God’s Secret of Prosperity
By Jim Durkin
Many people are emotional about giving and money as they are often offended by the subject. Whether we like it or not, we are asked to give, whether for taxes or socially, for birthdays and dinners. God’s giving turns us from our initial inclinations about taking and moves us towards being cheerful givers. If we take on the heart of God, we become natural givers. There is a law that encompasses all teachings given by God, the nature of God expressed. Matthew 27:2, “Teacher what is the great commandment in the law? You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and love your neighbour as yourself”. On these two commandments hang the whole law and the prophets. This moral law existed since the beginning as it is a part of God. Everything in Scripture is merely an expression of this fundamental moral law, love towards God and love towards man. Every disobedience that man will ever perform will only relate to his refusal to love God and to love others as himself. 1 John 4:8 “the one who does not love, does not know God.”
What does love do? Love always expresses itself in giving and the demonstration of the truth as God described himself in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave…” Until we are trained to see it, we may think that money is more significant than God’s son. God gave all that He could provide, and that was His only son. Love will always express itself in giving. The typical mentality of mankind is, I want to be loved, but it rarely expresses itself in loving others. The heart and the nature of God’s love is that He continues to give and give. As God’s children, we continue to love. Our giving increases until we come to the place where we will lay down our lives for the brethren. 2 Corinthians 9:7, “…God loves a cheerful giver…” The world ‘cheerful’ means a readiness of mind, joyful attitude, hilarious giving, meaning to cause to shine. God wants to transform us into cheerful givers for His work to be carried out, joyously sacrificing if necessary.
God uses two methods to produce an intelligent understanding and application of this truth, His Word and His promises. Commandments are designed to show us God’s way, John 8:31, “… if you abide in my Word then you are truly disciples of mine …” Matthew 7:23, “and I will declare to them depart from Me, those who practice lawlessness…”. In 2 Peter 1:2-11, God’s promises are working together with the commandments of God, producing a transformation of character.
There are different types of giving when it comes to material possessions. With the expectation of receiving, we have our reward, Luke 6:38, primarily concerned with the principle of business, friendly or social giving. Direction or specific giving, tithes, 10% and nonspecific freewill offerings, e.g., to the poor.
Abraham and Jacob were way before the law, in Genesis 14:20, no commands were given, yet these men understood the principle of giving 10%. Abraham gave 10% to Melchizedek, and in Genesis 28:22, Jacob says, ‘I will surely give a tenth to thee’. Proverbs 3:9-11, “Honour the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce…” Giving is a discipline of the Lord, the result is that, “our barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine”.
Poverty is the curse of sloth or lack of knowledge about the principles of prosperity. Malachi 3:7-12, “…You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me”. The Lord promises to rebuke the devourer for those who honour Him with giving. In 2 Chronicles 31:5-11 and Nehemiah 10, the children of Israel brought tithes and offerings to maintain and restore the house of God, and the Lord blessed them. Giving is not a burden but a blessing. When we learn to give abundantly and cheerfully, God promises to open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing on us until there is no room to contain.