Sunday, October 29, 2017

7 Purposes of Prosperity

We discuss the reason that God makes people wealthy and prosperous for 7 reasons:
  1. The Covenant
  2. Evangelism
  3. Helping Others
  4. Protection
  5. The Promised Land
  6. Enabling Your Gift
  7. Eating Your Fruits

  • Deuteronomy 8:16-18
  • Joshua 1:7-8
  • Deuteronomy 28:9-13
  • Psalms 67:1-4
  • Proverbs 25:21-22
  • Deuteronomy 15:7-11
  • Matthew 5:42
  • Ecclesiastes 7:11 - 14
  • Joshua 5:12
  • Romans 12:6-8
  • Ecclesiastes 5:19
  • Galatians 3:18;23-29
  • Luke 6:20-21
  • Matthew 6:33

Deuteronomy 8:16-18
16“In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end.
17“Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’
18“But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
  • God sent the Israelites through the wilderness for their own good
  • God gave them the ability to make wealth
  • He didn't give them wealth
    • But He gave them the ability to make wealth

Review of Preparing for Prosperity

  • Being prosperous doesn't necessarily mean obtaining wealth.
    • Being prosperous means that whatever you try to do will result in success.
    • For example, a prosperous missionary will have many converts
  • We approach this subject of prosperity cautiously because many teachers have abused and mistaught this topic
  • The gospel doesn't promise you your carnal desires
  • There are indeed biblical principles and promises that will lead to material blessings
  • We shouldn’t focus on the gifts instead of the giver
  • Prosperity isn't proof that you're in alignment with God
    • But neither is poverty
  • We referred to seasons in which we go through trials as “going through the wilderness”
  • We learn to trust God in the wilderness because we know that we are in a situation that only God get get us out of
  • It is for our good
  • Living on daily manna builds faith
  • Not every problem we go through is a test from God
  • If we haven’t developed a dependence on God we will misuse blessings that we receive
    • We will turn wealth into a golden calf and worship it like the Israelites did
  • God tells us that if we aren’t responsible with a small amount then He can’t trust us with a large amount
  • We saw that coveting is one of the sins listed in the 10 commandments
  • Coveting is to have an ungodly desire for something that's not ours  
  • Coveting is to be fixated on that which you lack
  • You don't have to obtain the object in order to covet it
  • Coveting is caused by discontentment
  • We need to have a concept of how much of something is enough
  • We need to learn to be content and not focus on what we don’t have
  • How much is too much?
    • Whatever replaces your trust in Christ
    • The amount that will make you lose your thankfulness and turn into entitlement
    • The amount that makes you prideful
  • The more of Heaven that's in us the less the world will satisfy us
  • If you view your blessing as a gift from God it will draw you closer to Him
    • It can draw those who see Him blessing you to Him as well

The Covenant

Joshua 1:7-8
7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.
8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
  • If you follow the law you will be prosperous and successful

How is a covenant different than an a law?
  • A law is a rule given by someone with the authority to make it
  • A covenant is an agreement between two parties

A covenant is a type of contract in which the covenantor makes a promise to a covenantee to do or not do some action.

Covenants are enforced with laws

A covenant doesn't just say “don't do this don't do that”
  • A covenant is an agreement that says “if you do this, I will do that”
  • Abraham established a covenant relationship with God
  • They made an agreement
  • 430 years later God gave Moses the laws that enforced the covenant

God’s laws aren’t just: “do this, and do that”.   They are “if you do this, then I will do that”.
  • If you don’t plant your crop on the 7th year then I will give you a bigger overall harvest then if you had planted every year.
  • If you tithe I will bless you.
  • Honor you mother and father and you days will be long

The Jewish law wasn't just moral commands.  The law included: Circumcision, the Sabbath day rest, worship of an invisible God, abstinence from certain foods, agricultural practises, and financial stewardship.

Prosperity was promised to Jews who followed the law

Prosperity was God holding up His end of the covenant

  1. Prosperity was a reward for following the law

Later on we'll see how this applies to Christians who have been made "righteous" through Christ.


Deuteronomy 28:9-13
9The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. 11The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.
12The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.
  • Following the law was supposed to result in:
    • Respect from the other nations
    • Many offspring
    • Abundant livestock and crops in the promised land
    • Rain in the proper season
    • Being debt free
    • Always being “at the top”
  • The law was supposed to give Israel an advantage over the nations

Psalms 67:1-4
1God be gracious to us and bless us,
           And cause His face to shine upon us—
     2That Your way may be known on the earth,
           Your salvation among all nations.
     3Let the peoples praise You, O God;
           Let all the peoples praise You.
     4Let the nations be glad and sing for joy;
           For You will judge the peoples with uprightness
           And guide the nations on the earth.
  • Bless me -> they will know your ways -> salvation will come to the nations

The goal of you following the law was that the benefits  you gained in all areas of life would convince others to do things God’s way.   Living by the wisdom of God would show others that your God was superior to theirs.  

