Introduction: To abound literally means to go over the bounds. To abound is to overflow; to be plentiful; to exist in large amounts. Men of God cannot be halfway Christians. They cannot go just far enough and then quit. They must overflow. They must go over the bounds in order to lead others to give their all for the Lord.
Abound in Faith:
Colossians 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Abound in Hope:
Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Abound in Love:
Philippians 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment;
1 Thessalonians 3:12 And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:
2 Thessalonians 1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
Abound in Joy:
2 Corinthians 8:2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
The man of God must abound in the Christian graces: faith, hope, love, and joy. People must be able to see these qualities. How can they follow that which they have not seen in you? However, he cannot just have these spiritual fruits in small quantities; he must overflow with them. The zeal of God’s house should eat him up (Psalm 69:9) and consume him (Psalm 119:139).
Abound in the Work:
1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
The man of God must be a diligent servant in the work of the Lord. He must aggressively look for ways to serve more. Paul’s striving to find the next field of labor before he received the vision to go into Macedonia is an excellent example (Acts 16:6-10). He did not wait for God to move him. He moved and expected God to direct him. He was always pushing to go further than before into the regions beyond (2 Corinthians 10:16) where Christ was not named (Romans 15:20). The man of God must have this same diligence and urgency to go do the work of the Lord.
Abound in Giving:
2 Corinthians 8:7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
The man of God must give to the work of the Lord as an example to others. Stinginess is unbecoming in a man of God and will greatly diminish his ministry.
Abound in Consolations:
2 Corinthians 1:5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
The man of God must avoid long-term discouragement. If the consolations of Christ cannot abound in Him, then what can he expect to be the response of those who look to him for an example of strength and guidance? Expect the Lord to allow trials to come into your path so the people you lead can see how to handle such problems. If you mope and groan and cannot be victorious in Christ through a time of trial, then do not expect the people you lead to receive the consolations of Christ. But if you abound in these consolations, some of them will also learn to receive the consolations.
Abound in Fruit:
2 Peter 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The man of God must bear the fruit of the Christian life. This is not measured in material or physical terms. It is seen in personal maturity and personal influence for the cause of Christ. This fruit will be different in different times and in various situations. One man’s fruit will be different from that of another man. But there must be fruit. Long ministries with no fruit of any kind to show are not ministries; they are only a way to use up a lifetime. All men will have times of trial when they listen to the devil’s lie that nothing has been accomplished through their ministry. But in quieter times, a true man of God will see some of the things that God has done through his ministry; he will have fruit.
Jesus told His disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain” (John 15:16). That fruit may be the children you raise up to serve the Lord; it may be a handful of people that grow in the grace of God and help reach others; it may be the souls of those you lead to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. It may be many things. Do not compare with others (2 Corinthians 10:12). But we are promised fruit if we faithfully follow the Lord, “for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9). Determine that by God’s grace you will abound in fruit.
Abound in Blessings:
Proverbs 28:20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
This is not an abounding that the man of God brings on himself by force of will. But faithful, lifetime service to God tends to bring some blessings with it. This is not to say that the man will have financial and physical blessings beyond other men. More often, they are blessings like a level of respect, an influence among the saints, blessings on his family, and other similar blessings.
However, the same man may have health problems and fierce spiritual battles. He may even seem to fail in later years. This is not a straight line of increased blessings. However, faithfulness brings certain rewards from the Lord. The man of God cannot create these blessings and he must not glory in what he has above others. He must simply accept what God has given and fully give God the glory for the blessings.
Abound with Grace:
Philippians 4:12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
Philippians 4:18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
The abounding man of God must be learn to receive abundance just as he learns to suffer need throughout his ministry. The work of the ministry is up and down. The blessings and the trials do not keep a recognizable schedule. He must receive whatever God sends with grace.
He must also realize that all that God does for him and through him is by the grace of God. Paul testified, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Corinthains 15:10). His blessings are not because of his goodness. He must avoid pride in what God has done and maintain his humility throughout his life. If he does not, the Lord may very well bring him back down.
Conclusion: The abundance that comes from God comes in His way and in His time. It is God’s business and the man of God should not worry over this kind of abundance. The emphasis in the life of the man of God must be in the abounding of his Christian life and work. He must love large and live large for the Lord. His zeal for the Lord must be real and consistent. He must give his all in every endeavor. He must live the Christian life to its fullest and allow others to see what that life and its benefits are.