[ To Increase Greatly ]
Quite often, we do not hear much about this word that actually means a great deal to us in our walk and renewed mind with God. We are to abound in every single thing that we do. God’s kids are not losers, but they are winners. Let’s take a look at a Scripture in Romans which will introduce us to our new topic.
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. -- Romans 15: 13
The verse is telling us clearly that if you walk by the spirit of God and not by the five senses, the God of hope will fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you may abound, to increase greatly, in hope. According to the Lexicon, hope is the expectation of something in the future. Could this be the return of Jesus Christ? Absolutely. And how do we get this hope? Through the power of the Holy Ghost. There are a number of usages for the word pneuma hagion [Holy Ghost]. This particular usage is referring to or as a result of being born again of God’ spirit. Let me put this another way which should help you to clearly understand what you just read. If a person is not born again of God spirit, they cannot have the hope of the return of Jesus Christ. They simply cannot understand the spiritual concepts and they stumble through their life based on only the five senses. They may appear to abound in certain areas of their life, but when they really need power in their life, they have nothing. The well has run dry. I feel that I have to say here that God loves a believer who has a lot of patience. Sometimes it takes a very long time to finally learn a simple principle in God’s Word. But when we learn, I will bet, if I were a betting man, that the angels in heaven rejoice because another believer has been delivered from the power of this world.
Many believers often wonder about what is our purpose in this life. And in I Corinthians, one purpose is specifically stated in the following Scripture. There is a lot of emphasis on the word ‘abound’. Let us study this Scripture in detail.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. -- I Corinthians 15: 58
You should first read verse 57 to understand the word ‘Therefore’. This will help you to understand the verse since ’therefore’ is a conjunction continuing the thought from verse 57. Let’s go over verse 57.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. -- I Corinthians 15: 57
Now the next verse is of course verse 58 and it is much more understandable now. Remember that the Word interprets itself in one of three ways and one of them is in the context. We should give thanks to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. This verse alone speaks about the subject of abounding in spiritual matters. Then the next verse goes on to say ‘Therefore’ or as a result of always being victorious through Jesus Christ and what he accomplished for us, that we should be stedfast, and unmovable. We should always abound in the work of the Lord. But this is not all that God is telling us. He is telling us what the end result will be if we remain unmovable and stedfast. God says that we should realize that all of our work that we do for God is not in vain in the Lord. In other words, there is great profit in what we do for God and God says that we will always abound in the work of the Lord. He does not say once in a while – He says always. Now I need to mention something here that you must learn. Many times we think we are abounding in the work of the Lord, but we are not really listening to true revelation from God. We have to be careful not to be anxious, not to be in a hurry, and to wait on the Lord for Him to move. As you may remember from previous teachings, God does everything at the exact right moment in time. Once you renew your mind to this principle, it will help you greatly in the area of patience.
If you are working for the true God, the other god will do everything he can to work against you. I am going to give you a simple example. Most people are familiar with EBay. I sold something to a person and then gave them all the information pertaining to the shipping which included the tracking number. I have two records of that letter. This person wrote back to me the very next day and asked me if I would send him a tracking number. You see, some people take pleasure in aggravating you. I sent this person so many letters that I think he gave up. You can’t say to God and the situation that you are not abounding. Because there is something that the old devil will do and that is to give you mental tribulation whenever he can. You are not to react in a negative manner and counter that person’s evil with your own evil. The best way is to react with the love of God and to counter everything that person is doing. That’s what I did and it took me some time. But I did something called preventive believing. It’s one of my teachings. Before anything even happened with the delivery of the guitar, I called EBay and explained the whole situation to them and they kept a record of what I said. I have not heard from this person because I think he knows he met his match and nothing was wrong with that guitar. It was a vintage instrument that was 41 years old. You can abound in the work of the Lord and still get mental tribulation from the god of this world. You need to remember this.
So in conclusion, verse 58 says to stay put and not to move away from the Word of God. Because if you do stay put you will eventually abound in the work that you have accomplished for the true God. Your work will not be in vain, but it will always be profitable. When I first understood this Scripture, it was quite a blessing to me. It gave me a lot of answers that I needed to have and I am believing that it will do the same for you.
We are going to stay with the book of Corinthians for the present time. Remember that this is one of the church epistles and it is written directly to born-again believers today.
