Generosity and Prosperity

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Everyone has heard someone speak on prosperity one time or another. It may have been from your pastor or an evangelist. Millions attend conferences to hear presentations on prosperity. Those who speak or write about prosperity always get the attention of individuals who want to be blessed financially. In the church, the prosperity message is correctly presented when the basis of the teaching is found in 3 John 2 (NKJV): "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health just as your soul prospers."

In my opinion, there are far too many individuals preaching a message of giving money to get money. They may call it their prosperity message but it is a message of what is in it for me. One of the first things we need to understand about prosperity is that the Lord desires prosperity for His followers. The book of John speaks of prosperity in all things: that includes our finances, possessions and, most importantly, our souls. John does not stop there. The words from John refer to prosperity in our health, relationships, marriages, careers and everything we experience in life. When John speaks of our souls prospering, he is referring to all believers having healthy and prosperous bodies, souls and spirits. That Scripture has always been one of my favorites, primarily because it covers the sum total of who we are in our relationship with the Lord.

Allow me to remind you that all believers must understand that God is not opposed to prosperity. Throughout His Word, we read of His plans to prosper those who trust, obey and follow Him. Here are just a few examples I have found for you: Proverbs 28:25 (NLT) — "Trusting the Lord leads to prosperity"; Proverbs 21:5 — "Hard work leads to prosperity"; 1 Samuel 25:6 — "Peace and prosperity to you, your family and everything you own"; Deuteronomy 28:11 — "The Lord will give you prosperity in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you."

Jesus told us He wants us to have life and live it abundantly; that is another way to say prosper. All of these promises in God's Word revealed how much He desires to prosper His followers. If the Lord wants us to prosper, and we want to prosper, then why do some feel that they will never have the opportunity to flourish financially? In my opinion, the answer to that question is found in how we look at generosity. The Bible tells us that to much is given, much is required. Because we have been given so much from the Lord, we have an obligation to give generously. Whatever we have, be it money, talent or time, we must give it generously. Generosity is not about equal amounts of giving from what we have; it's about giving equal amounts of sacrifice. We are to be generous with everything.

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Desiring some type of prosperity is a goal of every person we know. The amount of prosperity we desire is in direct relationship to where we focus our thoughts and interests. If our focus is on making more money, we will probably put our efforts in that direction. If we focus on building great relationships, then we will probably prosper with many friends. Wherever our focus flows is where our desire to prosper goes. If all this is true, then what restricts us from prosperity?

May you be blessed as you listen to this series on financial prosperity. Next month, I will be introducing a new series on building our faith. Those podcasts will be based on my book, "Receive Everything From What We Call Nothing." It is based on God's promise to Abraham to be the father of many nations. Abraham told God he was not able to produce a child but God brought something from nothing.

Please join me on my podcast, Quality Christian Living, at CPNshows.com.

David C. Friend was the founder and pastor of North Scottsdale Christian Church in Scottsdale, Arizona. He has served as the president of the Paradise Valley Chamber of Commerce and was chairman of the Grand Canyon University Foundation Board. Before answering God's call and accepting the full-time position as pastor of North Scottsdale Christian, David spent 14 years in banking and owned a real estate development company for 20 years. He taught banking operations at Arizona community colleges. David resides in North Scottsdale with his wife, Sharon, and together they have two married children and six grandchildren. David is an award-winning author, veteran, entrepreneur, pastor, banker and teacher.

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