Radical Abundance & The Body of Christ
Christians can be the most jealous people; competing for a place of importance in the church, trying to look or sound more spiritual than everyone else. We can spend more time hoarding important positions and accolades for ourselves than simply giving out of a heart of abundance. It’s almost like we think God has just a few blessings and abilities that he ekes out to the few so we’ve got to hustle and grab all we can get.
But God has provided a better way. Let’s look back at story I’ve talked about in previous blogs found in Luke 5. Jesus had been teaching at the end of the sea and things are about to get interesting:
4 When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” 6 And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking. 7 So they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”
9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” 11 So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him.
There’s a crucial message in here for us about the nature of God’s abundance and how the Body of Christ should work. When these guys were radically obedient to God, just responding to and doing the crazy things he told them to do, they not only caught a few fish - which would have been pretty cool in and of itself - they caught so many fish they started to sink! And not only that, but there was enough abundance that they called their friends and partners over to get in on the haul. Both boats were overflowing with God’s provision and every one of them got to partake in the bounty.
I love how every person around Simon and the disciples was blessed just by hanging around them. You see, that’s how God’s idea of abundance and community really works.
Instead of competing with other believers to be the most spiritual, the most gifted, or to have a role of significance, realize that God is a God of MORE THAN ENOUGH!
Instead of being jealous of others’ abundance, get busy surrounding yourself with people you want to be like, people who are stepping out in faith and being radically obedient to all that God says. When they get blessed and honored, you can be like that nearby boat in Luke 5, and rejoice that you get to benefit from their blessing.
We’ve got to get over this self-centered attitude where we try to build our own Kingdom and we have to put on the mindset of Christ and desire to build kingdom of God together. I celebrate other people’s gifting and get excited when my brother or sister in Christ succeeds. Because when they are blessed, I am blessed. When they have fish flowing like crazy out of their boat, I get to enjoy the abundance!
The last part of Luke 5:11 says, “So when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him,” When each of us lays down our selfish ambition and fears of insignificance and just follows after Christ together, we truly put Christ display; an advertisement for his abundance and his blessings for all to see.