Prosperity – the truth
21 Mar 2016
God’s prosperity is not a lust of “things.” We saw a lot of misuse of God’s principles in the “name it and claim it” (blab it and grab it) movement. But, what does the Bible have to say? What is God’s will for prosperity in your life?
Knowing God and having God with us. ““You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” (Acts 10:38, NASB95) “But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer. The chief jailer committed to Joseph’s charge all the prisoners who were in the jail; so that whatever was done there, he was responsible for it. The chief jailer did not supervise anything under Joseph’s charge because the Lord was with him; and whatever he did, the Lord made to prosper.” (Genesis 39:21–23, NASB95) “The Lord was with Joseph, so he became a successful man. And he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. Now his master saw that the Lord was with him and how the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hand.” (Genesis 39:2–3, NASB95)
Prosperity is to do well: in our spirit, in our soul, in our body, financially, and socially. It is having no lack, but a full supply. “For whom the Lord loves He reproves, Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights. How blessed is the man who finds wisdom And the man who gains understanding. For her profit is better than the profit of silver And her gain better than fine gold.” (Proverbs 3:12–14, NASB95)
““But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33, NASB95)
Think of living in a third world country. I once visited a missionary that ran a orphanage. A young boy there touched my heart. He had one roller skate to play with by putting it on his foot and pushing it as if it were a skateboard. There was a bicycle with no seat and one and a half petals. To these kids living there was prosperous. ““Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”” (Joshua 1:7–9, NASB95)
The Bible has many verses about prosperity. “For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.” (2 Corinthians 1:20, NASB95) “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9, NASB95) “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19, NASB95) “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1, NASB95)
“Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written, “He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor, His righteousness endures forever.” Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:6–11, NASB95)
God prospers us so that we can give. “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;” (2 Corinthians 9:10, NASB95)
It is God’s principle to reap what you sow. we call it the law of giving and receiving. “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6, NASB95)
Examine Luke 6:38 using some different translations. “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”” (Luke 6:38, NKJV) “Give, and it will be given to you: A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use will be the measure you receive.”” (Luke 6:38, NET) “Give, and [gifts] will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will they pour into [the pouch formed by] the bosom [of your robe and used as a bag]. For with the measure you deal out [with the measure you use when you confer benefits on others], it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38, AMP) “Give, and you will receive. You will be given much. Pressed down, shaken together, and running over, it will spill into your lap. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you.”” (Luke 6:38, EXPNT)
“There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, And he who waters will himself be watered. He who withholds grain, the people will curse him, But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it. He who diligently seeks good seeks favor, But he who seeks evil, evil will come to him.” (Proverbs 11:24–27, NASB95)
We sow and reap, NOT to manipulate God, but to give purposely with the right motive. “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7, NASB95)
- Give to honor God. “Honor the Lord from your wealth And from the first of all your produce; So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine.” (Proverbs 3:9–10, NASB95)
- Give because we love Him. “We love, because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19, NASB95)
- Give because it reminds us to put God first. He is our reward. He is our source. “After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.”” (Genesis 15:1, NASB95) “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6, NASB95) “And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.”” (Mark 12:41–44, NASB95)
- Start giving what we can. Give away a smile, or a pen. Start small and work up to bigger giving, but give something every day. “For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.” (2 Corinthians 8:12, NASB95) “On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.” (1 Corinthians 16:2, NASB95)
- When we give, God will multiply it back to us. “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written, “He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor, His righteousness endures forever.” Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:8–11, NASB95) God gives seed to the sower.
- Give so that our needs will be met.
- Give so that we can give to others.
- Give to establish His gospel in the earth. ““But you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” (Deuteronomy 8:18, NASB95)
“Caution: Prosperity is only a instrument to be used, not a deity to be worshipped.”
So, prosperity is really about putting God and His word in the center of our lives. ““But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33, NASB95)