Sunday, November 13, 2011

November 13, Sunday --- God's Glorious Riches

Today, November 13, 2011, I preached at Agape Korean Church in Rwanda. The second Sunday of every month is my turn.

The sermon was titled "God's Glorious Riches."

God provides for His people. When He provides, He is not stingy. He provides abundantly. His abundant provision is often overflowing. Based on scriptures, "my cup overflows", "barns will overflow", "my carts overflow", "my lips overflow with praises...", "overflowing joy" and "overflow with the expression of thanksgiving."

One observation from these scriptures is that the cup or container must be filled first before it can overflow. Thus, if the container is small, things can overflow more easily than when the container is big. In other words, the smaller the container, the easier the overflowing will be.

This container can be compared to one's own desire. If one's desire is big, it will be difficult for him or her to experience the overflowing until his or her desire is filled. On the other hand, if one's desire is kept small, he or she will be relatively easy to experience the overflow.

Let me explain this in another way.

Let us suppose there is certain quantity of substance to be put into one's container. If one's desire is big, he or she will feel that he or she is not filled, thus feeling he or she needs more. On the other hand, if one's desire is small, he or she may feel fully filled, thus overflowing the substance out of his or her heart.

Normally, people are willing and able to share with others to the extent of the overflow and to be thankful to the extent the overflow.

Christians should make conscious efforts to reducing the desire under all circumstances. That is how we could be thankful always more often than not.

Regardless of the size of our containers, however, God's glorious riches can fill and overflow all our containers combined because His glorious riches are far greater and more than anyone can ever imagine.

First, Philippians 4:19 says that He will meet all our needs abundantly according to His glorious riches. All our needs could be tremendous but God's glorious riches will be more than enough to meet and exceed.

Second, God's glorious riches not only provide for our physical needs, but also provide for the "things above", as commanded of Christians according to Colossians 3:1,2. They are made available through God's grace and in Christ. (Ephesians 2:6,7)

That is why someone said that God's GRACE stands for "God's Riches At Christ's Expense." I think it makes perfect sense.

How do you experience God's glorious riches, then?

Let us try to find the answers from Ephesians 3:14-19. This passage suggest three ways:

1. "through the power of the Holy Spirit who is in our inner being, we may be strengthened." The presence and work of the Holy Spirit make it possible for us to experience the glorious riches. The Holy Spirit provides us with the channel to God's power and His riches.

2. "Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith." Christ's indwelling signifies His reigning over our lives and our submission to His authority. This is made possible only when we have genuine faith, not necessarily the faith that saves but the faith that sanctifies. Then, we can fully experience His glorious riches.

3. "we may have power by being deeply rooted and established in love." We also can experience God's glorious riches when we are full of love that has been manifest in our lives, which we do not deserve. Love embraces everything and represents the essence of all riches that are made available by God. We should be deeply rooted in this love.

May we all fully experience and enjoy these glorious riches through the power of the Holy Spirit, genuine submission to the authority of Christ and being deeply rooted in love that encompasses everything! - Jeffrey

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