the story, don't you? Joseph gets sold to Potiphar and falsely accused of adultery with Potiphar's wife. He is thrown in jail where he interprets the dreams of two men - both of which come to pass just as Joseph had predicted through the mind of God. In time Pharaoh has a dream that needs interpreted and Joseph is brought forth to see if he can do the job. Of course, with God, he can. Pharaoh is so pleased that he puts Joseph in charge of protecting the land from an impending famine.
But guess what else Pharaoh did. He gave Joseph a fancy robe made of the finest of linens and a gold chain to wear around his neck.
Time to take a pause and reflect on that little, profound detail. Fine linen robe. Gold chain.
The Devil had tried to strip Joseph of everything he had, starting with his clothes and working up to  his very life blood, but God restored it all. He spared his life and even restored his fine robe. God didn't just spare Joseph's life against the threatening ordeal of slavery and jail, He blessed Him with abundance. Stingy? Not in the least. God proved that He is the very opposite of stingy by restoring to Joseph his robe and exceeding his past adornment by adding a gold chain to the attire.
In the New Testament, years after Joseph departed from this earth, Jesus told His followers not to worry about what they would eat, drink or even wear. God, He assured us, is well aware of our need and He'll see to it that we are taken care of. Just like He took care of Joseph.
Despite being jailed, beaten and sold as a slave Joseph was protected, sustained and even clothed with luxurious linen and jewels. God was truly with Joseph in so many ways. He didn't just give Joseph the bare minimum, He lavished upon Joseph blessings and favor because Joseph was faithful.

God isn't stingy. He doesn't just dish out the bare minimum. He is interested in more than just surviving. He is in the business of thriving, blessing and giving abundantly and lavishly! Even when we are in the pits of life, like Joseph was for so many years, we still have the promise that God will take care of us beyond our wildest imaginations. Do you think Joseph imagined a fancy robe and gold chain while he sat in jail? Could he see the future as second in command over all of Egypt? Likewise, you and I don't know the plan God has in store for us. But we do know this: God has a beautiful, bountiful plan for us and rich blessings to shower up on. He isn't stingy and He is the furthest thing from a cheapskate. You and I serve the God of abundance and glory.

1 comment:

  1. 神聖な出産を祝福
    Bless sacred birth