OVER-SUPPLYING GRACE

OVER-SUPPLYING GRACE
There once stood a wall Deep and wide, Strong and tall There it stood Built of all our unholiness
But this Man by His blood Broke the wall, Loosed the flood Of the mercies of God to all mankind*
*He Died For Us, words and music by Jimmy Owens, © 1971 and 2003 by Lillenas Publishing Company.

I’ve always loved this song. It reminds me that ever since Jesus cried, “It is finished!” (John 19:30), God unleashed a flood tide of grace upon this world, and that grace has been flowing ever since. Whatever you need today, my friend, Christ has already supplied it through the cross. You can tell yourself, “Man, whatever the situation I am in, God’s supply is there!”

 

Are You Demand- Or Supply-Oriented?

You know, I asked the Lord once what it meant to live under grace. He said, “When you are conscious of My constant supply to you, you are living under grace. Conversely, when you are conscious of the demand put on you to achieve, you are living under the law.” Simply put, the principle of grace is supply, while the principle of the law is demand. The law says, “You shall…You shall not…You shall…” But under grace, God says, “I will…I will…I will…” (Hebrews 8:10–12) Can you see the difference? Under grace, God is the one doing all the doing and supplying, not you. Praise God, this is our relationship with Him under the new covenant of grace!

When you are demand-oriented, you see everything as a demand placed on you—“I must do this…I must do that…” The result? You feel stressed and pressurized to perform, meet people’s expectations and achieve results. But when you are living under grace, you see the rich supply from God providing whatever you need for your situation despite the demands. The result? You walk in peace and always see God’s provision because your eyes are focused on His unfailing supply. As we deal with life on a day-by-day basis, we can be demand-oriented or supply-oriented. So let me ask you this: Are you demand-oriented or supply-oriented?

 

Be Supply-Conscious

My friend, when you’re supply-oriented, you’ll see God work miracles in your life. Not long ago, I went to Universal Studios on the island of Sentosa, Singapore, with my family. While I was having some food at a food court, a lady who worked there walked right up to me and greeted me, “Pastor Prince!”

So I said, “Hi,” and she said, “Wow, I’m so glad to see you here.” She talked with me a little and then said, “You know, I’ve been having this pain in my back for the past few days. I prayed and asked God to send me someone and He sent you. Will you please pray for me?”

I looked around me. The setting wasn’t “right”. There wasn’t anointed worship music playing in the background. In fact, the food court was noisy with the chatter of people and the clatter of cutlery and crockery. I thought to myself, “You want me to pray for you here? Now?”

Then, I remembered what the Lord had been telling me about being supply-oriented. So I stood up, placed my hand gently on her elbow and said, “Lord, I just thank You for Your supply of grace. I just thank You that there’s more grace here than her pain. I just thank You that You are healing her back now, adjusting and restoring whatever needs adjusting and restoring. I thank You that she’s completely healed in Jesus’ name.” No fanfare, no feeling holy goose bumps running up and down my arms, just a simple, honest prayer. In the midst of the setting of that ordinary, noisy food court, I just saw the supply there for her healing.

After praying for this precious lady, I said to her, “Okay, don’t worry about the pain anymore. Don’t be conscious of it. Just ignore it. The Lord has healed you already.” She thanked me and went on talking about her family and other things. Then, all of a sudden, she said excitedly, “Oh, hey, it’s gone! The pain that’s been there for a number of days is GONE!”

I remember just standing there, looking at her, warmed by God’s love for the dear lady and amazed at the sheer simplicity of His grace toward us.

My friend, right in the ordinariness of everyday life, you can receive from the supply that is constantly flowing toward you. Do you need healing today? Do you need wisdom? Peace for a troubled heart? You can receive it right now if you can see His supply all around you, giving you what you need. It doesn’t matter where you find yourself. You don’t have to wait for the “right” time, place or external circumstances when it comes to asking and receiving from God. Simply look away from the demand, see His supply and receive by grace what you need.

 

Grace Over-Supplies Your Need

Jesus walked in supply-consciousness. In the account of the feeding of the 5,000, we see how the Lord was clearly conscious of heaven’s supply in the face of scarcity. (John 6:1–13)

When Jesus saw the five loaves and two small fish, unlike His disciples, He didn’t see the impossible demand placed on Him—feeding more than 5,000 hungry people with a boy’s small lunch. He saw the supply. His disciples, on the other hand, saw the demand. It bothered them so much that they urged Him to send the people home. They were concerned that they did not have enough food for everyone nor did they have enough money to buy that much food.

