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Prosperity, God's Way

by Tom Brown

Yes! You can prosper in all things! You can have a wonderful marriage, fine children, peace of mind, good health, a worthwhile career and, on top of all this, you can have plenty of money to enjoy life and still maintain an intimate relationship with God.

Does this sound too good to be true? Well, it's not, because God has promised all this to us.

3 John 2 says, "Beloved, concerning all things, I pray that you may prosper and be in health." (Literal Greek). The disciple whom Jesus loved shares this prayer with Gaius, the recipient of this short letter. John knows how and what to pray for. And what does he pray: Notice, "...concerning all things, I pray that you may prosper."

John wanted Gaius to prosper in all things. God also wants you to prosper concerning all things, not just some things. This is God's heart.

God's plan for prosperity includes everything. Yet, too often, we associate prosperity with just money. Money is a part of prosperity, but only a small part. In fact, money is the lowest form of prosperity.

This is what prompted Paul to write, "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment" (1 Timothy 6:17). Paul was not against money, but he knew that it had very little power.

Money can buy you...

A skilled doctor but not health.

A high-priced psychiatrist but not peace.

A house but not a home.

Clothes for your children but not their respect.

A vacation but not enjoyment.

A car but not safety.

Food but not contentment.

A Bible but not understanding.

Shrewd lawyers but not justice.

A beautiful church building but not spiritual people.

Companionship but not friendship.

A wedding but not a marriage.

There are definite limitations to money. Money is not inherently evil, but neither is it inherently good. Money is amoral. It is only an instrument. You can use it for good, or you can use it for evil. But its power is definitely weak.

True power lies in our faith in God. Nothing is impossible for him who believes.

True prosperity is the ability to use God's power to meet the needs of mankind in any realm of life. How do we get this power?

PROSPERITY OF THE SOUL

The answer lies in the scripture that we first quoted: "Beloved, concerning all things, I pray that you may prosper...EVEN AS YOUR SOUL PROSPERS." You will only be as prosperous as your soul! If your soul is poor, so shall you be.

The soul is the mental part of you that controls your spiritual life. Your soul governs your spiritual life.

The way your soul prospers is by walking in the truth. John continues, "It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth" (3 John 3). John knew that Gaius' soul was prospering because he was walking in the truth.

Jesus says, "Thy Word is truth." To walk in the Word of God is to walk in the truth.

Ultimately, it is the Word that produces prosperity.

God told Joshua to "meditate on the Law (God's Word) day and night," and as a result, "you will be prosperous and successful wherever you go" (see Joshua 1:7-8).

David agrees with this, for he writes, "Blessed is the man who meditates day and night on the Law. Whatever he does prospers" (see Psalms 1:1-3).

The New Testament affirms that the Word prospers us in everything: "But if anyone keeps looking steadily into God's law for free men, he will not only remember it but he will do what it says, and God will greatly bless him in everything he does" (James 1:25, Living Bible--italics added).

Notice that in these passages, the Word prospers us in everything we do. This corroborates what John said to Gaius--that he would prosper concerning all things because he was walking in the Word. As long as you walk in the Word, you can prosper in everything!

GOD'S PLAN VERSES THE WORLD'S

God has a highly organized system to meet the needs of every facet of life. It is based on the "Word System."

The devil, on the other hand, promises prosperity to his faithful, but it is based on the "World System."

The world's system has one major drawback. It cannot produce total prosperity. It can produce prosperity only in the areas that a person will be totally devoted to.

For example, anyone can make a lot of money, as long as he is willing to sacrifice in other areas to do it. We know of many rich people who have miserable marriages, rotten kids, ulcers, and a host of other problems. They have these problems because they had to devote themselves to earning money and, as a result, could not spend enough time with their spouses and children to make them happy. The divorce courts are backed up with many such cases.

God's plan, however, has no drawbacks. God says, "Get in My Word, put it first, learn it, memorize it, speak it, do it--and you will prosper in everything!

Jesus says, "No one can serve two masters...he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money" (Matthew 6:24). Jesus says that it is impossible to be devoted to more than one thing, so you might as well be devoted to God and His Word.

ONE THING IS NEEDED

Jesus was eating dinner at the home of Mary and Martha. Jesus was teaching, while Martha was busying herself with cooking dinner. In frustration, Martha told Jesus, "Lord, tell my sister Mary to help me in the kitchen."

Jesus looked at her and said, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

What did Mary choose? She chose the Word.

Can you relate to Martha? Are you worried and upset about many things: perhaps your business, your finances, your family, your spouse, your health, or whatever? Martha's answer to all her problems was at the feet of Jesus with her sister, listening to Jesus teach the Word. (see Luke 10:38-42).

You may say, "But I don't understand how getting into the Word of God is going to solve my problems!"

Here is how it works: Your soul influences your spirit. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. As you renew your mind to God's Word, and start to think in line with His will, your spirit man will began to produce the things you need in life that you have discovered are God's will to meet.

Many people are living below their privileges in Christ because they don't know the will of God. God's will can be discovered by knowing His Word. His Word is His Will. Once you discover that it is God's will to prosper you financially, heal your body, restore your marriage, fill you with the Holy Spirit, give you power to drive out spirits, then your faith will rise up to that level and you'll begin to pray in faith for all those things.

You cannot have faith for all those things unless you meditate on the Word of God. For faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Let me illustrate this truth.

Many years ago there was a poor, illiterate man from a third-world country who heard about prosperity in America. So he worked hard to save enough money to buy a one-way ticket to America.

He was glad to board the ship. But after the long journey he became hungry. For days, he had been eating cheese and crackers that he purchased for the trip. This was all he could afford.

During the mornings, he would sneak to the dining room deck and watch all the people enjoy their breakfasts. They would eat three-egg omelets, succulent ham, crispy bacon, and drink fresh-squeezed orange juice, milk and coffee. His mouth would water as he envied them.

He would do this during lunch and dinner also. He began to despise his stale cheese and crackers. But the journey finally ended. He had arrived in America.

Before he departed from the ship, he was asked to see the captain. He met him, and the captain asked, "Sir, was there anything that we did to offend you?"

"Why, no, Captain. Whatever gave you that impression?"

"I could not help notice that you never joined us for any of the meals, so I thought you were upset with us."

The man bowed his head in shame. "Well, you see, I wasn't able to afford the meals. I had enough money just to buy the ticket."

"Oh, sir," the captain exclaimed, "Didn't you know that the meals were included in the ticket!?"

The man missed out on enjoying all the meals because of ignorance. He didn't read what the ticket said.

Many Christians are going through life, not realizing that the price Jesus paid for their trip to heaven also includes the baptism of the Holy Spirit with speaking in other tongues, healing for the body, financial prosperity, power over the devil, freedom from fear, and much more.

Why aren't they enjoying these things? Because they haven't read the ticket, which is the New Testament, to find out what belongs to them.

This is why all you need to prosper in everything is to know what the Word of God says.

You can have it all...with the Word of God!

 

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