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation [mental pressure - we are above it] that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. -- II Corinthians 1: 4
The verse seems complicated, but it is not. The first part says that we are comforted in all of our mental pressure by the true God. We are abounding in victory. Because of that, we are able to comfort others which may be in some type of trouble. We can accomplish this because God is comforting us even when we are having difficult times. And it shows another principle that we should strive to master. That is to help others and to get our mind off of ourselves. At times, if we make an effort to help someone even though we are having problems, we get healed and we get delivered. It is because we are giving and giving equals receiving. I, myself, have a tendency to feel sorry for myself when I’m getting mental tribulation from the devil himself. But God has a way out and that is to take that feeling that you have and transfer it to the point where you can help someone else who is also having trouble. You will get your mind off of your own problems and you will be blessed because you are now focusing on helping another person that has some type of problem. I do not like to speak too much and drag out a teaching. But I must tell you something that has just taken place in my life.
It is very hot outside which is limiting me from walking my dog. I always feel that I do not do enough for God. I was not feeling well just a little while ago UNTIL I decided to sit down and put some more work into this teaching. It is rather amazing how different I feel. That sick feeling I had being stuck in this house just went away and God blessed me because I am putting my efforts to help Him and His people by working on this teaching. You see, I got my mind off of myself and onto the Word of God and I got healed.
For as the sufferings of Christ abound in me, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. -- II Corinthians 1: 5
If you are not paying attention, this is the next verse after the verse which we just studied. You can see that the term ‘sufferings of Christ’ is clearly in this verse. Sometimes, as we continue to stand for God and for what Jesus Christ accomplished, we will experience some type of suffering. The world will come at us with everything it’s got and you must be ready for this. You must understand this. The sufferings of Christ may abound in you, however, encouragement and exhortation will also abound as a result of your stand for Jesus Christ. I will share something with you that I learned many years ago and it is a dynamic truth. You are better off to suffer for righteousness sake than for the sake of evil. You should always remember that. It will help you to understand how to deal with tribulation. If you think about it even logically, once you know the Word of God rightly divided, there is no turning back because there is nothing to turn back to. Just stand and don’t move on the Word of God in your life.
The next section can be referred to as ‘joy in suffering’. This sounds like a contradiction of terms, but we will surely understand it once we study God’s Word.
MOREOVER, brethren, we do you to wit [to know] of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. -- II Corinthians 8: 1, 2
These verses seem to be a bit difficult, so we are going to study them slowly and work each word and phrase from these verses. First of all we are able to see that God has bestowed upon the churches of Macedonia where their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. When a person or church is suffering with great affliction, many times the reason can be that the people who belong to this denomination are not tithing. They are not giving of their financial abundance to support their church and this results in disaster or as the verse says, deep poverty. From deep poverty, a lot of good can result because we learn by our mistakes what we should not do and what we should do to renew our mind to the Word of God. I am right on the borderline of guessing at this Scripture. That is private interpretation and is looked down upon by God. What I usually do in this situation is I turn to my ace in the hole and that is The New English Bible translation. This translation is much easier to understand when it comes to a difficult Scripture, so let’s turn there. Before we go there, we are going to look up the word ’liberality’ which is the last word in these two verses. In one area we are talking about deep poverty and right after that the Word is talking about the riches of their liberality. Liberality means anything that causes joy. It is referring to a pleasing work, favor, kindness and benevolence. This is what Jesus Christ wanted for the churches of Macedonia. Now let’s go back to the New English Bible and see if we can get a more understandable translation. The following translation is great, as you will see. I exhort every one of you to purchase a copy of the New English Bible. You will not regret your decision as I will now show you a translation that is much easier to understand.
We must tell you, friends, about the grace of generosity which God has imparted to our congregations in Macedonia. The troubles they have been through have tried them hard, yet in all this they have been so exuberantly happy that from the depths of their poverty they have shown themselves lavishly open – handed. – II Corinthians 8: 1, 2
They have become full of joy and kindness. If you take a look at chapter 9, you will see that the context is talking about financial tithing. I will leave the above verse alone since it leaves out the word ‘abounded’ and that is the topic of our teaching. You can substitute from the New English Bible the words ‘exuberantly happy’ for the word ‘abounded’. I believe that you can see how much more easier it is for you to understand the New English Bible translation. I turn to this translation on very rare occasions and this is one of them. I, myself, have abounded in the depths of despair before I turned to the Word of God. Then I became exuberantly happy because I was able to compare that despair with the joy and happiness of now knowing the Word of God. Can you understand this? I am sure you can if you study the above two verses from both translations. You can abound in despair, but when you turn to the Word of God, God will turn it around so that you can abound in joy and happiness and benevolence. Okay, that was a tough one so let’s move on to the next example which refers to gracious works.
This next example is also in II Corinthians chapter 8.
Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. Therefore as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. – II Corinthians 8: 6, 7
Here we see that it is God’s Will that you, as a Christian believer, shall abound in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all diligence and in your love to us – and that ye abound in this grace, which is divine favor, also. Could it be any clearer than that? One of the great teachers of the Word of God back in biblical times was Titus. He began to teach these believers – he began and his will was to finish it – pertaining to this grace and then he goes on to list each benefit that results from the renewed mind.
As a side note, I’m going to get off the subject just for a minute and show you something that is very obvious in those two verses. You should know by now that words that are in italics are added by the translators. Take a look at those two verses. You can take out every word that is in italics and the verse will still make sense. So remember this when you study the King James Version. It is the only version that will put in italics words that were added by the translators. On some occasions they fit, but on most occasions they cause nothing but problems. It’s just something that you need to remember.
If you haven’t noticed, we are working the subject of ABOUND in small sections. The next section is so very important that you need to know it and you need to apply it someway somehow in your life. I do not know of one ministry on the face of this earth, except my own, that would be logical, rational and godly concerning a tithe. I have been asked by many believers and I am sorry to say that I cannot give them an answer. We are not set up financially to accept tithes from anybody. This is a one office operation run by two people. We actually do not need financial support and we cannot accept it because of legal implications. But there was a time in our lives when we were able to tithe about $500 per month to the ministry that we studied with. Can you imagine that? Financially, we are in fantastic condition. I found myself buying too many material things and now I am trying to sell them. That is because we gave so much that God just laid it back on us more than we can handle and not enough room to keep it. For all of you that want to tithe, you can give to others in different ways. You can help people by maybe giving them some material thing that they need. Use your imagination. But don’t let the devil stop you from tithing. It is one of the principles that destroys him. Let’s take a look at what the Word says.
This verse is in reference to a person who tithes at least 10% of their gross income. And for those of you who said that this principle does not apply in the New Testament, well you’re in for a surprise. I was asked this at one time and this was my answer. If a principle that is mentioned in the Old Testament is not changed in the New Testament, then that principle still applies today.
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things [scratch ‘things’] may abound to every good work: -- II Corinthians 9: 8
How does this take place? The Word tells us this in the context of the chapter. Remember that the Word interprets itself in one of three ways. In this case it is in the context of the chapter. The previous two verses answers all of our questions.
But this I say, he which soweth [gives little] sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. – II Corinthians 9: 6, 7
So now we know that how God is able to make all grace abound toward you. This is only one of the ways, but I experienced it firsthand. I mentioned before that I used to give 10% of my gross income which was the minimum that the Word says I should give. I wound up being top salesman and driving a brand-new Thunderbird. As time went on, I met my wife who had no problems studying and learning and applying the Word. We were then giving at least 13% of our gross income. Just giving it away every single month. As far as I’m concerned right now, we almost have too much money and we definitely have too many material things. Jesus Christ said to travel light and I have something up for sale right now after selling two other items that I was not using. But as time goes on, God teaches you how to abound in your life. The renewed mind takes an enormous amount of time for you to master. The only one that ever had a perfectly renewed mind was Jesus Christ. But as we try, God honors that effort. And if you don’t give up, He will show you how to abound in every single area of your life. This teaching is rather long and I am only through with about half of the Scriptures I would like to go over. So we are going to take this teaching into a part two shortly because I believe it has that much importance. I thank you and God bless you for your attention and for so many people hitting on this website every month. Glory to God. He gives me the ideas and He gets all of the credit. We are going to get away from Corinthians right now as we conclude this Part One and go to another church epistle which was the greatest Revelation ever given to the Church of God and that is the book of Ephesians.
Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence [good sense]: -- Ephesians 1: 8
Here we see another important benefit of wisdom that God will abound toward us as we adhere to His Word. Not only wisdom, but good sense are two more benefits of renewing our mind to His matchless Word. Remember “Abound” means to increase greatly. Don’t we all desire wisdom and good sense? You can only receive it by keeping God first. You should read verse seven which will simplify the context of verse eight. You can read all of man’s philosophical works, and you will never receive Godly wisdom and good sense. You will receive nothing but confusion.
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgement [discernment]; -- Philippians 1: 9
We will abound in the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation and in all knowledge. What knowledge? The knowledge of the Word of God. We will also abound in judgement or discernment. One of the manifestations of Holy Spirit is discerning of spirits – knowing if the presence or thoughts are coming from the true God or the enemy. Is that important? And let’s go back to the beginning of the verse – that your love may abound yet more and more. Remember that the love of God never fails. This is a power-packed verse when you rightly divide it.
END OF PART ONE