But because Jesus saw the supply, He was able to thank the Father for the little that was in His hands, and the little multiplied and multiplied and kept on multiplying! Not only were the people fed till their bellies were bulging, but there were also 12 baskets full of leftovers! What an awesome miracle! When grace supplies, it’s always exceedingly, abundantly and above all you can ever ask or imagine! (Ephesians 3:20)

Pause and think about this for a moment. Are you facing a five-loaves-and-two-small-fish situation in your life right now? Is there a situation of scarcity in your finances or family life? Are you struggling to find enough time to get your work done as well as spend quality time with your family? Whatever your area of lack, take some time to reread the last two paragraphs, and saturate your heart and mind with the largeness of God’s heart and supply toward you. See the abundance Jesus wants to bless you with instead of your impossible situation and receive His supply with “12 baskets full of leftovers” in every area of insufficiency!

 

The Reason For Our Supply

Do you know why we can see that the supply is all around us? It’s not because we are good or deserving. It’s because 2,000 years ago, a lonely and beaten-beyond-recognition figure hung on Calvary’s cross. Jesus chose to take our place and become a curse for us. Bearing our sins and our curse, He was cut off from all the blessings of God. He was cursed so that we can be blessed. He cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46) so that today, you and I can say, “My Father, my Father, why have You so blessed me?”

He was in darkness, so that we can be in eternal light. He took all that we deserved, so that we can be supplied with and receive all that He deserves all the time!

 

Grace Supplies Because Love Is Always Giving

My friend, it’s not hard to understand how the grace of God is always supplying when you know that the essence of God Himself is love and that LOVE GIVES. The Bible says in two places that “God is love”. (1 John 4:8, 16) Interestingly, the Hebrew word for “love” is made up of three Hebrew letters: Aleph, Hey andBet (note that Hebrew reads from right to left).

In other words, put Hey (grace) back in the centre of the word for “father” and you get back the word for “love”. Can you see it? In the midst of your Father’s heart is love. The Father is all about love!

Now, what does love do? John 3:16 tells us “For God so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son…” Love gives! Love doesn’t take. Love gives! In fact, love gives more than you can take! So God, who is defined as love, and who personifies perfect love, is always giving, giving, giving.

If you read the Gospels, you’ll find that during His earthly ministry, God the Son was always giving. Jesus meant every word He said when He said, “…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28) Even in His glorified, resurrected form in heaven, He remains a servant forever, signified by the golden girdle around His waist. (Revelation 1:13, KJV) Yes, He is Lord of lords, King of kings, but according to His Word, He is also a servant who delights in serving and giving to you!

 

The Personal Touch

Throughout the Gospels, you’ll always find Jesus preaching, teaching and healing, and He often gave more than just health when He healed the sick. I am reminded of the poor leper who came to the Lord and asked Him to make him clean. The leper must have been desperate—he not only broke the law when he left the leper colony to look for Jesus, but he was also risking his life because he could have been stoned to death for breaking the law and endangering the health of others.

When the leper met Jesus, he worshipped Him and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” I’m so glad that Jesus didn’t deal with him according to the demands of the law. He didn’t say, “How dare you break the rabbinical law and come out into the open? You’re a sinner! You’re unclean! Get lost before the people stone you to death!” No, His grace was flowing abundantly toward the man. His supply of healing was there for the taking.

So, filled with compassion and unconditional love, Jesus put out His hand and touched the leper, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately, the man was healed. (Matthew 8:1–3) Notice that Jesus touched the leper first before He healed him. Now, why is this significant?

Simply put, that simple touch restored a sense of humanity and dignity to the man who had not been touched for a long time. Because of his unclean and probably physically repulsive condition, no one wanted to touch, let alone embrace or kiss, him. He himself could not touch, hug or kiss his loved ones. Can you imagine what that does to the self-esteem and sanity of a human being? Jesus alone understood that he had not just been sick, but also alienated and dehumanized.

I want you to see that love gave the man more than just health. Jesus knew that the leper needed more than just physical healing, so He gave above and beyond what the leper had hoped for. Besides health, Jesus gave him back his dignity and the joy of being able to embrace and be embraced by his friends and loved ones. Again, we see the over-supplying love and grace of our Lord!

 

Love Always Gives More Than What You Ask For

That’s the thing about Jesus—when He gives, He always over-supplies! He doesn’t know how to give you just enough. We see this again when He healed the man with the withered hand. (Luke 6:6–10) When everyone else around them saw only the hopelessness of the situation (how do you heal a witheredhand?), Jesus saw the supply for the man to be made whole. He saw heaven’s supply of healing all around that man and his withered hand—and that withered hand became replaced with a whole, healthy one.

In the Gospel of Luke, it says that it was the man’s “right hand” that was withered. Now, whether or not he was right-handed, losing the use of one hand must have greatly affected his ability to make a living. And when a person can’t really make a living, when he can’t provide enough for his family, he loses the respect of others, even his loved ones. So when Jesus healed the man, He gave the man more than just a new right hand. He gave him back his livelihood, and with that, his self-worth and the respect of others. That’s my Jesus! That’s the style with which He loves us and supplies our needs!

