God blesses us not just because He loves us (although this is true), but to also be a blessing to others.  It is, if you will, more of a pay it forward type of concept.  God also doesn’t just bless us financially, but with giftings, talents, promotions, time and influence.  Even though God blesses us because He loves us, there is one condition for an increase in blessings: that we use it wisely, and be a good steward of it.  But why is this important?  Why can’t we do what we want with it?

Let’s take money, for example.  God will not bless you with money unless you are able to handle the responsibility and not use it for your own gain.  Poor spending habits and bad decisions with money comprise most of the debt load that couples now face.  Instead of being responsible with what we have and waiting for God to bless us, we look to what we want NOW.  We do not want to, nor do we have to save up because credit tells us we can have what we want now instead of later.  However problems arise when we begin to have to pay back our tomorrow- meaning paying back the things we charged instead of waiting for tomorrow when we can pay in full.    Proverbs 22:7 says, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is a slave to the lender.”  Banks make a great deal of money off of interest, and if you look at it, how much money would you save each year if you paid cash instead of charging?  How much more money would you have in your bank account each year if you wouldn’t have charged things on your credit card?

If you look at things from a worldly perspective, why would God give you more money that is supposed to provide for your needs when you will go out and gamble it away?  Is that being responsible with it?  Or if you will go out and charge things that you don’t have the money for?  It is like your employer paying you a year’s salary at the beginning of the year and trusting that you will show up to work.  Responsible people will show up to work.  Other’s attendance may be intermittent because there is no real driving force to show up at work.  Would you give someone money on a promise without any guarantees of seeing a return?  Would you lend someone money to pay bill knowing that there is a good likelihood that they will buy drugs?  God is the same way.  He loves providing for His children, but not if riches is going to create destructive habits, or the individual cannot be responsible with it.

God will give you financial prosperity- scripture says so (Proverbs 10:22, Proverbs 3:9-10, Philippians 4:19) So why do some people struggle financially?

The Bible cites one reason in Proverbs 11:24-25:

 “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”

This person is blessed to be a blessing.  This is the basic level of financial prosperity, and refers to the tithe.  We are commanded to give 10% back to God because it is His.  Giving this money to the church enables it to provide for people who are truly in need.  Giving God 10% of our income opens the doors of heaven and God’s blessing pours out.  The Church doesn’t ask for the tithe just so they can get rich- it has a purpose- and because you give freely and with a cheerful heart, God will bless you in return.

The same applies to offerings.  God will often ask you to place a special offering over and above your tithe for a reason, and we are to be obedient.  Often, God will also ask you to give someone a sum of money.  All that is required is obedience, and God will bless you 50, 60, and 100 fold (Parable of the Sower).

 “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all-sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:8-12)

How do you know that by being obedient and giving the money to someone else was not an answer to their prayer?  God was there for you when you needed Him.  He didn’t say no and turn away.  By not following God’s word, you are walking in disobedience and in this situation, God is not being magnified.  Would you also want to be responsible for someone going hungry when you have so much just because you didn’t want to part with twenty dollars?  Or maybe you don’t want the blessing that accompanies obedience which is the promise of increase.

But maybe you think that it is a sin to have money.  After all, doesn’t it say in 1 Timothy 6 that “money is the root of all evil”?  So isn’t it a sin to want to be wealthy?

This scripture has been distorted.  The true scripture in 1 Timothy 6:9-10 reads:

 “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.”

This states that those who prize riches over God will fall into temptation to hoard money.  They will become greedy and pursue money over God.  It is to love money more that you love God that is a sin- not being wealthy.  When greed takes over, that’s when God leaves because you are acquiring wealth on your own strength, and you love wealth more than you love the one who gave it to you in the first place.  The love of money and possessions causes a void that cannot be filled, and it stems from greed.  It stems from saying that you do not need God, because look at what I have.  It overlooks that we are blessed to be a blessing- to others, not just to ourselves.

To believe that to have money is evil negates the scriptures that read:

“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.: (Proverbs 19:17)

“Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.” (Proverbs 13:11)

“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

It doesn’t sound like God wants you to be poor, because if you were, how could you bless others?  Where is the glory in that, and who would want to be a “poor” Christian when they can be wealthy in the world?  God says to give, and (more) will be given to you… RUNNING OVER.  “Running over” implies more blessings than we could imagine.

So how to we receive financial blessings?  Scripture says that God will bless whatever we put our hands to, and also warns us against slothfulness (which is a sin).  God wants us to work at our jobs, or work in general to reap a financial harvest.  If we don’t work, we won’t receive a financial blessing- we aren’t putting our hand to something.  We are also not fulfilling His plan and purpose for our lives, and therefore not doing any work for the kingdom.

God wants you to be a good steward of the resources He has given to you.  He doesn’t want you to overspend because what will happen when you receive increase?  Many people deceive themselves into believing that “if only they had more money” they could repay their debt.  But in reality, then need to change their spending habits.  Otherwise when increase comes, all that will happen is that it will too quickly disappear without any real benefit.  We are to manage our money effectively if we want God to bless us.  If God can trust us with little, He can trust us with much.

Next week:  What is slothfulness?  Why is it wrong?  And more importantly, God says you were uniquely created with a plan and purpose in life.  What’s your plan and purpose?  Find out how God created you… special, and why you are here.

Blessed to be a Blessing Continues with Being Blessed in the Workplace