we are stewards over the resources God gives us

STEWARDSHIP IN GOD’S KINGDOM IV

The world’s economy is in shambles, with people complaining everywhere. But listen, the Word says God’s eyes are on the generous. He cannot do without them, for they’ve set their heart to prosper His work. God’s financial system is independent of the world’s economy. The children of God are not supposed to be limited by the world’s system. God is able to pour earthly blessings on you so much so that you will be self-sufficient, possessing enough to help you carry out your godly responsibility. You will require no aid or support from the government or any organization. Instead, you will donate; you’ll give out to people even if the world’s economy is in a mess.

That reminds me of Jeremiah 17:7-8 (Amplified): “[Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.” Hallelujah! We bear fruits no matter what; delicious fruits (NLT). When you look at the people of the world, they are always full of care about where the economy is going. The Word says we won’t be anxious and full of care like the rest of the world. We don’t survive in the world, we thrive!

But there are believers who are always complaining. Well, they have decided to remain where they are; they don’t know it is the Lord who makes us rich in order to carry out His plans and purposes in the earth. In 2 Corinthians 9, Paul something remarkable: “As it is written, He [the benevolent person] scatters abroad; He gives to the poor; His deeds of justice and goodness and kindness and benevolence will go on and endure forever! [Palms 112:9.] And [God] Who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating will also provide and multiply your [resources for] sowing and increase the fruits of your righteousness [which manifests itself in active goodness, kindness, and charity]. [Isa 55:10; Hos 10:12.] Thus you will be enriched in all things and in every way, so that you can be generous, and [your generosity as it is] administered by us will bring forth thanksgiving to God.

For the service that the ministering of this fund renders does not only fully supply what is lacking to the saints (God’s people), but it also overflows in many [cries of] thanksgiving to God. Because at [your] standing of the test of this ministry, they will glorify God for your loyalty and obedience to the Gospel of Christ which you confess, as well as for your generous-hearted liberality to them and to all [the other needy ones]. And they yearn for you while they pray for you, because of the surpassing measure of God’s grace (His favor and mercy and spiritual blessing which is shown forth) in you. Now thanks be to God for His Gift, [precious] beyond telling [His indescribable, inexpressible, free Gift]!” (verse 9-15). The benevolent person’s work will go on and endure forever! Hallelujah! His business is to find something to do in order to make wealth for God’s Kingdom.

Such a person does not function like any other businessman; he has an anointing upon him that causes everything he does to prosper! He wins where others are failing. He may have little or no knowledge about his work but the Lord gives him a special grace to function. Nothing can stop him from being fruitful in the office God has called him to! God Himself is the one who provides seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so what has he got to worry about? Nothing at all! Scripture says he will be enriched in all things and every way. This is so that he can continue his generosity, which brings forth thanksgiving to God; oh my God! He doesn’t supply only what is lacking to God’s people, but it overflows in many thanksgiving to God. Interestingly, God inhabits in the praise of His people (Psalm 22:3).

You know, as believers receive the gifts, they keep thanking God for providing what they needed. But then, God used you as a source! That’s what God seeks to do in the body of Christ, but many people are missing out on it. And do you know the other part? They need you while they pray for you, because of what God provided for them through you. My heart is connected to this. I’m always like: “God, I want to give to prosper your kingdom. Souls need to be won, not just one on one, but that they will be swept into your kingdom like flood!” But in order to make that possible, money is needed. What believers are lacking are the mysteries in Christ. There’s so much in Christ, and until you give yourself to the ministry of the Holy Ghost, you wouldn’t know much. There’s a big difference between being passionate about making wealth for the Kingdom of God and loving wealth itself.

Never put your trust in wealth – learn to share what you have: “Trust in your money and down you go! But the godly flourish like leaves in spring” (Proverbs 11:28). Wealth promises power and control, but often it cannot deliver. Great fortunes can be made and lost overnight and no amount of money can provide health, happiness, or eternal life. How much better it is to let God be your Master. His children have peace of mind and security, both now and forever. Don’t be trapped into making money by wrong means: “Don’t try to get rich by extortion or robbery. And if your wealth increases, don’t make it the center of your life” (Psalm 62:10). The Psalmist understand what he’s saying, for he also shared his experience: “I myself have seen it happen – proud and evil people thriving like mighty trees. But when I looked again, they were gone! Though I searched for them, I could not find them!” (Psalm 37:35-36).

If your wealth increases, don't make it the center of your life - Psalm 62:10

How said would it be to have billions of investments here on earth and not have a cent in heaven! Time spent on this earth is but a small dot on line that never ends. What really counts is the heavenly treasure we lay up while we are here on earth. Let’s make wise use of our finances, spending our money to help those in need and to spread the gospel. In this way, our earthly investment will bring eternal benefit. We have a glorious inheritance (Ephesians 1:18). God’s glorious riches are available to all those who believe in Christ Jesus. But we must think of them as coming from Him, and not of our own doing or fully in our own possession. Don’t be envious of the gifts others have. Instead, look for the gifts God has given you, and resolve to do the tasks he has uniquely qualified you to do. Learn to manage money; otherwise it will manage you.

