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Biblical Prosperity
 

 

What does the Word say?

In order to get our faith established about Biblical Prosperity, we must learn what the Word says.

"Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word." (Romans 10:17, KJV)


The World's way of prospering versus God's way

The Word has a way of dealing with through trusting God that is not consistent with the way the world handles finances.

Proverbs 10:22 the blessing of the Lord maketh rich, and He ads no sorrow to it.

The world has a way of attaining prosperity, but a lot of stress and sorrow comes with it. God's way does NOT add any sorrow.


God is pleased when we prosper

God is pleased when you prosper. It doesn't please Him for his people to struggle and live hand-to-mouth.

Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, "Let the LORD be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant." (Psalm 35:27, NKJV)


The purpose is to be a blessing

The reason why God wants to bless us is so that we can be a blessing. That's what He told Abraham, " (Genesis 12:2, KJV)

If you don't understand God's way of prospering, you will be limited.

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things , may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8, NKJV)

God promised Abram that He would bless him so that he would in return be a blessing.

I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing (Genesis 12:2, NKJV)


It's not your money

Stewardship is a difficult concept for most people to grasp, because they believe the work so hard for it, they deserve it. Their sweat and toil earned the money and therefore they can manage it as they please; and whatever they decide to give is out of the goodness of their heart.

'It's all mine' - When a person works hard, often working two or even three jobs, to make a living, it is easy to have the attitude that their earnings are theirs to do with as they please. In the world's system this is certainly true, but in God's system it does not work that way.

Be careful  not to say, “My own ability and skill have gotten me this wealth. (Deuteronomy 8:17, NET)

'The rest is mine' - Many Christians understand and acknowledge that EVERYTHING they own is God's, however their actions contradict their words. They spend and make decisions with the attitude that they can do as they please with it. Even though they may be responsible in making decisions and spending 'their' money, it is still obvious that they act on their own will and are not consulting God. Many faithfully give tithes and/or offerings to further God's work on earth, however they still manage the rest of their resources

If someone were to give you their wallet and say, "Go ahead and take as much as you like to give to God", you would probably be a lot more generous than you would if you were to open your own wallet. It is always easier to part with something when it isn't ours. This is the principle of stewardship. Being a steward, means that we are not attached to our money or our possessions, because it is all God's.

Promotion versus Demotion - A steward is a person who has been entrusted to manage someone else's possessions.In a work situation every employee is a steward of their employer's posessions within their job description. If that person does not adhere or perform their job dutes like they're supposed to, they may be fired from that job. On the other hand, a person who thrives and does well with the resources given to them, may get promoted to greater responsibility.

It's ALL God's - It's important to adjust our thinking to the true understanding that EVERYTHING is God's. It is God who has enabled you to prosper and be successful. God has entrusted us with everything we have and He is our source.

You must remember the Lord your God, for he is the one who gives ability to get wealth; if you do this he will confirm his covenant that he made by oath to your ancestors,  even as he has to this day. (Deuteronomy 8:18, NET)

We must realize that God has called us even before we were born. He has placed us on this earth for a particular purpose, given each of us specific talents and abilities, and He is our Provider. He is our source of our health, our opportunities, our abilities, and our possessions.

You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:12, NKJV)
Before I formed you in your mother’s womb chose you.  Before you were born I set you apart. I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:5, NET)
... I have called you by your name; You are Mine. (Isaiah 43:1, NKJV)

If we would recognize that, acknowledge and honour Him, it would cause us to handle our money differently, even in the minute detail of how we manage our finances, our home and our possessions.

God enables us to prosper

It's not up to you to do what you want to; to just go after the first scam that comes along and ask God to bless it. You ought to first say, "God, this is your money, is this what you want me to do?" If you ask for God's guidance and following His leadership, then you don't have to ask for Him to bless it, because it's already bless. If you're obeying God, you're already bless. You don't have to ask God's blessing on something that was conceive by God.

..you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth.. (Deuteronomy 8:18, NKJV)


God is your source

The first step to really getting a hold of your finances and prospering God's way, is to adopt the attitude that God is your source. He enables you to prosper and therefore there is an accountability to God with what you do with your money. You can't just indulge your lust. You have to pray about it and ask God what He wants you to do every step of the way.

All throughout the Bible we see how God provides for his people. The Biblical message that God desires for people to put their trust in God and God alone, is very clear.

Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. (Job 22:21, NIV)

Christians ought to trust God for ALL their needs, not just for spiritual things and their eternal salvation.

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19, NKJV)

There is a scriptural way to prosper and if you would do it God's way, you can be based on heaven's economy and heaven is not in cricis. God's supply in heaven is abundant.