The law was supposed to (among other things) win others over to God!

Proverbs 25:21-22
    21If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
           And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
     22For you will heap burning coals on his head,
           And the LORD will reward you.
  • Does this suggest harming them?

Hebrew etiquette: share your fire
  • Put your coal on your neighbor’s fire
  • You are helping them
  • “Fire on their head” = light a fire in them to behave in love

Providing for their physical / monetary needs can change their heart
  • They will want to follow God
  • It's activated through generosity

2. Prosperity can be used to influence others to follow your God

We saw that God can use our generosity to awaken the faith in non-believers
  • In the same way, God can awaken things in us through his generosity that can't be activate it any other way.
  • Many people come to faith when they realize the sacrifice Jesus made for them
  • God's blessings can impact your heart

Helping Others

Deuteronomy 15:7-11
7If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. 8Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need. 9Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. 10Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.
  • Give generously
  • The Lord will bless you

Story: helped people - then needed car jumped

Have a heart for the poor without knowing their story.

Give to “The Poor”

The old and new testaments talk about giving to “the poor”

Example: “the blacks”
  • Trump
  • My boss
  • Means he's not one of them

Notice God tells them to give to the poor
  • The hidden implication in that command is that you are not “the poor”
  • This implies that Israel is not  “the poor”

Your Heart Matters

God says to give with a generous heart
  • It's not just the action of giving
  • It's how you feel about it
  • He says He'll bless you if you give generously without a grudging heart

Why Do People Give?

Many times people are looking for a certain feeling when they’re giving someone else money. They might be looking for reciprocity, gratitude, or some sort of satisfaction.

The 7th year

“Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,”
  • Slaves set free
  • Debts cancelled

Don't consider this when lending

  • It does say it's ok to loan
  • You don't have to “give” without the expectation of getting it back

Jesus often commanded His followers to give and to serve

Prosperity is having more than enough
  • It allows us to give

3. Prosperity can be used to help others in need

Example: Joseph when He ruled Egypt
  • Israel and all of Egypt came to Him for food


Ecclesiastes 7:11 - 14
 11Wisdom along with an inheritance is good
           And an advantage to those who see the sun.
     12For wisdom is protection just as money is protection,
           But the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors.
     13Consider the work of God,
           For who is able to straighten what He has bent?
     14In the day of prosperity be happy,
           But in the day of adversity consider—
           God has made the one as well as the other
           So that man will not discover anything that will be after him.
  • Wisdom along with an inheritance is good
  • Money is protection
    • Wisdom is better
  • Protection against what?
    • Whatever the future holds

It is better to teach a man to fish and to give him a fish
  • That is why God said He gave them the knowledge to make wealth

But It's better to have a fish than it is to be hungry

4. Prosperity is protection against the future

You’re In the Promised Land

Joshua 5:12
The manna ceased on the day after they had eaten some of the produce of the land, so that the sons of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate some of the yield of the land of Canaan during that year.
  • The manna ceased once the Israelites entered the promised Land
  • They ate from the fruits of the  land
  • It meant they were home
  • The miracles stopped

God stopped providing for them once they were where they were supposed to be.
  • The location provided for them
  • Once you are walking in your destiny, you destination will provide for you

Some of you are praying for more  miracles when you need to be praying that the miracles stop
  • You should pray that you’re in a situation that you no longer need miracles
  • You should pray to find your God ordained destiny

If you're not prosperous it doesn’t mean that you aren’t on the right track for your destiny
  • But It does mean that you haven’t arrived
  • Moses was fulfilling his destiny, but he saw the Promised Land

Prosperity doesn’t necessarily mean wealth
  • You can have a prosperous ministry that helps thousands and not receive any personal gain
  • You can reach your destiny and nit be wealthy
  • But you will be fruitful

Prosperity is used to sustain you once you have reached your destiny

5. Prosperity can be confirmation that you are where you are supposed to be

Your Gift and Your Assignment

Romans 12:6-8
6Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
  • Paul talks about the gifts of:
    • Prophecy
    • Service
    • Teaching
    • Exhortation
    • Giving
    • Leadership
    • Mercy
  • Giving is a spiritual gift

The gift of giving has been described as:
“the capacity to give beyond the normal expectation, supported by a willingness to do so and a high level of humility and grace without the expectation of something in return.”