God lovingly and generously provides for our needs. God’s desire is for us to trust in Him as the living provider – not to trust in the provision itself or the pursuit thereof. Those who choose to trust in anything other than God will be judged by God. Be careful about the way you handle things: “Thus says the Lord: Let not the wise and skillful person glory and boast in his wisdom and skill; let not the mighty and powerful person glory and boast in his strength and power; let not the person who is rich [in physical gratification and earthly wealth] glory and boast in his [temporal satisfactions and earthly] riches; But let him who glories glory in this: that he understands and knows Me [personally and practically, directly discerning and recognizing My character], that I am the Lord, Who practices loving-kindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight, says the Lord” (Jeremiah 9:23-24, AMP. See also 1 Corinthians 1:31; 2 Corinthians 10:17).

God wants us to know Him directly and personally – practically, which means by experience. Most at times people describe God in ways that seem questionable. You see, there’s knowledge about God that goes beyond the letters in scriptures. It’s that knowledge that comes by revelation. Such is an example of knowledge Paul desired for the believers in Ephesus: “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:17-18). The Apostle Peter tells us: “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Peter 1:2).

The Greek word for “knowledge” in that verse is “epignosis.” It means full knowledge that transcends mere awareness; an esoteric knowledge – discernment or full understanding of God and our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. There’s the Bible, alright, but you don’t get “epignosis” from it – you get it by revelation from the Holy Spirit. We’re not to trust and boast in our abilities; we’re to boast in God, for we know Him by revelation. This is the best man can ever get in his life. It is written: “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!” (Proverbs 16:16). No wonder Paul declared: “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I may have Christ” (Philippians 3:8, NLT).

The reason why a lot of Christians are failing and experiencing difficulties almost throughout their lives is because of their ignorance. These are the same people who wouldn’t accept what you teach. No wonder they are crushed, bruised and suffer for rejecting knowledge (Hosea 4:6). You can imagine the number of people who are misusing their wealth for lack of knowledge. For them, they think they are making investment. But investment without considering the Kingdom of God is worthless! They love and care for the things of the world so much. Jesus didn’t make a mistake by saying a man’s heart is where his treasure is. His heart is connected to the world because he has no investment in heaven. In the end, he’ll only realise that he’s been a fool! Why should I only think about hoarding and not giving out, just because I want to become “the richest man in the world?”

I want to be the riches man in Heaven – YES! As a Christian, don’t be too concerned about your physical needs. The Lord began to speak to me when I was very young. As boy, I had several needs to be met. Whenever He spoke, He’d say, “Be anxious for nothing!” (Philippians 4:6). Be like David who said, “The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need” (Psalm 23:1, TLB). Jesus makes a law: “…don’t worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern” (Matthew 6:31-33, NLT). If you’re an employer, try as much as you can to live in peace with your employees. Pay them well, do not cheat.

Be anxious about nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God - Philipians 4:6

One of the reasons why people cheat is because they think their source of wealth comes from their work. This is also one of the reasons why people in government steal from the nation’s resources. They think they’re in power so if they don’t quickly do something, they will face difficulties when there’s a change in government. My Bible tells me that, “It is the Lord’s blessing that makes a person rich, and hard work adds nothing to it” (Proverbs 10:22, GW). The Living Bible says “All our work adds nothing to it!” When this reality dawns on you, I don’t think you’ll consider cheating. God’s blessing does not depend on the work you do. Do Christians really understand the favour of God? That’s why the Bible admonishes us to grow in grace (2 Peter 3:18). No condition is too poor that God cannot change to His glory. He turned a slave boy to a Prime Minister of a foreign country (Genesis 41:37-44); not even his home country.

Or is it not written, that “He picks up the poor from out of the dirt, rescues the wretched who’ve been thrown out with the trash, seats them among the honored guests, a place of honor among the brightest and best?” (Psalm 113:7-8, MSG). There are Christians who live on terms with God as though they are workers for Him. Listen, the way an employer acts towards his employee is different from his relationship with his son. The employee works hard to receive something from the master, but the son doesn’t. We don’t struggle for anything! The son is an heir to the father’s property; he’s legally entitled to it. If so, then why do most believers go before God slouching like mere beggars! We are even not employees, how much more beggars? Or is it not written that we are sons of God? (1 John 3:2). Oh boy!

We are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:16-17). Why would we struggle when we become fully aware of our rights and privileges in Christ? Like Paul, I pray that believers all around the world would come to the true knowledge of their identity in Christ – that they be filled with the “epignosis” of God. The rich rules over the poor and the borrower is servant to the lender (Proverbs 22:7). Although borrowing money is not, in itself, sinful, we are to be careful and wise in our borrowing so we don’t become slaves to debt. If you co-sign a loan for a friend or guarantee the debt of someone you hardly know, get out of it if you possibly can (Proverbs 6:1-5). Debt is not a sin, but it is a dangerous thing. We are to avoid it whenever possible. Do well to pay all your debts (Romans 13:8). Although incurring debt may not be sinful, the failure to repay is serious problem.

As a child of God, desire to be a lender, never a borrower. God wants us to be givers. If you apply what we’ve learnt so far, you will always be a giver and not a borrower! It’s my prayer that what I’ve shared with you will have a great impact in your life. God will give you everything you need when you make His Kingdom your primary concern, by seeking to prosper it. In that way, He’s ready to channel His resources through you and be a blessing to many. He’ll make you a steward of His unlimited resources; what an honour! Notice that He takes care of you before it overflows to others. He’s a just God! That’s Jehovah-Jireh – the Lord our Provider! Finally brethren, I want you to know that “…God has reserved a priceless inheritance for his children. It is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay” (1 Peter 1:4, TLB). Keep storing your treasures in heaven.

God bless you!

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