I can see why the prosperity gospel is so easily perverted. For example, take this Scripture: “And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work. As it is written: He scattered; He gave to the poor; His righteousness endures forever. Now the One who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us.” 2 Corinthians 9:8-11 Now on the surface some can make this simply to say, the more you give, the more you will receive. And in part that is true, if you have the right motivation. For the giver, your motivation should be to give cheerfully, as you have decided in your heart to give. (9:7) For the preacher or teacher, if you teach to give so that others will give to you, are you not just extorting from them. Working on their emotions to give to you so that they will be blessed? Isn’t your heart only on what you will get and not to teach the true meaning of generosity. God loves a cheerful giver, and He loves that we should always be thinking about what we can give, compared to what we can receive. From the poorest to the richest, we can all give, for God makes every grace overflow to each of us. God is totally interested in our hearts, not our pocket books. He is interested in what we do with that which we have been blessed with. Remember the parable of the widow who could only give a mite, compared to the rich person who put all kinds of money into the temple treasury. The one blessed was the widow, for she gave out of the desire of her heart, while the rich man gave out of his riches. You can rest assured, he would not have given to the point where he had nothing to live on. But she did because it was more important for her to honor God, for blessing her, than it was for her to even have something to eat. How many times have we given out of our surplus instead of heart? This is not a devotional about giving, although it could be. It is about what it is that makes us generous, or needy. It’s about that which exists within us that we often try to mask, or justify as doing the right thing, when we are just trying to do what will be the best for us. If our thinking is on us, how will God make that into an enrichment of righteousness for our generosity, when we have already considered then acted on the desired effect that will make us better, that will give us more of what we want, instead of what God wants? All I can ask here is that we all start looking at the heart of the matter, for the way we place ourselves in front of God. Would He really be impressed with us, or will the intentions of the heart give us away, and cause us to hang our heads in shame. This is a huge prayer need within the churches today. That we turn from thinking about what is best for us, and trust God to show us what is best for us, and then to act out of honor to Him, and not for the best benefit of self. That is what will increase our harvest of righteousness. And it doesn’t have to do with just filling the plate that is passed, but the giving of ourselves to the service of His work. Let’s have hearts that take care of each other, for His glory, and cheerfully, knowing that all we have belongs to Him.
Heavenly Father, Would You help us to see what You see? Would you open up the window of our hearts, and let us see the things that we have kept hidden, as if anything could be hidden from You. I pray for all of us to be turned to You for Your glory and not our own. May the righteousness we gain be that which is from You, and not something we have instituted within ourselves. I pray for changed hearts in Jesus name.