Abundance in the Father’s House (Pt 3)

Daily Devotion | Day 324

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry” (Luke 15:22-24, NKJV).

Today we continue our study of “Abundance in the Father’s House” by highlighting an important point in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Before we do so, let us make some observations to reinforce the point we are making in this series. What you expect from God is an indicator of who you think He is and what you think He can (and will) do. If you are convinced that He is a God of abundance, you will expect nothing but abundance. And you will receive what you believe. God’s desire is not to bless you a little. That would be against His nature. His aim is to overwhelm you with blessings and to leave you speechless.

Read the Bible attentively from Genesis through Revelation. What you will notice is a pattern of God lavishing His people with an overflow of mercies, favor, goodness, wealth and prosperity. Take Isaac, for example. Once upon a time there was drought in the land where he lived. So, he moved and settled as a stranger among the Philistines in Gerar. This is what happened next: “Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundred fold; and the LORD blessed him. The man [Isaac] began to prosper, and continued prospering until he became very prosperous” (Genesis 26:12-13). Lack, scarcity and stinginess are foreign to the Father. Therefore, when you are dealing with Him, expect abundance only and leave unlimited room for Him to surprise you.

Now let us look at the prodigal son. His life was a mess. But he had one thing going for him. Having lived with his father, he was familiar with life in that house. He knew his father’s house was noted for lavish living, abundance and overflow of good things. This awareness gave him hope. Listen to what he said when he had had enough of hardship, “How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father . . .” (Luke 15:17-18). Even the hired servants in the father’s house enjoyed abundance. Knowing he had lost his position as a son, all he wanted was to be hired as a servant and that would have sufficed for him. To his surprise, however, the father restored him as his son.

In our opening Scripture (15:22-24), notice how the father lavished the son with abundance and royal treatment. He put on him the best robe. He put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. Then he ordered the servants to prepare a party (with the fatted calf) to celebrate the return of his son. The rest of the day was spent in merry making: eating, drinking, singing and dancing.

When all hope seemed lost for the prodigal son, a single thought made the difference: the thought that his father’s house was a house of abundance. This thought fueled his expectation. And from how the story ended, the prodigal son was not wrong in what he believed about his father. Christians can learn a lesson here. That lesson is this: Whatever you desire to see, that is what you should expect. Expectation drives hope. And sooner or later, your expectation will become your reality.

The Father wants to celebrate you with abundance of good things: wisdom, wealth, favor, provision, divine protection, success, peace of mind, joy and overall prosperity. Do not resist abundance. Give God a chance to celebrate you. The state of your life has a lot to do with the state of your mind. Therefore, fill your mind with thoughts of abundance, provision and divine favor. Our Father is still in the abundance business. Expect nothing but abundance.

To be continued tomorrow, God willing.

For further studyIsaiah 55:1-13 and Deuteronomy 8:1-18

Receiving Blessings You Have Not Asked

Daily Devotional: Day 216 | By Stephen Bilson-Ogoe

“And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor, so that there shall not be anyone like you among the kings all your days” (1 Kings 3:13, NKJV).

A lot of Christians pray, but the question is: How many pray well? Praying isn’t always about what you ask. It’s also about what you don’t ask. Praying is more than going through a prayer list. God is not like a grocery store, where people go with a shopping list and check the list as they shop. God wants you to think of Him as your Father. When we get caught up in the ‘prayer list’ mentality, we feel we must mention every point on our list or every desire on our heart to get our prayers answered.

What we need to realize is that God’s love for us is bigger than our prayers. He knows what we need before we ask (cf. Matthew 6:8). When we pray, God is not limited by what we ask or forget to ask. It is His nature to do more than we can ask or imagine (cf. Ephesians 3:20). When this truth settles in your heart, your prayer life will blossom and develop into quality moments of worship, fellowship and intercession.

Today’s opening Scripture is about what God did for the young king Solomon. Shortly after Solomon succeeded David as king, the Lord appeared to him in a dream and told him to ask whatever He wanted. The king could have gone through a long list of things he wanted. But, Solomon asked for one thing only: wisdom. After granting Solomon’s request, note what God says next, “And I have also given you what you have not asked: both riches and honor.” Solomon received blessings he did not ask. It is God’s nature to give, not only what you ask, but also what you have not asked. Therefore, do not limit Him in your heart.

Out of his deep love for God, David planned to build a house (temple) for Him. Although impressed, the Lord wouldn’t let David do it. Instead, God surprised David by giving him an everlasting dynasty (royal house) which is founded upon Jesus Christ, the Son of David (cf. Luke 1:30-33; Matthew 22:41-45; Mark 10:46-52). David didn’t ask for a dynasty, but God gave it anyway; and David was overwhelmed by God’s kindness (cf. 2 Samuel 7:18-29). Abraham wanted a son; God gave him more than a son. He made him the father of all believers, Jews and Gentiles alike (cf. Romans 4:9-12). Abraham did not ask for this blessing, but he received it.

 Hannah wanted a child and even promised to dedicate him to God forever. God gave her more than a child. He gave her Samuel, easily one of the greatest judges and prophets in the history of God’s people. That was not all; God gave Hannah five more children: three sons and two daughters (cf. 1 Samuel 2:21).

 What you need is the kingdom of God spiritually alive in your heart through faith, and to walk faithfully with your God. You will receive blessings you have not asked. As we conclude today’s message, think about the following words of Jesus: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).

God bless you. Amen. 

For further study: Luke 5:1-11          

Jesus Will Exceed Your Expectations

Daily Devotional: Day 140

Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6, NKJV).

A man laid at the gate of the temple gate in Jerusalem called the Beautiful, asking alms from the worshipers. One day, as John and Peter approached, he begged them for alms. Notice that he did not beg for prayer or for healing. It’s an important observation. The Bible says he had been born disabled, unable to walk. Mostly likely, he had accepted his condition and didn’t expect to be made whole. Asking for alms provided him the means to cope and survive. But his whole life was about to change.

Peter had neither gold nor silver, but he had something else to give. In his own words, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And, the man was healed. He expected to receive alms; but what he got was infinitely better. He received healing through the Name of Jesus. Thus, God exceeded the expectations of the man, by saving him from the need to rely daily on the generosity of people to survive.

God doesn’t always answer your specific prayer. He blesses you beyond your request. Whatever your expectations are, they cannot match God’s tender mercies. It’s important therefore to keep your faith alive and open. Don’t set limits for God. The man in today’s story got the surprise of his life. What he thought was an ordinary day turned out to be a day of divine visitation. He had never walked before, and probably never expected to walk. But Jesus surprised him with love and compassion. Know that Jesus is not a therapist. His plan is not to give you coping and survival skills. He is your Savior, so His plan is to bless you with life, dignity and freedom.  

In the Name of Jesus, all things are possible. Each new day is a reason to be hopeful. What are your expectations today? Do you believe that Jesus is able to give you more than what you expect?

May Jesus shine upon you today! Amen.

For further study: Ephesians 3:20-21