What Kind Of Life Can We Expect?

Chris

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What Kind Of Life Can We Expect?
By Jack Kelley

Here’s a good question. A website follower wrote, “For some time I have been discussing and studying Matt. 6:25-34 regarding what the Lord promised to provide for the believer. Taken literally, it seems to say that we are promised food and clothes and that’s it. Of course, that is a great deal if you do not have those things, but some argue that God has also included much more as well. I believe this but unfortunately, I can’t back this up with scripture. Can you help?”

First, let’s summarize the passage. In Matt. 6:25 Jesus said “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?”

I think one thing He was telling us is that we should eat to live, not live to eat. A sufficient quantity of wholesome healthy food is really all we need. What do we gain by overindulging in food and drink that can actually shorten our life? And as long as we have sufficient serviceable clothing, what else do we need? What benefit is there in strutting around like a peacock? Life should be much more important to us than these things.

And we’ll close with verses 31- 34. “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

The first thing we can see here is that life is far too important to be spent worrying about the future, especially where the basic necessities are concerned. And the second thing is if we’ll focus on seeking God’s Kingdom and His righteousness He’ll see that these needs are met. Therefore worrying about them is unnecessary.

Earlier in the same instruction, He had cautioned us against storing up treasure on Earth because it can be lost or stolen (Matt. 6:19-21). He said to store up treasure in Heaven instead, where that can’t happen. Many have also written asking how to do that, and the answer is in Mark 10:17-22. A rich young man had asked how to inherit eternal life. After the young man said he was already keeping the commandments, Jesus told him to sell everything and give it to the poor. Then he would have treasure in Heaven.

The two points to the discussion are that the young man was not happy with the answer because he had great wealth and was apparently reluctant to part with it. This proved the Lord’s point that we can’t serve two masters (Matt. 6:24). Excessive focus on material things will always get in the way of pleasing God. And the second point is that using our earthly treasure to help the poor is a way to build our store of heavenly treasure.

So far it doesn’t sound very practical. Many believe that if they don’t worry about taking care of themselves, then who will? And if we give away all of our excess what will we do when hard times come?

This is where some of the Lord’s other promises come into focus. Remember, we’re talking about life here. And what did He say about life? “I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

Does living from hand to mouth, having nothing to fall back on sound like a worry-free abundant life? Hardly. So there must be more to this than meets the eye. And there is, because when you have the faith to live like He told you to, some other promises start to kick in.

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)

When our actions demonstrate generosity, then we’ll be blessed generously in return. It’s a classic cause and effect relationship. Generous giving is the sign of an abundance mentality. It shows we know the Lord has made unlimited resources available to us so we don’t have to hoard what we have. We can share what we have with those who have nothing because we know there’s more where that came from.

This is a good time to refute the false teaching sometimes called “giving to get.” Although Luke 6:38 says our generosity toward others will determine the Lord’s generosity toward us, giving with an expectation of receiving is not being generous, it’s being greedy. True generosity carries no expectation of future reward but is an expression of gratitude for rewards already received.

If our gratitude for having our needs consistently met in the past prompts us to give generously to help others meet their needs in the present, then the Lord will reward our generosity with more blessing in the future. But if we’re only giving to others because we want more for ourselves, the Lord, who sees our hidden motives, will not respond generously.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19). Here’s a case in point. The church in Philippi had responded generously by helping to meet Paul’s needs, and he promised that the Lord would see to theirs in return. He was applying the principle of Luke 6:38.

“You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” (2 Cor. 9:11)

This verse speaks of the escalating effect of Luke 6:38. As our generosity toward others increases so does His toward us. But His generosity will always out pace ours so that after our giving, we’ll wind up with more than when we began. He does this so we can respond to more needs. The principle here is that we’re to be a channel, not a reservoir. We have to remember that His blessings are being channeled through us to reach others in need. As soon as we stop giving to the needs of others, we become a reservoir, storing up what we’ve been given, and the flow of blessings will stop.

But if we stay focused on giving we’ll discover that this promise contains benefits on both sides. As we become more generous toward others, benefitting them, we’ll be made rich in every way, benefitting ourselves, while enabling us to provide even more help to those in need. As you can see, this involves much more than just having our basic needs met. I think the phrase “rich in every way” includes financial, physical, and emotional security, good health, good relationships, and a much more fulfilling walk with the Lord, too. This is the answer to the question we began with. This is the kind of life we can expect.

