Abundance in the Lord's Terms
by Bishop Jerry Sherer
There are those who have walked the earth with great abundance but were individuals who have actually had very few material possessions: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, King David, and Lehi, to name a few and who testified that in order to have True Life, there must be a focus on things much higher than the treasures of this earth. Those who have True Life may have possessed treasures, but they were not possessed by them.
Alma 1:40-47: "And they did impart of their substance every man according to that which he had, to the poor, and the needy, and the sick, and the afflicted; And they did not wear costly apparel, yet they were neat and comely; And thus they did establish the affairs of the church; and thus they began to have continual peace again, notwithstanding all their persecutions. And now because of the steadiness of the church, they began to be exceeding rich; having ABUNDANCE of all things whatsoever they stood in need; An abundance of flocks and herds, and fatlings of every kind, and also ABUNDANCE of grain, and of gold, and of silver, and of precious things; and abundance of silk and fine twined linen, and all manner of good homely cloth. And thus in their properous circumstances they did not send away any who were naked, or that were hungry, or that were athirst, or that were sick, or that had not been nourished; And they did not set their hearts upon riches; therefore they were liberal to all...And thus they did prosper and become far more wealthy than those who did not belong to their church."
The question before us is, does this still apply to the church today? If we apply this principle and step out in faith, should we expect the same results, the same blessings? I believe the answer is yes!
There should be an ABUNDANCE for everything God calls us to do. We must learn to live our lives more simply and, in turn, give more generously. We are living in a day in which we are engaged in a great spiritual battle that requires great resources. With every purchase we make, we must ask ourselves the question, "Is this necessary? How will this purchase contribute to the Kingdom?"
The Scriptures are full of references proving that mankind's tendency in abundance is to believe we deserve the credit for what we have and to grow proud and thankless. "You deserve a break today." "Have it your way."
Mark 10:30: "But there are many who make themselves first, that shall be last, and the last first."
Psalms 52:7: "Lo, the man who made not God his strength; but trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness."
We who live on the "LAND OF THE CONVENANT" make the mistake in thinking we're not really rich. But we are wrong! Even the poorest Americans have access to benefits and luxeries most of the world does not. The poorest Americans are easily in the upper 20% of the world's wealthy.
If God called a fool the man who built larger barns, will our obituary show that we have been rich towards ourselves (foolish) or rich toward God (wise.) Just as Moses discovered, God could deliver the Israelites out of Egypt in one night, however it took two generations to remove Egypt out of the Israelites.
The Lord has commissioned us over and over in the revelations given to the Church, especially the Remnant, to "prepare the Bride," to bring her out from her love affair with Bablyon. He tells us through His Word how He desires to live with us and His desire for the Kingdom. It should be easy, but seems so hard.
The time has come for us to experiment more fully upon His Word, that we understand that any ABUNDANCE we have belongs to the Lord. We must be a people willing to sacrifice all so that we can receive the blessing of his Kingdom He so longs to share with us.
A number of years ago I discovered the secret to success as found in Mosiah 1:55-56: "And behold, all that he requires of you, is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if you would keep his commandments, ye should proper in the land; And he never doth vary from that which he hath said; there, if ye do keep his commandmentments, he doth bless you, and prosper you." May this be so!