BOUNTIFUL

Andy Hollifield 4-17-18
Exodus 34:6-7 “And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, (7) Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin,….”
Deuteronomy 28:2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.
I was quite surprised by something I found out while writing this post. The word “bountiful” is only used in the bible 2 times and neither are describing our Lord. The reason I was looking for the word in scripture was because I was thinking how blessed I am by God. I found out Monday evening that a pastor I met in 2016 in Appleton, Minnesota is having to come off of the field. It seems that his daughter has become afflicted with a condition that causes stress induced blindness. Some days it is worse than others. The advice of the doctors was for them to move back south to be closer to family and relieve some of her anxiety. As bad as that is, the Lord knew all of that when he sent him up there to open that church. My heart breaks for that little girl who I think is around 11. It also breaks for Jodie and his wife. I remember all too well the constant trips to the doctors for various things and Tyler being slow to hit his milestones and most of all being for the most part non-verbal until he was about 7. I remember how that even though the Lord gave you peace, there was always that dread of what was coming next and the sense of helplessness at seeing your baby going through stuff and there is nothing you can do about it. Finding out about Jodie made me stop and thank God again for how far he has brought us. Even though we still have to deal with plenty of issues pertaining to autism, that sense of dread and fear isn’t there like it used to be. For that I am truly thankful.
I also sat down last night to pay bills. You may be wondering how anyone could write an encouraging post about paying bills. Don’t get me wrong, I am not tickled pink about having them to pay but I am right tickled that the Lord has blessed us with the means to pay them. We don’t have a fortune but I have come to believe that if we needed one, God would give it to us. I can remember a lot of times when we decided what would get paid and what would have to wait. There have been plenty of times that we have dug change out of the couch too. It was during this time of reflection that I thought about the word “bountiful.” I was thinking how bountiful the Lord is and the first definition just turned my crank and got my motor running. It said, are you ready for this? It said, “liberal in bestowing gifts, favors, or bounties.” Don’t that make you want to shout and just thank God for his goodness? The only thing our God is liberal about is giving blessings and forgiving sin. It went on to say, “munificent; generous; abundant, ample.” When I read that, I started looking for scripture but then I thought that I might do a little better if I knew exactly what all of those adjectives describing my God actually meant. The one I wasn’t familiar with at all was “munificent.” I like it though so if you ever hear me use it you will know what it means. I bet you will like it too. “Extremely liberal in giving; very generous. Characterized by great generosity.” Hallelujah! For God so loved the world that he gave…John 3:16. I like that! Munificent is an adjective describing giving and generosity on steroids! Far more than just ample! “Characterized by great generosity.” How do you like that? James 1:17 “Every” not just some but every “good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no varibleness, neither shadow of turning.” That about sums it up don’t it? “No variableness” meaning he don’t change and “neither shadow of turning.” He won’t never even give the appearance that he is going to change. We would say it like this: “What you see is what you get!” The only thing is that we can’t see it all because we are on the little end of something big!
But wait! If you think that is good, there are more definitions. Who would have ever thought that you could be so blessed reading a dictionary? I reckon my pastor Bruce West was right when I started preaching. He told me to get me a good study bible and a Strong’s Concordance and a good dictionary. He told me I would use those three things more than any other books I could get and he was right. “Abundant” is the next one. “Present in great quantity; more than adequate; over-sufficient.” Way more than enough and then some! “Well supplied with something; abounding.” John 15:7 “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” Not only does he have way more than I will ever need but he will give it to me if I abide in him and ask. I would say that being able to get more than I need of anything I need is being pretty well supplied, wouldn’t you? Then it says about “abundant” that it also means “abounding.” Romans 5:20 “….But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Not just a little but much more. Even “liberally abounded!” Now get this one; “richly supplied, as with resources.” Like the songwriter said; “my Father is rich in houses and land. He holdeth the wealth of the world in his hands.” I got something better than that! He holdeth the wealth of heaven in his hands. If he needed too, he would bankrupt heaven for any one of us that had a need. The only thing is that he don’t need to and heaven has more of everything than we will ever need and can’t be bankrupted.
I have just got to give you another one, I can’t help myself! Resources. Have you ever looked that word up? Let me say this; dictionary.com list 6 definitions. We know that 6 is the number of man in the bible. Now listen to these: ” A source of supply, support, or aid, especially one that can be readily drawn upon when needed.” That’s our God folks! I better not get started on that one. “The collective wealth of a country or it’s means of producing wealth.” We are heirs and joint heirs with Jesus to all of the wealth of that country. The only thing is; it will be the cheapest thing there. The things that men die for like gold; we will be walking on that street paved with it! That country has some wealth don’t it? “Usually resources, money, or any property that can be converted into money; assets.” I would say that if Jesus can send Peter to catch a fish and convert his bait into a piece of money, we don’t have anything to worry about. Besides that, Jesus told the disciples that God knows we have need of food, clothing, and all of those things. “An available means afforded by the mind or one’s personal capabilities.” He rose from the dead. How is that for personal capability? “An action or measure to which one may have recourse in an emergency; expedient.” Shelter, shield, buckler, strong tower, refuge, my rock, anchor, and that is just a few of the words that describe the recourse that we have in an emergency or any other time. You’ll love this last one. “Capability in dealing with a situation or in meeting difficulties.” Just ask all of those that Jesus healed if they think he can handle a situation. Ask Peter if Jesus is a good recourse in an emergency.
That just went all together different from what I had in mind but what I had in mind wouldn’t have blessed me like this did. If you didn’t enjoy it, thanks for indulging me because I love it. Sometimes it is good to be reminded of just how bountiful our God is. If we all stop and think about it; we don’t need to ask anybody about any of this stuff. If we just look in our own life we can find plenty of situation and difficulties that he has not only met but done away with. We’ve all been in trouble enough in our Christian walk that we know he is the best recourse possible in an emergency. His personal capabilities are without limits. Nothing is too hard for the Lord. I started out talking about how bountiful God is. He has took nothing a whole lot of times and converted it into just exactly what I needed. He has enough assets to take care of any need that I might have. My God has drawn out of the wealth of that country more times than I could count to meet my need and there is always more where that came from. Over-sufficient and munificent, remember? He is a source of supply that I have called on in the middle of the night and he has cooled my fever and also that of my son. You talk about aid. How about First Aid? How many times has he come to your aid when you were sick to the point you wondered if you would ever get well? In trouble, how many times have you called on him and got aid faster than you could tell what you needed? He gives aid and is liberal in giving! I guess I better quit now, that’s more than any of us can digest anyway but it sure is good! He’s “Bountiful!” Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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