If you have the gift of giving would God want you to have something to give?
  • It might not be personal wealth but it could be the ability to raise money from others

People have different assignments and different positions
  • The different assignments require different tools
  • Some assignments require money

6. Prosperity can be used to enable you for your gift or purpose

Eating Your Fruits

Ecclesiastes 5:19
19Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God.
  • The gift of God is receiving riches that you can eat from

Example: dirty money

Example: Parent giving a gift on Christmas
  • Their reaction makes you happy
  • You want to see them enjoying the gift

Some think God only wants us to suffer

7. Prosperity is to enjoy

No Longer Under the Law

Now let’s revisit the idea that prosperity is a reward for following the law.  Since, as Christians, we are free from the law, what does that mean to us?

Galations 3:18;23-29
18For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.      
  • God promised Abraham that his heirs would be blessed
  • The promise didn't have conditions
  • The conditions came 433 years later
23Before the coming of this faith,j we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
  • When a child receives an inheritance they are often given a guardian to steward the money until they come of age
  • The law was our guardian for our blessings
26So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
  • God made a promise to Abraham before the law existed
  • The law can’t come and invalidate the promise
  • Not following the law can’t disqualify you from the promise
  • Jesus’s death eliminated the need for us to satisfy the law in order to receive the blessings of God
  • It also allowed us to be heirs of Abraham which qualifies us for the promise
  • As Christians, we are qualified to receive the blessings of Abraham

We can indeed qualify for the blessings of Abraham since we are now made righteous through Jesus.  


We have seen 7 purposes for prosperity:
  1. Prosperity was a reward to the Israelites for following the law
  2. Prosperity can be used to influence others to follow God
  3. Prosperity can be used to help others in need
  4. Prosperity is protection for the future
  5. Prosperity can be confirmation that you have reached your God given destiny
  6. Prosperity can enable you to walk in your gift or purpose
  7. Prosperity is a gift to enjoy

We also saw that Jesus allowed us to be descendants of Abraham and eligible for the blessings promised to Abraham.

But Jesus was focused in a different type of blessing...

Luke 6:20-21
20And turning His gaze toward His disciples, He began to say, “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21“Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

The Old Testament blessings centered around prosperity on earth and inheriting the Promised Land, but New Testament blessings center around inheriting the Kingdom of God , living in eternity with Jesus, and blessings that are stored up in Heaven.

Instead of describing wealth and possessions as God’s blessing, the New Testament warns us that we should not be too attached to the things of this world.  Although we should gratefully receive and joyfully celebrate God’s good gifts of abundant food, warm clothes, and comfortable homes. But we should not mistake these gifts for God’s blessing in our lives. According to the New Testament, God’s blessing is a deeply spiritual reality that comes to those who receive it in humble faith. Our poverty or prosperity is not an indication of whether we are experiencing God’s blessing.

It’s not wrong to have prosperity.  Matthew 6:33 says
33“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

But when we link God’s blessing to our prosperity, we’re in danger of concluding that God is pleased with us as individuals based on our bank accounts or material possessions.  Prosperity may be a gift from God, but it is not a sign of God’s blessing.

Presenter: Michael Leadon


Is Prosperity a Blessing?

God’s Gifts for Prosperity

Prosperity With a Purpose - Bill Johnson

Extra Scriptures

The Covenant

Psalm 1:1-3
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
  • This promises prosperity to the righteous
  • Notice that this isn't just talking about wealth

Reward for Obedience

Proverbs 16:20
20Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers,
and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.

Psalm 84:11
1For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
           The LORD gives grace and glory;
           No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
  • Not withholding is not giving to you
  • This implies that He could withhold good things from those who don’t walk uprightly

The Law - Proselytizing

Deuteronomy 4:5-8
5See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the Lord my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. 6Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” 7What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him? 8And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?
  • What was going to be the people’s reaction to the Jews following the laws?
  • They are a great and wise people
  • They have a righteous  God
  • The fact that God gave them righteous laws was supposed to entice the nations to following God

Helping Others

Luke 6:30
Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.

Matthew 5:42
42“Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

Give to Your Family

1 Timothy 5:8
8But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

The New Covenant

Jeremiah 31:31-34
31“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. 33“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 34“They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Purpose of Giving
  • We become solidified in identity and purpose through the affirmation we receive from giving.
  • There's a unique blessing when your left hand doesn't know what your right hand is doing
 --B Johnson

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