Divine prosperity and basic necessities

divine prosperity?Twenty or so years ago, prosperity preachers used to say that if you were driving a Chevrolet instead of a Cadillac, you were living beneath your privileges and probably didn’t have the faith to live in divine prosperity. Maybe some of them still do. I stopped paying attention.

I believe in divine prosperity, so long as we let the Bible define it. 2 Corinthians 8-9 constitute the greatest fund raising letter in history. Paul wanted to raise a huge donation for the church in Jerusalem, and here is what he promised that generous people would receive: enough for every need and abundance for every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8).… Read the rest

Do you love money? Or would you rather be content?

Greed

Is money the root of all evil? Lot’s of people think that’s what the Bible says, but it’s not. The correct quotation is that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. There’s a big difference. We all need money, but money is a tool, not the proper object of love. Here is the verse in context:

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

Read the rest

Learning to be content

Contentment“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” — Philippians 4:11 (NKJV)

Isn’t it amazing how the whole meaning of a sentence can change when you shift your main attention from one word to another? Most of the time, preachers and writers seem to emphasize “content” and discuss the meaning an importance of contentment. Once, when I was in a particularly foul mood, I came across this verse and got hung up on “state.” I actually said aloud, “Paul, you were never in Iowa,” closed my Bible, and stormed off to enjoy my pity party.… Read the rest

Eat your food with gladness

Of all the heros of the Old Testament, I have the most trouble really appreciating Solomon. It’s hard to relate to anyone so rich and powerful–and who had all those women. They were his downfall, really. A man known for his wisdom foolishly turned away from following God. He also wrote the gloomiest book in the Bible, but if we dig beneath an almost cynical surface, Solomon has a lot to say about living in an imperfect world.

It’s almost as if God let Solomon discover that the human condition is hopeless without a savior, but then neglected to let him in on the fact that he intended to provide a savior.… Read the rest

Love of money, or contentment?

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” Hebrews 13:5–NIV

We need to trust God with all our heart, mind, and body. That, alas, means to trust him with our money. That’s what the tithe and savings accounts are for. We should all live on 80% of our income. 10% belongs to God, payable to a local church congregation or some other ministry that is doing his work. 10% belongs in savings or investments so that when hard times come (and they will to everyone at one time or another) we have resources to see us through.… Read the rest

Trusting God

Sometimes it’s hard to trust God. I don’t just mean times when everything in life seems to be going wrong. Sometimes we just get into the habit of occupying our thoughts with all kinds of things that are none of our business. Psalm 131 is a good picture of childlike trust. David compares himself to a weaned child: a child no longer a baby, no longer considering the mother’s breast her most important attribute. A weaned child is a content child, enjoying mother’s company. Here is one of a number of passages where God is compared not to a father, but to a mother.… Read the rest