THE BLESSING OF ABUNDANCE
I would like to start with a quote from Ephesians 1:3-10, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth."a
This month we are focusing on being grateful for our blessings. For the past two weeks, I have used a wise Yiddish adage as our theme quote: "If we thanked God for the good things, there wouldn't be time to weep over the bad."
This month we have been filling our time with gratitude as we thank God for our many blessings and watch them increase tenfold. We have focused on the blessings of friendship and health.
Today, as we prepare for the Thanksgiving Holiday without family gatherings, we give thanks for the many ways in which we are abundantly provided!
Jeremiah 29:11, "For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your prosperity and not for harm, to give you a future with hope."b
I want you to think for a few moments about ALL the abundance you have in your life right now - in whatever areas you choose. Friends, health, ideas, love, creativity, money, purpose, clients, etc. Get a few things in mind.
Stop now for a moment and feel the vibration where you are. Doesn't it feel light? Inviting. Energized. I can just hear the Universe humming with excitement with the wider openings for abundance you have created.
Because here is a spiritual truth: We live in a sea of inexhaustible Substance. Substance is the invisible essence, the living energy or the pure potential that stands behind all form.
Here's a very important thing to understand: God does not GIVE us the substance to meet our dreams and desires.
No, God IS the ever-present, invisible substance that is ready to pour into form. And when we get in vibrational alignment with our dreams and desire, it must pour forth into those forms. That is the way Life works.
Can I get a "Thank you, God!" on that one?
Do you want more abundance in your life - then begin by being grateful!
The quote from the 13th Century German mystic Meister Eckhart always pops up at this time of year: "If the only prayer you ever said was "thank you," that would suffice."c
And you felt the wonderful vibration of gratitude just a few moments ago - in fact, it's still resonating! I can feel it!
This morning I want to share with you four really practical, specific ways you can set up the vibration of gratitude around abundance. It takes paying attention to what's going on inside of you or coming out of your mouth and then making a conscious shift, but I have all the confidence in the world that each of you is up to it!
1. ATTITUDE ABOUT ANOTHER'S SUCCESS
- Attitude About Another's Success
- Attitude About A Big Bill
- Attitude About Money in General
- Attitude When You Have a Need
1. Attitude About Another's Success
Have you ever had the experience where a friend of yours was telling you about something really wonderful that happened to him/her - a great abundance blessing - and you heard yourself say (aloud, muttered under your breath, or just in your head), "Gee, it must be nice!"
Do you realize that when you do that you are proclaiming, even if you say you are just joking, that you can't even imagine what it would be like to have or to do whatever it is they have received or achieved, and you are implying that you likely won't ever.
I ask you, do you really think that that energy and the vibration you put out into the Universal Soup of Creativity will create a life of dreams and desires fulfilled?d
What could you say instead that would create an energy of joy and gratitude in you and put you in vibrational alignment with whatever abundant dreams you have? Think about it.
Some examples would be:
"I'm so happy for you and grateful for the way God works!"
"Congratulations! How thankful I am for God's blessings!"
"Way to go! You must be so grateful, and I'm grateful for you!"
By the way, it is OK to correct yourself mid-sentence when you catch yourself saying things like "It must be nice." I do it all the time!
2. ATTITUDE ABOUT A BIG BILL
2. Attitude About A Big Bill
Here's your second one. Have you ever groaned or had a moment of panic when a cashier or technician adds up a particularly large bill for you? Or when you receive a large statement in the mail?
Take yourself back to a moment such as that for just a second. Where is your thinking? If you are concerned, wondering how in the world you are going to pay for this, in that moment, you are tapping into a belief you hold about money -- that money is tight and hard to come by and that the prospect of things changing in this regard is slim to none! And, of course, such beliefs only perpetuate those very circumstances.
To spark change, it must come from within. It must exist in thought, despite the circumstances that presently surround you.e
You know, the conductor of the orchestra must turn his back to the crowd. Discouraging though a situation may be, it's only made worse if you respond with despair and an attitude that things will never change. We increase that which we give attention to.
The late Rev. Peggy Bassett often said: "I am totally free to think independently of any condition in my life."f
So, here's something to try. Whenever you get an unexpected bill, here's what I want you to say out loud:
"Phew! I'm so grateful I'm rich!"g
OR . . .
"Wow! I am so excited to see how God works this out!"
I want us to practice this right now, in this moment. Take the situation I asked you to think about a moment ago - remember, you are totally free to think independently of any condition.
In this moment, right here and now - get it in mind, ready? And now say aloud: "Phew! I am so grateful I'm rich!"
OK, let's try the other one on for size. Get the same issue or another one in mind and say aloud: "Wow! I am so excited to see how God works this out!"
3. ATTITUDE ABOUT MONEY IN GENERAL
3. Attitude About Money in General
Now, I ask you to take stock of all your references to money. What do you say about money? "Oh, it's only money!" This is a subtle put-down. It is just such flippant attitudes toward money that create a resistance, which blocks the flow of the substance current. "You can't be spiritual and have a lot of abundance." "Money is evil." "Money doesn't grow on trees." And on and on and on. You know them!
