Grapes on the Vine, God's Abundant Provision for His People

A daily devotion for February 15th

God is Able

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

2 Corinthians 9:8

Paul begins where we should always begin in our thinking about Christianity — with the power of God: God is able, he says. In many places the church is weak because it has forgotten or lost sight of the power of God. The church has only one kind of power it can operate on, and that is God's power. If it loses that, it is reduced to the same power the world or any worldly organization has — the power of numbers, the power of political maneuvering, or the power of moral constraint. This verse is declaring that we must begin our thinking there: God is able.

It is easy for us to see God's power in nature. I stood beside a mountain lake high in the Sierras on a bright moonlit night and looked out at the lake with the moon shining on its waters. I was surrounded by frowning peaks which were reflected in the waters of the lake. I was moved by the beauty and power of God in nature. I thought of those words in Hebrews that say that the Lord upholds all things by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3b). The great universe is sustained in its complexity by the power of God at work.

Paul also gives us the channel by which this power comes to us: And God is able to bless you abundantly or as the King James Version puts it, all grace shall abound. That is the literal rendering of the Greek. The word is grace. Grace is a general term for all that God has made available to us. It is God's character, God's virtue, all God's being made available to us. Grace has one peculiar mark about it. It is a gift. It cannot be purchased or worked for. It is unmerited. That is why so many Christians do not know anything about the power of God, because that power comes only through the channel of grace. They keep trying to bargain for God's power, but if you bargain for it, then it is no longer grace. To bargain with God is like turning off the tap. You cannot experience the power of God if you are trying to earn it. This is why many Christians cannot get hold of the power of God.

What is all this for in your life? It is that so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. In other words, that you may be engaged in work that blesses, strengthens, and helps others. That is what God is doing in this world. This is the way he expects his people to operate — to have all they need. God is no miser. God does not deal out only so much patience, only so much love, giving only a limited supply. He does not put you on rations and say, Sorry, you can only have a little bit, there's not quite enough. No, you can have all it takes, any time. He will give you exactly what you need, but never too much. My question is this: Is God obtaining his purpose with you? Is it all working out to good works in your life, works that help others, works that minister to the needs of others? That is what God is after.

Lord, you have provided all that I need. Thank you that through your power I am able to abound in every good work.

Life Application

Are you accepting everything that God gives you in his grace and by his power, so that you can extend his grace to others?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

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