Grounded on the practice of His word
As we navigate these very strange and uncertain times, as believers, we need to remember that we are not supposed to think like the people of this world.
It is of natural inclination for humans to seek solutions whenever they face problems. And as the world is facing one of its greatest crisis, I have witnessed the rise of wealth seminars, ponzi schemes and various master classes that claim to offer great solutions to the societal and economic ills we face through a set of knowledge.
Please, don't get me wrong, I believe that some of those masterclasses are genuine in their intents. However, many of those classes and online seminars fall very short from delivering the solutions we tend to seek.
In a more concerning light, I believe that there are believers who are willing to pay up to USD 5000 to attend those secular seminars while strongly and publicly criticizing any form of giving towards the church or ministry.
You need to be reminded of this: 'as a believer, you are not supposed to live like the people of this world who rely on earthy knowledge to solve all their problems'. No, you are not supposed to.
Again, please don't get me wrong: ' there is a vast amount of good earthly knowledge out there. The same knowledge can be very useful at times. But earthly knowledge should only be a tool in your hands and not the foundation of your life.
One of the reasons why so many academically qualified people are either unemployed or struggling financially, is because they are considering their academic qualifications as the foundation of their lives.
Your qualifications, your connections, your earthly knowledge, your properties, your job, your credit card, your money...are tools or instruments in your hands. They are not the foundations of your life. Do not be like the people of this world when there is a crisis.
In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus equates the one who obeys His words to a wise builder while He equates the one who ignores His words to a foolish builder. Notice as well, in the same text, that Jesus mentions the presence of a storm which attacked both the builders houses. Whether you are a believer or not, the storms of life will always come. But after the storm has passed, there will be a difference between the wise and the foolish.
Even if a storm strikes in the form of physical death, we know that the outcomes will be different between a believer and an unbeliever: 'one will live in eternity, and the other will suffer eternal excruciating death'.
In Matthew 7: 24-27, the foolish person built his house upon the sand. The sand is a component used to make bricks, it is a tool or instrument like the electric wire, the light bulb, the window, etc...You cannot build a house upon a tool or instrument like the sand. Unfortunately, many believers found their lives upon instruments and tools such as academic degrees, success,fame,money, earthly knowledge, connections, etc...
Believe me:' when the storm will hit...the house of the foolish will crumble down'.
There are a lot of things included in the Bible, but I am only going to share three things with you:
1. What are we supposed to do when we get afflicted?
In James 5:13, the Bible quotes: 'is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray'.
When in trouble, we pray first. It's amazing how some believers will use all sort of tricks to get out of trouble while overlooking prayer. Prayer is a conversation. When you pray, expect that God will talk to you as well.
2. Receive and secure an increase
Jesus said in Luke 6:38: '' Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
There are three entities at the receiving end of our generous giving:
*Our parents ( Mark 7:11-13)
*The needy/the poor
-You salary and income should have a portion dedicated at helping others. By helping the poor, you will have a wallet that does not wear out (reference Luke 12:33). Many good men and women understood that principle and this explains why they keep increasing in abundance.
-'Honoring our parents' is the first commandment with a promise (Ephesians 6:2). There is a promise of longevity and wellness attached to the honor we give to our parents.
- The church/ministry is the institution through which the great commission must be implemented. By giving to the church/mission/ministry, you become a supporter of the great commission through your finances.
Remember this: 'simply because you give money, it does not necessarily mean that more money will be given to you. What shall be given to you, might come back in a different form from the one you have used in your giving.
3. When it seems you don't have anything to give...
I often get asked the question:' Maurice, I can't give, how am I supposed to help?'
It is interesting that Jesus says in Luke 12:33: 'Sell your possessions and give to the poor'.
It is very possible that many of His listeners were unemployed with no income but they had stuff at home they could live without. So Jesus tells them to sell their stuff.
Did He tell them to sell 'ALL' they had?
No, the word 'ALL' does not feature in Luke 12:33. Therefore it was left to the listener to decide the measure of his/her giving.
The only time when God will ask you to give 'ALL', will be under a special circumstance where He will give you the order directly without an intermediary like it was the case with the rich young man (reference Luke Matthew 10:17-31). But this is a teaching for another day...
The prosperity from Heaven is strongly linked to generosity so that everybody can benefit and so that nobody remains attached to their possessions. It's an exercise of the Heart.
Here are my final words:
'Found your life on the practice of His Word. The rest are only tools, nothing more.'