Devotional: From poverty to prosperity (2)
As we’ve seen, poverty is one of the curses of the broken law. Jesus endured that curse that we might have the blessing which is prosperity.
Jesus said, "It's more blessed to give than to receive." If you're always receiving and never giving, you're not enjoying the greater blessings and God wants all His people to enjoy that greater blessing, so He wants us all to have abundance: more than enough for ourselves that we may share with others. That's His will that we may serve him with joy and gladness for the abundance of all things.
But the alternative, the curse, is this, “You shall serve your enemies whom the Lord shall send against you”, and let me remind you, if the Lord sends enemies against you, you have no option but to serve them. There is no other way. “You shall serve your enemies in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things.” That's the curse. Sum that up, hunger, thirst, nakedness, lack of all things. What is it? It's absolute, total poverty. You can't have greater poverty than hunger, thirst, nakedness, and lack of all things and that's the curse, the poverty curse. Christ has redeemed us from the poverty curse.
This exchange from poverty to prosperity is fully confirmed in the New Testament. It's not something that's just in the Old Testament.
"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes, he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich." (2 Corinthians 8:9 NIV)
So there's the exchange, very simple, on the cross, Jesus became poor with absolute poverty. He was hungry, thirsty, naked, and in want of everything. Why? That we, through his poverty, might have the abundance that is the legitimate blessing of obedience to the Law of God. And, Paul explains the outworking of this exchange very clearly in the next chapter:
"God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." (2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV)
That's God's abundance: all things at all times, you have all that you need. That's prosperity. Abundance is, to have more than you need so you're able to give and share with others. It's not for selfish ends; it's not to gratify materialism or selfishness, it's to enable us to enjoy the greater blessing of giving. So many Christians are just receivers, they never give. They miss that greater blessing because they haven't entered into God's abundance and understood its purpose as it's provided for us through the death of Jesus.
Father, please help to understand why giving is so much more important than receiving. Please help me to open my heart for how You may lead me to give, to share, trusting You that You will always, at all times, give all that I need, so I may abound in every good work. Thank You for this amazing grace! Amen!