THE BLESSING OF BLESSING
“It is not wrong to be rich, but it is wrong to die rich.”
Brian Kluth, author of 40-Day Spiritual Journey to a More Generous Life was asked by an NBC TV reporter if God wants everyone to be rich. Brian said: “No. Instead, I believe that God wants people to be more generous with what they have.” Later he said: “It is not wrong to be rich, but it is wrong to die rich.” Christianity has often been mistaken for the spiritual avenue that will provide a direct path to personal material prosperity in exchange for a small investment of piety towards an all-powerful God. From a business perspective, this is a very good transaction: pray, read, attend church and pay tithe, and in return you receive from God wealth, protection and ultimately, eternal life. It is easy to think that prosperity is a direct result of obeying God, especially when we read Deuteronomy 28, or numerous stories of the Old Testament, or the book of Psalms with promises for blessing to the ‘thousandth generation’ of those who are faithful. But what about Job, who lost everything, despite His faithfulness? How about the many Christians throughout the Middle Ages who sacrificed their lives for their belief in God? What about us when we face disease, heartache, bankruptcy, divorce, depression or abandonment even though we believe in God? Has God forsaken us? We serve a generous God whose promises in the Bible never fail. He did not promise a prosperous life to those who trust in Him. The whole earth is His, and although it would be easy for God to make everyone rich, His vision infinitely surpasses ours. He reminds us daily that while all the riches are His, we are only “foreigners and strangers” on this earth (Lev. 25:23). When God gives wealth on this side of eternity, He gives it to people who are good stewards of His gifts (1 Cor. 4:2). Faithfulness in small things will qualify someone to be faithful in greater things, and God will entrust more to those who have submitted their gifts to furthering God’s kingdom (Mat. 25:21). Because God sees much more than we can, and He knows us intimately, He blesses each one of us with different gifts that are proportionate with our abilities and our surroundings. His ultimate goal is to bless us in order that we may be channels of His blessings to the world. Material prosperity is far from God’s greatest blessing. His generosity, however, is manifested in His grace, in His forgiveness and in the outpouring of His Spirit. As we receive of His spiritual gifts, we are called to impart them to those around us. John 15:12-13 remind us that a self sacrificing life lived for the benefit of others is the greatest expression of love—God’s greatest gift to us.
God has generously given us heavenly riches that far surpass material possessions."
Reading the Scriptures we find, that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). God has generously given us heavenly riches that far surpass material possessions. While some have been blessed with physical wealth, God’s original intent was to bless his children with spiritual riches. The primary thrust of the Gospel, which revolutionizes our natural human expectations is that Jesus came to reveal to us a kingdom that is not of this world. Once we enter this new dimension, we will be awakened to a vast stream of blessings that comes from a generous God. Our lives will be filled with thanksgiving, and ultimately a generous life, where God is first, others are second, and self is last.