A Bible Devotion


Friday, December 16, 2016

Giving Is Not The Main Ingredient In Prosperity

JOSHUA 1:8 NLT 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.

There are Bible passages (such as 2 Corinthians 9) that connect generous giving with reaping a generous financial harvest.

But prosperity requires more than giving!

Someone may say that "buttermilk makes good pancakes" but we understand there are other ingredients that must also be used to make pancakes. "Buttermilk makes good pancakes" may be a true statement, but it's not the whole truth.

Being a generous giver, (as opposed to being a selfish, self- centered person) is part of prosperity in God's kingdom, but it is not the complete picture.

God is a giver, and as His children we should be like Him. Giving is something Christians will do naturally when we are not bound by fear and doubt, for it expresses our true nature.

So I am not against giving. The Bible does teach that our generosity affects our prosperity. But it is not the only ingredient -- not even the most important one.

The primary ingredient in prosperity is faith (Romans 4:16, 5:2). Faith is what you believe, and therefore directs how you speak and act.

The second main ingredient in prosperity, and just as important, is obedience to God (Hebrews 5:9). We must follow God's instructions.

Giving cannot cancel out or make up for disobedience. If God has made it clear to you that you are supposed to do something, yet you refuse to do it, and think that you can just give an offering, and everything will work out great in your life, you are mistaken.

Your mother may love you very much and give you her favorite recipe for some food, along with all the ingredients and utensils needed to make it. But if you refuse to follow her recipe instructions you cannot expect it to turn out well, no matter how much your mother loves you or how much it cost her to provide you with everything you needed to make it.

You can give until you have nothing left to give, but unless you walk in faith and obey what you know God has told you to do -- you will not live in the measure of prosperity God intended for you to enjoy.

I am not saying you have to be mature and perfect in all you do in order to prosper. We do not have to earn God's blessing by our performance under the New Covenant. Instead we receive it as a gift based on what Jesus did for us. But if we refuse to follow God's instructions we still cannot expect things to turn out good in our life.

We also need to understand that there are different levels of faith we can operate in. As a child of God it is possible for you to walk in faith and receive financial provision without you having to give something in order to receive.

Someone might object and say that nothing happens on earth without a seed being sown. While that may be true, Jesus our Head and joint-heir has already sown His all and we are partakers of His grace. We got credit for what Jesus did!

However, we still can choose to release our faith by an act of giving in order to receive a harvest of provision. But when we do that we still need to speak words of faith over our gift. When you give you must also mix faith with your giving for it to work as it should.

We all desire to be blessed and prosperous. The Good News includes the fact that our great and generous Father God has already blessed us in Christ Jesus.

As joint-heirs with Jesus, we already have been given everything by God (Romans 8:17, Romans 8:32, Galatians 4:7, Ephesians 1:3, 2 Peter 1:3, 1 Corinthians 3:22).

So our giving should really be a response to God's love -- not something we must do in order to get God to bless us.

Many people do need to be instructed and encouraged to give because they are bound by selfishness. Fear has trapped them and prevents them from expressing the love of God in their hearts by generous giving. So the Lord has directed many preachers to talk about giving, because it has been necessary.

But we don't have to give in order to earn God's blessing, for we are already blessed in Christ. So we can freely and cheerfully give because we know our Father God is our never- ending source of supply. We can support every good work, as the Lord leads us. (2 Corinthians 9:8, Colossians 1:10).

JOHN 2:5 NKJ 5 His mother said to the servants, "Whatever He says to you, do it."

John 2:5 actually gives all the instruction you need to prosper (not only in this life, but throughout eternity). Whatever Jesus tells you to do -- do it!

SAY THIS: Lord please help me to understand all the ingredients of the prosperity that pleases You.


 

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