My friend, maybe you need a breakthrough today. Maybe you’re discouraged because you feel that your situation is hopeless. Or like the two men in the above accounts, maybe you suffer from a physical condition and want to see healing and restoration. Listen, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. The same way He had compassion on the leper and the man with the withered hand and over-supplied their needs is the same way He has compassion on you and wants you to experience His oversupply. Don’t focus on the hopelessness of your situation. Instead, see the oversupply of grace and expect God to give to you beyond your wildest imaginings!

 

Faith Takes From The Greater One

The Lord said this to me once: “Grace supplies, love gives, faith takes”. What does faith do? Faith takes. That’s our part as believers. Our part is to take. I’m not talking about greed. I’m talking about understanding what faith simply is—faith is the hand that takes from the hand of God.

“But Pastor Prince, the Bible says that it is more blessed to give.” (Acts 20:35)

Yes, that’s true when it comes to our relationship with man. With our fellow man, it is more blessed to give than to receive. But when it comes to God, we please Him when we receive from Him. The Bible says that the lesser is always blessed by the greater. (Hebrews 7:7) Obviously, between God and us, God will always be the greater one. So when we humble ourselves and take our place as the receiver, we’re letting God be God in our lives and He loves that.

“Well, Pastor Prince, what about giving to God and to others? Isn’t that important?”

My friend, when you are blessed by God, when you experience His love and unmerited favor, you can’t help but want to serve Him and bless others. It’s when we remember that it all came from Him first that we’ll be giving to and serving Him and others out of the right spirit. Like David, we’ll say, “…For all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You.” (1 Chronicles 29:14)

 

‘Oh You Of Little Faith’

Our problem with faith—like Jesus’ disciples—is that we take too little from the Lord. What did Jesus usually say to His disciples when He chided them? He usually said, “Oh you of little faith.” Little faith? What was Jesus telling them in essence? I believe that He was telling them, “I am so full of supply, why do you take so little from Me?”

Even Jesus’ chiding of His disciples is so full of love and encouragement! Notice He didn’t say, “Oh you of little fasting,” or “Oh you of little prayer.” He said, “Oh you of little faith.” He was telling them, “Draw morefrom Me, take more from My supply.” Oh, what a beautiful Savior we have!

So, my friend, our faith is small when we take only a little from God. When we take little from Him for our needs, we must be taking from somewhere else. This means that our faith is in someone or something else and God is just a “standby” or “last resort”. That should not be the case. God should always come first. Man will fail and disappoint you, but God will never!

Typically, most of us are not good receivers. When you give someone a gift, you often hear them say, “Oh no, you shouldn’t have. I don’t deserve this.” We all need to ask God to make us better receivers, to enlarge our capacities to receive not based on how deserving we think we are, but based solely on His grace to supply and give.

 

Take As Much As You Want!

Because we are such poor receivers, when we do take, we take a little or just enough. We tell ourselves that that’s the polite and refined thing to do. Now, again, I’m not talking about hoarding and being greedy, especially at the buffet table! I’m talking about how God’s nature or style is to give you as much as you want.

Let’s look at the feeding of the 5,000 again. I want you to see something:

John 6:11–12
And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.”

The men, women and children ate “as much as they wanted” until “they were filled”! “Sir, you want more bread? Here, have as much as you want.” “Uncle Peter, can I have some more fish?” “Sure boy, have two more, no, have three more!” Everyone ate to his heart’s content!

Maybe you have been told this: “It all depends on God’s will. Sometimes He supplies more, sometimes He supplies less. God works in mysterious ways.” Yet, when you read the Bible for yourself, you’ll find that God’s style is to give us as much as we want. The supply only stops when we say, “Enough, Lord! Stop!”

 

Living A Life Of Thanksgiving

So here’s the bottom-line: In God’s kingdom, the supply never runs out. It only stops, as far as you are concerned, when you tell God to stop supplying. You decide. As your loving heavenly Father, God gives lavishly and freely to you. And He can do this judiciously because of His Son’s finished work at the cross. God does not give with a miserly hand. He is not cheap or stingy. God loves you and His love gives. His love over-supplies.

Your part is just to exercise faith by taking from God. People often say, “Depend on God. Depend on God.” Sometimes, this sounds a bit abstract. How do you depend on God? You choose to see His loving heart and generous supply when others see only the demand. And you reach out in faith and take from God.

When you realize that it’s all about God’s love and undeserved favor toward you, you’ll be thanking God all the time. Instead of complaining and being stressed out when you are demand-centered, you’ll be at rest and have more than enough to give to others. My friend, may you choose to live in the realm of God’s constant supply and lavish love!

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