Riches: Blessed or Cursed?
By Joseph Chambers
Wealth and plenty can be a wonderful blessing or a horrible curse; that depends on you. It is an absolute fact that God has promised to supply all your needs, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). It is even a covenant from God that any man or woman with a liberal heart in giving to the cause of His Kingdom will be overrun with return increases in their possessions. God will so bless a magnanimous heart that they will need to look for places to give from their blessings. It has been said that God is not a debtor to any man.
A man or woman that only pays their tithes will be blessed, but very limited. In fact, to only pay your tithes leaves you in the realm of the Pharisees who strictly obeyed the law, but only the required and never beyond. It is a very limited realm to live by; however, this is where most Christians have justified themselves. Abraham, Moses, and King David were men that proved God to be a supernatural partner even in their possessions. All were wealthy and blessed beyond measure but with the fellowship of God at the forefront. Abraham was called a friend of God. David was a man after God’s own heart. Moses talked to God mouth-to-mouth. They were magnanimous souls without a stingy cell in their person.
By the Spirit James cried out concerning corrupted riches, “Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth. Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter” (James 5:1-5) Riches can bless or riches can corrupt; you must decide. Years ago, I started giving 40-50% of my small salary and everything I had multiplied. My possessions are very limited, but they are blessed with a genuine feeling of being secure and satisfied.
Everything you own is “stored up self.” Whether you labored to earn it or inherited it, all you have that you have not sanctified by tithing and liberal giving is cursed and will not bring you any lasting satisfaction. God spoke by His Holy Spirit. “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 3:8-12).
What powerful words – divine Words! The tithing principles that a Jewish person, who was living under the laws of Moses obeyed, was almost 30%. No one doubts that Jewish people have been among the wealthiest in the world even during nearly two thousand years of their dispersion. Why? It is because they have followed God’s principles in financial matters.
Do not wait to be wealthy so you can give and do not give to be wealthy. Tithe and give because you love God and love His Holy Word and because you want to live pleasing to Him. “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him” (II Chronicles 16:9a).
Quit using your income, whether it is small or large, just to live to yourself and buy what you want. Make the Kingdom of Jesus Christ the center of your life. Live for the work of missions, reaching the unsaved, sharing your possessions with others that are in need, and blessing your church so that it can touch the world. Forsake everything and everyone that stands between you and the perfect will of God. Surrender to the point of total devotion to His Holy Word and divine truth. Remember His words, “Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days” (Ecclesiastes 11:1).
Joseph R Chambers, DD, DSL