Abraham

In Genesis 12 God instructed Abram to pack up everything he owned, leave his family and friends, and move to another country. Abram obeyed without hesitation. This shows how Abram viewed God as his source. Although he didn't follow God's instructions completely (for instance. he took his nephew, Lot, with him which caused problems down the road)

When strife broke out between Abram and Lot's herdsman, because both their flocks were so great that the pasture land could not contain them all, Abram gave Lot the choice of land.

So Abram said to Lot, "Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left. (Genesis 13:8-9, NKJV)

Lot picked the beautiful, well-watered plains of Jordan and Abram went in the opposite direction. How many people would give another person the option to choose the best and accept the worst option for themselves? Abram was able to do this because he knew that God was his source. He knew that it didn't matter where he lived or where he went, God is his Provider no matter what the circumstances might be. All the external, material things didn't matter. The choice of the best pasture land did not matter to him, because the material things did not determine his success.

After rescuing Lot and the rest of the people and their posssessions, Melchizidek (king of Salem and a priest of the Mosth High God) met him and blessed him. Abram praised God and paid a tithe of all the retrieved possessions to Melchizidek. When the king of Sodom

Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself." But Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have raised my hand to the LORD, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich’.. (Genesis 14:21-24, NKJV)

Abram had the right to keep the stole possessions he won back, however he gave it all away because he did not want any implication that the source of his wealth came from another or the world. God alone was his source.

One way to keep in remembrance that God is your source, is to give a portion of what you have and give it back to Him.


Lean not on your own understanding

If you could base your view and decisions regarding your finances and posessions on God's system, you will be blessed, because you will make decisions that God leads you to make and that He enables you to do.

O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. (Jeremiah 10:23, KJV)
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:6, NKJV)

God never created man to function completely independent of Him. We must acknowledge and lean on Him in everything we plan and do if we want to succeed. We need to see ourselves of stewards of God's money and God will tell us what we should do.

Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will guide us in God's way of doing things and He will show us things to come.

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. (John 16:13, NKJV)


Seek God first

When you view yourself as God's steward and trust Him as your source, you will place Him first and seek His kingdom above all things (what you eat, what you wear, where you sleep, etc.). God promises that when you put Him first, He will bless you supernaturally.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33, NKJV)

 


Listen and Act

We must not only understand what the biblical way to prosperity and blessings is, but we must also put it into practice. Jesus said that the person who not only listens to His words, but also put it into practice, is like a man who builds his house on a foundation of bedrock instead of sand.

He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great. (Luke 6:48-49, NKJV)


Manage what has been entrusted to you

God does not want you to live above your means. Some people tend to have a champagne taste on a rootbeer income. As a steward, you cannot spend more than what has been entrusted to you. When you start to spend more than what you have, you are engaging in debt and the Bible states in many occasions that borrowing should be avoided.

The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. (Deuteronomy 28:12, NKJV)
The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower is servant to the lender. (Proverbs 22:7, NKJV)
Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8, NKJV)


A wasteful steward

An employee who mismanages in their work environement may be fired for incompetence or demoted to less responsibility. Just so, when you over-indulge or mismanage what God has entrusted you with, what you have may be taken away from you. Jesus told a story of a rich man whose manager were accused of wasting his assets.

He also said to His disciples: "There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. So he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.’ (Luke 16:1-2, NKJV)

When you live within your means as a steward, you are managing what has been entrusted to you, and if you manage well, you become elligible for promotion. When we look at the example of the parable of the Just as the faithful steward in Luke.

The one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and the one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you haven’t been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will entrust you with the true riches? And if you haven’t been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you your own? No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Luke 16:10-13, NET)

Jesus specifically referred to money in this message. He's not just talking about being faithful in ministry or on the job, but He is literally referring to money. Trusting God with finances is the smallest thing you can do; it is the weakest form of your faith. This is the simplest concept to understand. If you cannot lift 5 pounds, you certainly can't lift 100 pounds. If you cannot properly manage $100, you cannot properly manage $10,000. Jesus is saying that this is a beginning point, the least that you can possibly do. If you cannot trust God in your finances, you are deceiving yourself to think that you are trusting God in other areas. What value does it have if you say that you can trust God with your eternal salvation, but you can't trust God with your money.

Another important point Jesus is making, is

Ten stewards

Jesus told the parable of the nobleman who went away to receive a kingdom. (Luke 19:11-28) Before departing he called ten of his servants and gave each 10 minas and instructed them to "Do business with these till I come." (Luke 19:13, NKJV) Upon his return he demanded an account of each servant.

Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas. And he said to him, ‘Well done , good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’ Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’ ("But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’) ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. (Luke 19:16-27, NKJV)

When Jesus spoke about money, saying that "The one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much" (Luke 16:10, NKJV) He implied that being faithful with our money is the least of what we should do as believers. It is one of the most basic principles of Christianity; to view God as our source, and manage His possessions faithfully.


Willing to give it all away

When you cling to your money, view it as yours to do with as you please, and do not trust in God with ALL of it, God perceives your heart and you are limited in your effectiveness for Him.

The rich young man

Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is , God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.' And he answered and said to Him, "Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth." Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, "One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me." But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (Mark 10:17-22, NKJV)

If any person today were to ask another Christian, how do I obtain eternal life?" the answer would be totally different from what Jesus offered this rich young man. However, Jesus perceived this man's heart and knew what he lacked. It is interesting to note the young man first called Jesus "Good Teacher", but Jesus told him that there is only one that is God, and that is God, implying that the man should either recognize Him as God, or NOT call Him good. The young man then stopped callling Him 'good' and called Jesus just "Teacher". Jesus recognized that this man was not fully convinced or committed, and that his riches were more important to him than anything else. So, for him to gain eternal life, Jesus knew it would be necessary for this young man to get rid of the god of 'mammon' in his life.

The young man came to Jesus asking, "what shall I DO that I may inherit eternal life?". He wanted to know how he could earn it through works.

This young man claimed that he kept all the commandments, but the very first commandment is "you shall have no other gods before Me" (Exodus 20:3, NKJV). This young man trusted in his riches more than in God and Jesus saw that. Jesus did not instruct everybody to sell everything and follow him.

Zacchaeus

There was a rich taxcollector in Jericho called Zacchaeus. He was so eager to get a glimpse of Jesus that he did not care what other may think, but climbed into a tree. Jesus noticed Zacchaeus and told him to come down, since He intended to stay at his house that day. The people complained and accused Zacchaeus of being a sinner not worthy of hosting Jesus as guest.

Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold." (Luke 19:8, NKJV)

Jesus responded by saying "Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:9-10, NKJV). Jesus confirmed Zacchaeus' salvation, not because of his 'good works', but because of his heart. Jesus did not instruct Zacchaeus to sell everything, because his heart was already right with God.

The rich young man's heart was not right. He lived an outwardly holy life and professing it before Jesus. Jesus immediately perceived the deception this man was living in by instructing him to change his attitude towards money. Jesus did not do this for selfish benefit. He did not say, 'sell everything and give it to Me', He said 'give it to the poor'.

After the young man left, the disciples approach Jesus saying that they did leave everything to follow Him.

So Jesus answered and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time––houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions––and in the age to come, eternal life. (Mark 10:29-30, NKJV)

Jesus said that the person who trusts Him completely with ALL of their finances, willing to give it all away if necessary, will be provided for, 'a hundredfold now in this time'.

It's easy to say 'Yes, God is my source', but words are cheap. Actions truly reflect the condition of the heart. The way you prove what's in your heart is to give tithes and offerings. Take a portion of what you have, at least 10%, and you give above that as God directs you to.

In the world system, the concept of subtracting from something can not multiply it. However in God's system it works different; we must understand God's promise that if you give it will be given unto you, view Him as our source, and view ourselves as stewards of what is His. In God's system giving is a way of putting God first.

How we view our finances and possessions is a reflection of our relationship with God.


Everything happens in stages

A crop grows in stages; first the stalk, then the head, then the full head of grain. Just so we develop and grow in stages. Some people want to actualize their 'dream' in one shot, without going through stages of development and learning. There are people who want to lead a thousand member church, but have never lead a bible study, been an associate pastor, or ministered in a youth group. They have never started with little and increased it to much. There are steps and stages to everything and we must not only be patient in each stage, but also obedient and responsible with the tasks entrusted to us.

...the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. (Mark 4:28, NKJV)

If God has given you a vision and you want to see that come to pass, you have to prove yourself faithful with where you are now. You begin where you are faithful in a little and you work yourself up to where you are faithful in much.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2, NKJV)


 
 
 


 
3 John 2
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health,
just as your soul prospers.
(NKJV)

John's greeting (3 John 2) raises an important issue. It is clear that he expects God to give physical and material well-being to Gaius. Is that what believers today should be asking God for? Should we expect God to prosper us physically and financially? Is this verse an indication that He will? Notice some important things:

(1) John is praying for Gaius' prosperity, not Gaius praying for his own prosperity.
(2) This is part of a formal greeting or blessing. We say very similar things today like, "Good luck", or "Have a good day," or "Stay healthy, kid".
(3) The Greek word here for prosper means "to travel well on a journey". That fits with its use in a blessing. further more, it is not something one should actively pursue, but rather a gift that one should look for, a sense of "wholeness" like the Old Testament concept of shalom that people enjoy when they follow God's precepts and live in His power.
(4) We don't know what Gaius' circumstances may have been, only that his soul was prospering. John may be saying, "You are doing so well in the faith; I wish you were doing as well in your health and the rest of your life."
(5) John's main concern is that Gaius would walk in the truth (3-4), not that he would have a big bank account or be in tip-top shape.

