You Were Created To Be Financially Prosperous
By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London
Foundation Scripture: Matthew 6:24-27, Luke 16:10-13
Sunday 27th November 2016
As we round up the financial-focused series today, ‘Understanding the Purpose of Money’, let me share this message with you that has been titled: ‘You Were Created To Be Financially Prosperous’.
Here is the foundation scripture for this series: “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).
Over the years, I have come to realise that believers have misconstrued the place of money in the matters of the kingdom. Instead of giving their relationship with God (who owns all things) the priority that it deserves, Christians have resorted to chasing money instead. We ought to remind ourselves every now and again that prosperity is a by-product of a vibrant relationship with God.
Luke 16:10-13 put this way: ‘He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much’. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?’ And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own? “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” Here is the simple truth: If we cannot trust God with His provision of finances, how can we trust Him to receive true riches – healing, deliverance, grace and mercies. By inference, once we begin to trust God with what truly belongs to Him, then our rightful possessions will be handed to us by Him. It must be noted that mammon is more than just money – it is a spirit. Mammon is a spirit that has a tendency to enslave God’s people through money. The question to ask is this: Who would we serve? God or Mammon?
A good illustration of this concept is found in the book of Exodus. The Israelites had lived in Egypt for some centuries, and had become slaves to Pharaoh. At this point, they were not free to serve God. God sent Moses to confront Pharaoh, in order to release the Israelites from bondage. Here are a few verses from Exodus. ‘And the Lord spoke to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me’ (Exodus 8:1); ‘And the LORD said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh as he comes out to the water. Then say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me’ (Exodus 8:20). ‘Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me’. Then the LORD said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me’ (Exodus 9:1, 13). Such is the heart of God for the church. We cannot serve Him, while we are still in bondage to money. (Also see Exodus 10:3-4).
Here is a conversation between Pharaoh and Moses in Exodus 10:24-26; ‘Then Pharaoh called to Moses and said, “Go, serve the Lord; only let your flocks and your herds be kept back. Let your little ones also go with you.” But Moses said, “You must also give us sacrifices and burnt offerings, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God. Our livestock also shall go with us; not a hoof shall be left behind’. Pharaoh’s intention to keep the wealth of the Israelites in Egypt was frown at by Moses and God. The Israelites’ wealth played a huge part in their worship to God. In the same way, if the devil can prevent us from offering our wealth in worship to God, he knows he has stolen our worship to God. So here is another question – who is in control of our wealth? God or Mammon?
Matthew 6:19-21 reads: ‘“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’. Making a decision to lay up treasures for ourselves on earth is to serve mammon. However, if we make a choice to lay our treasures in Heaven, then we have made a good choice to serve God.
Eventually the Israelites left Egypt and made it to the Promised Land. Once they began to eat from the harvest that they had grown, the manna ceased. Joshua 5:12 reads: ‘Then the manna ceased on the day after they had eaten the produce of the land; and the children of Israel no longer had manna, but they ate the food of the land of Canaan that year’. This same principle can be found in the New Testament. Galatians 6:7-10 reads: ‘Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith’. God has granted us the privilege to determine our harvest by the type of seed that we sow.
2 Corinthians 9:6-15 clarifies this principle, explaining the blessings that our giving provides: ‘But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.” Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
As givers, God always ensures that His children are sufficient in all things, having abundance over and above all that is needed, in order to meet the needs of others. In giving, God wants us to give cheerfully and generously. As sowers, God always gives to us seeds to sow, besides the bread He gives us for sustenance. Beyond seed and bread, He gives even more than enough to ensure that we can provide for others in need. Even so, those who are beneficiaries of our giving ultimately give thanks to God for the provision – and this is what our lives were meant for (Also see Philippians 4:10-19).
In rounding up, here are three points to note, in order to be financially prosperous: Firstly, it is important that you make sowing a lifestyle – Be a sower. Secondly, recognise opportunities to sow. Thirdly, sow according to the leading of the Spirit, sow bountifully with a cheerful disposition. You were created to be financially prosperous. Go forth and enjoy God’s blessings on your finances!
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