Prosperity Gospel is wrong
Many think that because they are Christian, or raised in a “Christian” family or live in a “Christian” country that it is their Divine right for God to take care of all their physical needs, You may say you don’t, but when things go wrong in our lives, it betrays our attitude in this; we blame God for allowing it. People get these expectations from a faulty view of Old Testament promises to Israel that are being erroneously applied to the church today. God is our good father who gives us all good gifts for our enjoyment – BUT. This passage is one of the only passages in the New Testament that deals with this subject as compared to the countless passages where the Apostles warn us of the dangers of money and the impending trials, hardships, and persecutions that believers would know as the norm for life today for those who would be instruments of God’s righteousness in this world. See my post on Eph 1:3 regarding the physical verses spiritual blessings. 2 Cor 8 and 9 deal with the gathering of donations to ease the suffering of the people of Jerusalem. James deals with this subject from the perspective of proof of your faith in meeting real needs of those around us. This passage tells us why God provides for us so abundantly and graciously as he does vs 11-13 specifically; and it is not so we can have bigger houses and more stuff.
2 Cor 9: But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 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: 9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. 10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) 11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. 12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; 13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men; 14 And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…
Who are you Lord?
I AM the God who wants to use you for my glory. I want to bless others through you so that you might share in the reward in heaven for participating in my work of sharing my glory. I want to include you as instruments of my love. As people see you give to them, they will praise me for my provision through you. It is more blessed to give than to receive. This is one reason why I say “the poor you will have with you always.” So that you have the continued chance to give to others. People see that I AM love by how you love them in my name.
I AM the God who miraculously changes selfish people into instruments of my righteousness. Only I can work in you to motivate you to give away your resources to help other sinners. I AM the God of love who demonstrates my love rather than just speak it. This is how all men will know that you are my disciples because love gives. I want to love the world through you. This is one reason that suffering is allowed to exist, so that you have ample opportunities to demonstrate that you love me more than your money. I want you to be my agents of grace.
Pipe verses Bucket mentality
As Christians, we are God’s hands, feet and mouth in this world of self worship and consumption. We are “spot light operators” of God’s glory so that people would see Christ in us by the way we live our lives for others, as we meet people’s needs, extend God’s love, and spread his good news. As we give to others, they see that God truly does care for them and as it says in the passage above, “Men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies the confession of the Gospel.”“Your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” “Overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.” So we can see that the New Testament idea is that we are to have a “pipe mentality” not a “bucket mentality”, What God gives to us in abundance, we give to others and then their praise will return to God because of you. The Old Testament had a “bucket mentality” so that as the world witnessed God’s abundant blessings to Israel, the nations would come to Israel to share in their blessings. But Israel withheld the blessings for themselves and separated themselves from the world hoarding God’s blessings. Today in the church era, we are to take God’s blessing around the globe and not be like Israel hoarding God’s blessings for ourselves, the greatest of which of course is the good news of salvation in Christ which was the main reason for the promised blessings in the Abrahamic covenant to begin with.
There is much more to share about this subject but it to say that the blessings God gives to his people is so that the world will want to come to Jesus because of our generosity.
More to come,