Overall, it would be foolish to construct a general principle of material blessing from this verse, especially when so many other passages warn against that very thing.

[Source: The New Life Study Bible, p.2291]

John's prayer for Gaius is significant. Gaius' spiritual state was so excellent that John prayed that his physical health would match his spiritual vigor. To ask about one's health was standard custom in ancient letters, but John adapted this convention in a unique manner to highlight Gaius' vibrant spiritual state.

[Source: John MacArthur Study Bible, p.1981]

 
Joshua 1:8
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth,
but you shall meditate in it day and night,
that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it.
For then you will make your way prosperous,
and then you will have good success.
(NKJV)


Who among us does not want to succeed in life and prosper in performing tasks? Joshua certainly did. As he prepared to lead his people into Canaan, God told him of a way to have success and prosperity. Is there a secret to success here for all of us?

Some believe that God wants His children to prosper, especially materially and financially, and they turn to Bible verses such as Joshua 1:8 to support their claim. But a carefull reading of the text shows us some important qualifications:

God made a conditional promise to Joshua and Israel.

Imagine opening someone else's birthday presents and claiming them. That's exactly what we would be doing with the promises that God made to His people Israel if we were to claim those gifts for ourselves.

God's words to Joshua are a case in point. The Lord was commissioning General Joshua to take the Promised Land. As part of His instructions, He gave Joshua a condition followed by a promise: If you hold unswervingly to the Law, then you will succeed - succeed in terms of conquering Canaan and settling the land. It was a specific promise for a certain occasion.

The emphasis was on the blessing that comes from obedience.

Still we might be tempted to use Joshua 1:8 in a general way to claim that God blesses people who obey Him. Thus success and prosperity would be claimed as rewards for good behavior.

But the emphasis of the passage is not on the blessing but on the doing of the Law. That is, following God's ways are inherently good for us. They are themselves the reward (Deuteronomy 29:9).

For example, loving one's neighbor as oneself (Leviticus 19:18) means having a neighbor to love. Not committing adultery (Exodus 20:14) means stability and trust in one's home life. The benefits come in the doing itself, not in some"payoff" that God gives for good behavior.

The Bible does not promise earthly riches

When we consider what the Bible has to say about success and prosperity in general, we find no support for the idea that God has promised them to His children. Actually, we are discouraged from seeking material prosperity as an end in itself (see "The Dangers of Prosperity Theology" ). God may allow us to have health and wealth, but we ought not to expect them (Ecclesiastes 7:14; see "What Did You Expect?" at 2 Corinthians 5:2-5)

If there is any "secret to success" in Joshua 1:8, it is this: True success means faithfully following God in the places where we find ourselves. Joshua's responsibilty was to lead Israel into the land. What responsibilities has God given you?

[Source: The New Life Study Bible, p.2291]

This Book of the Law: A reference to Scripture, specifically Genesis through Deuteronomy, written by Moses.
Meditate in it: To read with thoughtfulness, to linger over God's Word. The parts of Scripture they possessed have always been the main spiritual food of those who served Him, e.g. Job (Jon 23:12); the psalmist (Psalm 1:1-3); Jeremiah (Jeremiah 15:16); and Jesus (John 4:34).
Prosperous...good success: The promise of God's b lessing on the great responsibility God has given Joshua. the principle here is central to all spiritual effort and enterprise, namely the deep understanding and application of Scripture at all times.

[Source: John MacArthur Study Bible, p.305]

 
 

 

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AndrewWommack
Andrew Wommack Ministries International

Financial Stewardship (18 messages in audio or video)

     
 
   
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Bibliography
 

(2) Wommack, Andrew. Financial Stewardship. Andrew Wommack Ministries International. Video Sermons 2 March to 1 April 2009. Cited December 2010. http://www.awmi.net/tv/2009/week9

 

KJV. Scripture taken from the King James Version. Public Domain.

NKJV. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

NET. Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from The NET, Bible® Copyright© 2005 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. www.bible.org All Rights Reserved

NIV. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
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