But here's the spiritual truth -- Money is God in action! Feel good about making contact with the divine current. Handle the currency with the joyous feeling that you are in the flow.h
Here's your new statement about money in general. Ready? "I serve God. Money serves me."
4. ATTITUDE WHEN YOU HAVE A NEED
4. Attitude When You Have a Need
When you have a need you're not sure how you're going to meet, first be grateful for what you have now in connection with that need.
The greatest example we have of this is found at Matthew 14:19. It reads: "And he ordered the people to sit down on the ground, and he took the five loaves of bread and the two fish, and he looked up to heaven and blessed them. . . "i
The Greek word used that was translated into "blessed" in the traditional passage can indeed mean blessed, but it also means: "To praise, to speak well of, or to give thanks for."
And, of course, we know what happened then. A very, very small amount of physical food fed a very large and very hungry crowd of people - with food left over. Jesus was grateful for the abundance that he had, knowing that the act of giving thanks increased and multiplied the abundance.
So, whenever we are looking at life and not feeling as abundant as we would like, this is what to say: "Thank you, God, for all my good! I am richly blessed."
An important note here about this entire topic of creating greater abundance in our lives: It's not the demonstration that counts [but demonstration bolsters our belief and faith]; it's what we become in the process. It is true that we can activate the law through our thoughts and words to demonstrate things we desire, but how much greater it is to use our thoughts and words to demonstrate the Spirit of Truth, to use the Truth not just to get, but to arrive at the place of awareness of the Presence of God in, as and through all things!
Charles Fillmore, Prosperity, p. 68: "Poverty or prosperity, it all depends on you. All that the Father has is yours, but you alone are responsible for the relationship of the Father's good to your life. Through conscious recognition of your oneness with the Father and his abundance, you draw the living substance into visible supply. Do not hesitate to think that prosperity is for you. Do not feel unworthy. Banish all thoughts of being a martyr to poverty. . . . Overcome any leaning in that direction and every belief that you were meant to be poor. No one is ever hopeless unless he is resigned to his imagined fate. Think prosperity, talk prosperity, not in general but in specific terms, not as something for the other fellow, but as your very own right."j
Today we've discovered several new ways to think and talk about our abundance as your very own right:
- When hearing of someone else's good fortune, think & say:
- "I'm so happy for you and grateful for the way God works!"
- When faced with an unexpected expense, think & say:
- "Phew! I am so grateful I'm rich!" Or0
- "Wow! I am so excited to see how God works this out!"
- When you notice any negative attitude about money, think & say:
- "I serve God. Money serves me."
- When you have a need you're not sure how you're going to meet, think and say:
- "Thank you, God, for all my good! I am richly blessed."
Sometime ago, I ran across a poem - or perhaps lyrics to a country tune - written by that very prolific author Anonymous. I knew it would work beautifully as our conclusion this morning, except for one problem. It had the basic "life is hard" message that so many country songs do.
So I changed it a bit, and here's what we have. It is a way to live in gratitude for all your abundance! It's entitled:
My Cup Has Overflowed
My life is full of fortune
I'm blessed with friends and such
I've always been a magnet
I'm never out of touch.
And as I walk my path
I'm reaping better than I sowed
I'm drinking from my saucer
'Cause my cup has overflowed.
My ride's not always easy
And sometimes the going's tough
But my focus stayed on Spirit
Makes me rich enough
I thank God for the blessings
And the mercies that's bestowed
I'm drinking from my saucer
'Cause my cup has overflowed.
At times when things go wrong
My faith can wear quite thin
But all at once the dark clouds break
And the sun peeps through again.
So Lord, I celebrate
Each of the tough rows that I've hoed.
Now I'm drinking from my saucer
'Cause my cup has overflowed.
For Spirit gives me strength
When the way grows steep and rough
I count each of my blessings
I know I'm blessed enough
I'll never be too busy
To help others bear their load
For I'll keep drinking from my saucer
'Cause my cup has overflowed.
And for this overflowing cup of God's infinite abundance, we can say together "Thank you, God! Thank you, God! Thank you, God!"
Let's end in prayer:
Dear Father, Mother, God -
I surrender my financial affairs and concerns about money to your Divine care and love.
I ask that you remove my worries, anxieties and fears about money, and replace them with faith.
I know and trust that my debts will be paid and money will flow into my life.
I have only to look to nature to see proof of the abundance you provide.
I release all negative thoughts about money, and know that prosperity is my true state.
I commit to being grateful for all that I now have in my life.
I learn to manage my finances wisely, seeking help where needed.
And finally, I ask you to help me understand my purpose in life and to act on that purpose with courage and strength. I know that prosperity will come, in part, by doing work I love. Please help me use my skills and knowledge to be of service in the world.
Thank you, God.
dparaphrased Infinite Possibilities Mike Dooley, p. 42
eparaphrased Infinite Possibilities Mike Dooley, p. 43
fRev. Peggy Bassett
gparaphrased Infinite Possibilities Mike Dooley, p. 43
hparaphrased Spiritual Economics Eric Butterworth, pg. 153
jCharles Fillmore, Prosperity, p. 68