I’ve been thinking about this one passage of Scripture found in the book of Genesis for some time now. However, let me backtrack a little bit to a post I wrote earlier last year called “Sipping Saints” – The Christian and Alcohol. In it I quoted from another post someone had recently shared with me by a writer named Bobby Lepinay, in which he pointed out the following:
“Jesus took 6 jars that held about 25 gallons each. That is 150 gallons of the finest wine. A bottle of wine is about 26 oz, making this the equivalent of around 750 bottles of wine. Figure fine wine starting at about $40 a bottle and you have here a $30,000 MIRACLE!!! The point?? OUR GOD IS AN EXTRAVAGANT God!!! He blesses richly, thoroughly”
When Jesus had made the water turn into wine, he made way MORE than enough for the need. This is very similar to the time when Jesus multiplied the loaves and the fishes on the two occasions recorded in the Gospels. Not only did it originally APPEAR as a situation with lack, but he provided MORE than enough–twelve baskets full of leftovers to be exact. This kind of thing is typical in the abundant life of the believer. In John’s Gospel, the only of the Gospel writers who documented the story of the wedding at Cana we also read of Christ’s encounter with the woman at the well:
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14, ESV)
When we come to Him, and drink of His living water, He doesn’t merely quench our thirst, but what He gives us causes us to never thirst again. He more than quenches our thirst. He more than just feeds our hunger.
In The Abundant Life, God’s Touch is More Than Enough
Many of us know the story of Abraham and Sarah and how they were a couple of wrinkled old prunes when they finally had their first child. Everybody knows that Sarah couldn’t conceive, but did you know God also had to heal Abraham? It’s not that obvious in the Scriptures, but the clues are there:
He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. (Romans 4:19, ESV, emphasis mine)
In order for his body to be considered dead, it means it was not producing life, in a manner of speaking. I combine this with how in Genesis 18, when the three men told Abraham and Sarah they’d finally conceive in the next year, Sarah laughed and said
“How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master–my husband–is also so old?”(18:12, NLT)
In order for her to receive pleasure, her husband had to be able to …um. You know. Let’s suffice it to say both of them needed a miracle in their bodies at this point and move on, shall we? Then, after Sarah died,
Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. (Genesis 25:1-2, ESV)
Looks to me like God over healed Abraham, didn’t He?! God didn’t just provide enough healing virtue into Abraham and Sarah’s bodies enough to finally create that spark of life that grew up to become Isaac. Pardon my euphamism, but God didn’t “turn the tap back off” when He was done. Abraham had six more kids in his second century of life with his second wife. God over provided for the need, even if it seemed like a long time coming on the front end of it, in hindsight it looks like God over did it for Abraham.
In The Abundant Life, God More Than Provides
God is not just good, but he is exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or imagine (Eph 3:20). I like what Frank Viola said in a recent blog post of his:
Jesus Christ is still in the business of removing our shame. He is still in the business of supplying our lack. He is still in the business of erasing our disgrace. He is still in the business of reversing human failure. And He is still in the business of filling our old, tiresome earthen waterpots with the satisfying wine of His life.
I’d like to take it a step further and say he’s not just in the business of removing our shame, but replacing it with dignity. He’s not just in the business of supplying our lack, but replacing it with abundance.
Not just erasing our disgrace, but granting us honor and exalting us in His due time.
He’s not just in the business of filling us up, but in creating rivers of living water that would flow out of us and satisfy others as well.
Jesus’ death on the cross wasn’t just a purchase of us where He died for our sins. It wasn’t just to purchase us “enough” for what it cost to redeem us, but he overpaid for us, as well. Who He is, and what He did was more than the payment on the cross that was necessary to purchase sinful man back from the dead. He was also the only one who could even come close, if it were possible, of making ‘adequate’ payment.
But God doesn’t just do adequate. He over does it.
In The Abundant Life, Greater Works Than These Are Done
Also notice how when Jesus told his disciples that where He was going was for their benefit, and that He would send another comforter, the Holy Spirit, He didn’t just give them enough. He gave them abundance and told them not only would they do the same as He had been doing, but greater works (John 14:12).
Do you get the point yet?
In all manners we could speak of, God is a God of abundance.
He didn’t just make a few types of animal species.
He didn’t just make one type of vegetation for us to eat.
He came up with variety.
He didn’t just create one planet, even though we reasonably know mankind was made in His image and is distinct from the rest of creation. He also made galaxies and stars that, if Star Trek is to believed, we’ll never be able to visit or discover all of them.
God just is that kind of God!
If this God is for us, then who can be against us?
Live an abundant life in Him!