Today I want to share more about finances with you. In the last session, I explained that it is God's will for you to prosper. Now I want to give you some keys about how that works. Luke 6:38 says, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall it be measured to you again." There are many principles involved, but you can't talk about prosperity without talking about giving.
When you talk about financial prosperity, a lot of people say, "All right, so God wants to prosper me, but I don't have it to give." You can see in the Bible where Jesus talked about the widow who put her last two mites into the offering. He had been watching the rich people put in huge sums of money, yet He called His disciples together and said this woman gave more than them all. He said this because they gave out of their abundance, but she gave out of her poverty. God does not evaluate the size of your gift by its monetary value but rather by the percentage of what you had to give. When a person says "I don't have anything to give," it's not true. If nothing else, you could take a piece of clothing you have and give it away. Everyone has something to give, so do away with this argument that you don't have anything to give. As a matter of fact, the time you seem to have little of anything is when your giving can be a greater percentage than any other time. A person who has ten dollars and gives away five has given a much larger gift than someone who gives a million dollars when they have billions and billions left. God set it up so every single person can give.
Why did God tell us to give? There are many things involved, but one of the main purposes is that God wants you to trust Him in every area of your life. If there isn't a God, and if His Word isn't true when He says "Give, and it shall be given unto you," taking a portion of what you have and giving it away is the stupidest thing you could ever do. Instead of moving toward the goal of having all your needs met, you're actually moving away from it if God hasn't promised to bless you. It takes faith to be able to give the way God says, and that's the reason He told you to do it.
In Luke 16 there is a parable about a steward who cheated his master, and it finally comes down to this: He says if you haven't been faithful in the unrighteous mammon (talking about money), then who will commit to your trust the true riches? If you haven't believed God in the smaller things, concerning money, how are you going to get to the more important things, such as spiritual values? Scriptures like this make money one of the least levels of stewardship. If you can't trust God with your finances, how can you trust Him with your eternal destiny? How can you truly believe Jesus has forgiven your sins and that you're going to spend eternity in heaven? In comparison, the spiritual things we supposedly put our faith in the Lord for are much more significant than money. Money is a minor thing, but it's the bottom line of starting to trust God.
Proverbs 11:24 says there are some that give away more than it looks like is necessary, and yet they prosper, and there are others that tend to hoard what they have, and it only causes poverty on the inside of them.
If you seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness first, then He will add these things to you. If you say you want God to help you in your finances, and you're praying for His help—but aren't seeking first the kingdom of God, and you aren't taking a step of faith, trusting Him with your finances, and giving—then you really aren't trusting Him.
- Read John 3:16."For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." - John 3:16What motivated God to give?Answer
- Read 1 Corinthians 13:3."And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing." - 1 Corinthians 13:3The motivation behind our giving must be what?Answer
- Read James 2:15‑16."15If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?" - James 2:15‑16Explain the meaning of this verse.Answer
- Read Luke 6:38 (New Living Translation)."If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving-large or small-it will be used to measure what is given back to you." - Luke 6:38 (New Living Translation)What is this verse saying to you?Answer
- Read Ephesians 1:7."In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace." - Ephesians 1:7Did God give out of His riches or according to His riches? Explain the difference.Answer
- Read Proverbs 19:17."He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again." - Proverbs 19:17When you give to the poor, what are you doing?AnswerWill God pay you back?Answer
- Read Psalm 41:1‑3 (New Living Translation)."1Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor. The LORD rescues them in times of trouble. 2The LORD protects them and keeps them alive. He gives them prosperity and rescues them from their enemies. 3The LORD nurses them when they are sick and eases their pain and discomfort." - Psalm 41:1‑3 (New Living Translation)Name five things that God does for those who give to the poor.Answer