The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish you have just caught."
Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast."
For over a week, I’ve been writing about how to live the abundant life. Today I’m going to show you what happens when we live in the abundance and the provision.
The verse above illustrates the best way to live a life of abundance. Jesus made sure that the disciples lived by that concept. They had been given a great abundance of fish but when they got to shore, there was already fish cooking. That is true abundance – considerably more than enough. Jesus had applied the provision – He had used the fish that He had provided. He didn’t stop there though. He told the disciples to bring from their abundance. They were to give even more than what was provided. That is the concept for us to understand. When we have enough, we are given more. When we are given more, we give even more.
Ever since I began to understand how to live a life of abundance, God has shown me exactly how this works…with milk and with cars!
Earlier this month, I ordered a case of fat-free organic milk. It’s the kind that we don’t need to refrigerate until we use it, which is perfect for my husband and me. They sent it out but it never came. I emailed them and they sent a replacement. I got the replacement but it wasn’t fat-free so another email was sent. This time there was no reply for a week. By now, many people would have been very upset and thinking something like, “This kind of thing always happens to me." Etc. God has been working on me though and I’ve learned to keep my peace in all situations because it’s important to passing our tests and learning our lessons. After a lot of trial and error I’ve finally learned that it’s not worth it to lose your peace over anything – not even milk. :) So after I hadn’t heard from them in a week, I emailed them and told them I was disappointed with my experience with them. This time I got an email back saying they were going to send me the fat-free milk, refund my money and they told me to keep the first case of milk. So now I have 2 free cases of milk. Not too bad, huh? The thing is that they were close to their expiration dates. Some people could see that as a negative thing but I see it as God’s will. I think He did it that way to underscore the concept. We don’t just receive the abundance with gratefulness. We give it away. We will have plenty of milk – an abundance of milk – but we also have a huge abundance to give away as well. We don’t want for milk and neither will the people we bless with the milk.
So the Lord decided to do the same thing to us with cars. My husband works at a car dealership. When he took the job, part of the agreement was that he be given a demo to use since we had to sell our only car. That worked out fine until in a cost-cutting move, they decided to take away the demos for some of their employees – my husband included. Again, we could have gotten upset. We could have gotten worried but we kept our peace. We didn’t let it get to us. My husband didn’t get mad. He just went about his business and kept a good attitude. Pretty soon, people started to come up to him with scenarios that they had thought up to help him with his car issue. Finally the General Manager came to him and told him that he understood that he needed a car and that there were some nice used cars out back that had come in and that he would let him buy whichever one he wanted for the cost they put into it. There was a pristine little 1996 Saturn that he chose. It is in amazingly good condition. It runs well, is good on gas and the price he got it for was amazing too.
Meanwhile, my husband’s father passed away. As tough as that was for us, you guessed it - part of the estate was two cars. Then when my husband got back from Florida and taking part in his father’s affairs, something unexpected happened. He got promoted to a job in his company where he gets a demo to drive again. So we began the year with no cars and in the course of two months, we own 3 cars and have another one for my husband to drive. Not for long though. We know the concept by now. Two of the cars are being given to people who really need them. That is the kind of God we have. He provides but He also pours out an abundance – way more than enough.
So why did all of these things happen to us? It’s simple, really. It’s because we understand the concept and we kept our peace. That is all it takes. It’s not because we’re so special. It’s not because we’re on some advanced level. There is never a hierarchy in God’s Kingdom. There are no levels. A day-old Christian has the ability to comprehend the same spiritual truths as the 70 year-believer. Why don’t we? It’s because we think we have to measure up somehow, some way to a certain unknown ideal. That is how the life of the believer becomes confusing – we’re trying to live up to something and we have no idea what it is. Here’s the truth and the secret all rolled into one: THERE IS NOTHING TO LIVE UP TO! There is only one thing to do and that’s to understand the concept. You just have to be you. Understand how grace works for you. Understand how to live in the abundant life. Understand the love that is for you. Keep your peace, receive it all and then give, give, give.