Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
INTRODUCTION: This week we will be looking at the first of a three-part series that concludes our study of Biblical Prosperity – a Balanced Approach titled twenty-four principles from the Epistles regarding money, giving, and receiving. In today’s study we shall be looking at the first 8 of these principles
PRINCIPLE #1: All We Give to God Originated from God. Romans 11:33-35
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? Montgomery's translation of verse 35 says, "Who has first given to Him, so as to receive payment in return?"
This makes it clear that we are not to demand that God give us what we want. God in His graciousness has already provided everything for us.
The Old Testament tells how David wanted to see a house, or temple, built for God and how he collected a generous offering from his personal wealth and from the prosperity of the people of Israel. They amassed an enormous amount of gold, silver, precious stones, and other materials needed for the task. Then David prayed this eloquent prayer: 1 Chronicles 29:11-14,16
“Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? For all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee. . .. O Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine Holy name cometh of thine own hand, and is all thine own."
Remember, too, that in First Corinthians 10:26 and 28, Paul declares that the "earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof."
Both the Old and New Testaments recognize God as the Creator and Possessor of all things. Having given God something does not entitle one to arrogantly demand that God do something in return. Rather, giving is to be done worshipfully, recognizing that whatever we give to God was originally created by Him and then given to us. Therefore, the proper attitude for giving is one of worship and gratitude.
PRINCIPLE #2: Some Believers Operate in A Special Grace of Giving. Rom. 12:6-8
“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that relets, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.”
These are not ministerial offices like those listed in Ephesians chapter 4. Rather, they are simply special inclinations found in certain believers based on "extra grace" in a given area. For example, all believers are called upon by God to be merciful, but some have an extra grace in this area.
Some believers are given special grace and abound especially in the area of giving. But this does not excuse other believers from their basic responsibility of giving.
PRINCIPLE #3: Believers Are Called Upon to Be Diligent in Business. Romans 12:11
“Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.” Romans 12:11
Montgomery's translation of this verse reads, "In your diligence be free from sloth. ."
While the Apostle Paul touches on this important topic, the Book of Proverbs is full of admonitions that apply to every believer. Believers cannot expect to prosper if they are not diligent and responsible in discharging their duties in life.
PRINCIPLE #4: Believers Should Be Responsible Toward Their Financial Obligations. Romans 13:6-8
“For this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. owe no man anything, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law”.
Weymouth's translation of verse 8 says, "Leave no debt unpaid except the standing debt of mutual love."
If you are owing anyone – don’t give sleep to your eyes until you have paid it!
PRINCIPLE #5: Believers Have a Duty to Minister Financially to Those Who Have Spiritually Blessed Them. Romans 15:25-27
“But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints. For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.
Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. Gal. 6:6
The Phillips translation of Galatians 6:6 says, "The man under Christian instruction should be willing to contribute toward the livelihood of his teacher."
PRINCIPLE #6: Ministers Have a Right to Be Supported Financially by Their Work in The Ministry. 1 Corinthians 9:7, 9, 10, 11, 13-14
“7 Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock? 9 For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about? 10 Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope. 11 If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? 13 Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? 14 Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.”
Notice that Paul stresses that ministers have the right to be supported financially.
Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, the labourer is worthy of his reward. 1 Timothy 5:17,18
The Williams version of verse 17 says, "Elders who do their duties well should be considered as deserving twice the salary they get, especially those who keep on toiling in preaching and teaching."
PRINCIPLE #7: Love Must Motivate the Believer's Giving. 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 13:3
The Modern Language translation says, "And though I give all my belongings to feed the hungry and surrender my body to be burned, but I have no love, I am not in the least benefited."
PRINCIPLE #8: Christians Should Practice Consistent and Systematic Giving. 1 Cor.16:1,2
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. 1 Corinthians 16:1,2
Verse 2, according to the Norlie translation, stresses that each person's giving should be ". . . according to his financial ability."
The Living Bible says, "The amount depends on how much the Lord has helped you earn."
This study was culled from “The Midas Touch” By Kenneth E. Hagin