Embracing Grace: Abundance Mindset

A 365 Day Devotional Journal

Day 85

Scripture: Proverbs 31:10-31; Philippians 4:8-13; Hebrews 10:38; Habakkuk.

Photo courtesy of Petr Kratochvil. Public Domain

An abundance mindset is more than mere assurance God will meet my needs.

It is walking in peace (an absence of fear) coupled with a thankful heart that despite how things look around me I know my God (who is Love) will walk beside me, bear my burdens with me and make a way for me where there seems to be no way, therefore I rejoice.

Now that was a mouthful.

True. I’m not always eloquent.

Now, if I were a mathematical person (which I am not, despite the occasional references to the stuff – I married a walking calculator, It rubbed off,) I would write it like this:

Abundance mindset = peace walk + thankful heart + (knowing God is with me x trusting Him) + rejoicing

Why don’t we take a look at the Word and see if it bears this out?

Photo copyright © 2011 by James Fischer. All rights reserved.

My first thought is to peek into the life of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31. This is not your average, run-of-the-mill kind of lady but one Solomon calls virtuous. Lest I scare off the more feminist minded of my readers, keep in mind that this was first and foremost instruction Solomon gave to his sons and if you look at it closely, you will see that Solomon is talking about her spiritual walk, not about her being some supersized-Suzie-homemaker…

A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman–who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely, so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil. She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her. She seeks out wool and flax and works with willing hands [to develop it]. She is like the merchant ships loaded with foodstuffs; she brings her household’s food from a far [country]. She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks.  She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard. [S. of Sol. 8:12.] She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm. She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good; her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the night [of trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt, and distrust]. She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. She opens her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her filled hands to the needy [whether in body, mind, or spirit]. She fears not the snow for her family, for all her household are doubly clothed in scarlet. She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry.

Photo courtesy of Yana Ray. Public Domain.

Her clothing is of linen, pure and fine, and of purple [such as that of which the clothing of the priests and the hallowed cloths of the temple were made]. Her husband is known in the [city’s] gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. She makes fine linen garments and leads others to buy them; she delivers to the merchants girdles [or sashes that free one up for service]. Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]! She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction]. She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat. Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her, [saying], Many daughters have done virtuously, nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], but you excel them all. Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised! Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates [of the city]! 1

I absolutely love how the Amplified Bible phrases this passage and included the entire section simply because it so completely describes the abundance mindset and how it is something that cannot be “conjured” up out of thin air.

It must begin in the heart.

The heart, the heart, the schmeart. There you go harping on again about the heart.

I know. It is the foundation of our life on earth, where on earth God lives.

To the pure all things are pure. Photo copyright © 2011 by James Fischer. All rights reserved.

Funny thing about the Amplified Bible. I cannot tell you how many people I have run into who for one reason or another seem to think it is beneath them to refer to or own an Amplified Bible. And of all the translations, transliterations, or paraphrases of the Word, it is the only one that literally took me years (as in nearly half a century) to fully appreciate and be able to sit down and read without growing impatient.

Hmm, that’s odd. Why do you suppose that is?

Well, I think it is because my eyes glaze over when I see all the unnecessary parenthetical inserts. It’s not like I’m stupid. I get it. I don’t need all that superfluous fluff.

Maybe.

Or maybe it is because the Amplified strikes a nerve most people cannot or will not deal with. Maybe it is because this version of the Bible is so abundantly clear that we now have no “fudge” room for sin.

Now don’t crucify me. It is just a thought. I’m in the same boat with you.

Back to Proverbs 31. In the New King James, it opens with “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.”2

Copyright © 2007 Bureau of Land Management, Utah State Office.

Virtuous is the adjectival form of the noun, virtue. Virtue is “moral excellence; goodness; righteousness.” It is “conformity of one’s life and conduct to moral and ethical principles; uprightness; rectitude.”3 Virtue is “the quality or practice of moral excellence or righteousness.” It is “any of the cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance) or theological virtues (faith, hope, and charity.)”4 The word, virtue, in the early 13th century, meant “moral life and conduct, moral excellence,” originating from Old French vertu and from Latin virtutem (nom. virtūs,) manliness, courage, from vir, man. We derive the word virile from this Latin word.5

On a side note, I find it intriguing that a passage of Scripture seemingly directed at women opens with a word (virtuous) originating from, or taken out of the Latin word, vir, for man.

Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she was taken out of Man.”6

My old friend, the humble dictionary, shows me that this usage of virtuous in Proverbs 31:10 clearly points to the spiritual walk of the person in question, in this case, the “virtuous wife.” Rather than taking apart this passage of Scripture phrase by phrase, I’d like to let it here speak for itself. Besides, my point today is to give you several different verses that demonstrate an abundance mindset, right?

Real abundance is a heart issue, as is our spiritual walk with God.

We’ve all heard the phrase “you become like what you focus on,” or something to that effect, and it is true.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.7

So to have an abundance mindset, I must first focus, or meditate, on that which I wish to become.

“O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.” Psalm 63:1-2, KJV. Photo courtesy of Petr Kratochvil. Public Domain.

The word, meditate, here is translated from the Greek word, logizomai  [λογίζομαι, Strong’s G3049] and means “to reckon, count, computer, calculate, count over, to take into account, a thing is reckoned as or to be something, i.e., as availing for or equivalent to something, as having the like force and weight, to reckon inward, count up or weight the reasons, to deliberate.”8 It is a word dealing in facts more than opinion.

A judge is said to “deliberate” over a case that is brought before him. To Logizomai, or deliberate (weigh the facts), is what he is doing. Vines says of this passage that “it signifies ‘to think upon a matter by way of taking account of its character.’”9 So when I deliberate on those things which are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, of virtue, of anything praiseworthy, I am promised the peace of God will be with me.

Will you take a look at that – if I focus on virtue, I become virtuous! Not only that, I have the peace of God and all these other things: truth, nobility, justness, purity, loveliness, a good report, anything praiseworthy.

Paul writes about this very thing in Hebrews. But he calls it something else.

He calls it Faith.

Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him.”10

The just.

This is the same word found in Philippians and is linked to virtue. Perhaps another mathematical sentence should be introduced into this equation, so to speak (pun intended):

Abundance mindset = faith

Paul was referencing Habakkuk 2:3-4 in his letter to the Hebrews. If any man knew how to walk in an abundance mindset while still experiencing difficult times, it was the prophet, Habakkuk. He knew that man’s relationship to God and his passion to walk rightly which comes from faith and is joined to faith hinges precisely on what he meditates. It is because of this revelation knowledge that Paul understood the importance of focusing the eyes of the heart on Truth:

Photo courtesy of Jerry Segraves. Public Domain.

Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls— yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.  The LORD God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.

To the Chief Musician. With my stringed instruments. 11

It was from this revelation Paul could say he had learned how to be content with much or with little.

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.12

Paul found the key to an abundance mindset.

Jesus.

Read: Proverbs 31:10-31; Philippians 4:8-13; Hebrews 10:38; Habakkuk. Journal your private thoughts.

Father God, You are the source my life and godliness. I praise You in all things as an act of my will, regardless how I feel. Thank you for peace and the promise that as I continue to focus on You, like You will I become. Amen.

_____________________

1Proverbs 31:10-31. Bold emphasis mine. Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible, Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. www.lockman.org
2Proverbs 31:10. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
3virtue. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/virtue (accessed: June 16, 2011).
4virtue. Dictionary.com. Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. HarperCollins Publishers. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/virtue (accessed: June 16, 2011).
5virtue. Dictionary.com. Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, Historian. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/virtue (accessed: June 16, 2011).
6 Genesis 2:22-24. Bold emphasis mine. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
7 Philippians 4:8-9. Bold emphasis mine. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
8 Dictionary and Word Search for logizomai (Strong’s 3049) Blue Letter Bible.com. Blue Letter Bible. Copyright © 1996-2011. http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3049&t=NASB (accessed June 16, 2011).
9 ibid.
10Hebrews 10:38. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
11Habakkuk 3:17-19. Bold emphasis mine. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
12 Philippians 4:10-13. Bold emphasis mine. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.nelsonbibles.com
Copyright © 2011, Érin Elise
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2 Responses to Embracing Grace: Abundance Mindset

  1. forHisglory says:

    what if i wanna be a supersized-Suzie-homemaker!? JK! lol.. great article once again..