The times in which this advice was given were not unlike our own. There was uncertainty all around. Israel’s former greatness was a distant memory and the very survival of the nation was in doubt. Individual freedoms were being curtailed and taxes were steadily increasing. Most people were living at basic survival levels. It was a time when people’s natural instincts were to hang onto whatever they could get.

Yet to these people both the Lord and Paul preached faith in God and generosity toward one another as the path to freedom from worry. It was good advice then and it’s good advice now. Selah.

https://www.raptureforums.com/bible-study/what-kind-of-life-can-we-expect/
 

Jojo4124

Well-Known Member
I wonder if the prosperity gospel...give to get...set the Church up for self reliance...the idea that if I give like this teacher says, then God HAS to bless me. Well the prosperity teachers got rich...and ppl who gave to them either believed their formula worked and relied on manipulating God, or they didnt get rich and were left to feel like they must not have had enough faith, etc.

I never saw the prosperity gospel preached in poor countries a lot. We cant manipulate God. God loves a cheerful giver (not an obligated one or one with ulterior motives)...and so now satan might ruin some ppls faith in God because the prosperity doctrine only works when the economy is good. Now ppl may face poverty. They may blame God. Or feel like faith doesnt work because God isnt a vending machine.

God says if we have material goods n dont share with those in need, especially with true believers, it is sin. We may be called to share what we have with others as God leads. Time to let go of the love of our stuff n money if we have that in our hearts. Let go of what can be stolen, what moths n rust can destroy. May our treasure and hope be in Heaven.

God says not to worry. That He is our Provider. Now it is our time to exercise our faith. Let's trust that God wont give us a stone if we ask for bread. He will take care of His own!!!

Increase our faith in You, Father God, and give us Your peace that surpasses understanding. Let us find and experience the Truth of Your Word and promises to us! Draw us to You n Your Word so we know how to hold onto You with confidence as the world crumbles around us. Open our eyes to give where there are needs especially among true believers. Speak through us to share the hope we have in You with the lost! In Jesus' Name, Amen.
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
Jojo4124:

Increase our faith in You, Father God, and give us Your peace that surpasses understanding. Let us find and experience the Truth of Your Word and promises to us! Draw us to You n Your Word so we know how to hold onto You with confidence as the world crumbles around us. Open our eyes to give where there are needs especially among true believers. Speak through us to share the hope we have in You with the lost! In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Amen!



I wonder if the prosperity gospel...give to get...set the Church up for self reliance...the idea that if I give like this teacher says, then God HAS to bless me. Well the prosperity teachers got rich...and ppl who gave to them either believed their formula worked and relied on manipulating God, or they didnt get rich and were left to feel like they must not have had enough faith, etc.

Yes, you are right....God cannot be manipulated and He knows motivations and will not be coerced by demanding people:

What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.

James 4:1-3

Especially if those demands are based on unbiblical 'theology' that contradicts what God's Word says on the matter:


Give in proportion to what you have. Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal. As the Scriptures say,

“Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over,

and those who gathered only a little had enough.”

2 Cor 8:14-15


So, skipping out on needed medication, rent, or food to help a charlatan purchase a second or third airplane would not be scriptural or biblical at all. :ohno

Of course knowing one's bible, being in it and reading it is what will give solid guidance in the matter, among other subjects.


On the positive and joyful side of this subject, I've seen where God has prompted people to have money or items in their possession ready to give, even when they don't know why yet, or the need yet, only to realize as they go about their day that God indeed did have a plan for those things. One time there was a lady in my bible study who felt prompted to have a certain amount of money in her possession at the bible study without knowing why. She was just gently and persistently pressed in the heart that morning, before the bible study, to do so that particular day.

It came out, as prayer needs were shared, that one of the members (who had shown herself to be very trustworthy in the Lord, not a swindler or one looking for financial gain through religion) had a daughter (in the Lord) who desperately needed a certain amount of money to make her rent or she and her children would be evicted. This daughter was praying to God for His help not knowing how she was going to get the quickly needed funds. Well, that amount the lady had in her possession 'just happen' to be exactly what this lady felt prompted to bring!! So this lady, realizing that God was at work, gave the money to the mom, who then passed on to the daughter.

In this, all of them, including the lady that brought the funds, had their faith increased as well as their joy and praise to God.

I've also seen where items that people happen to have brought or made available to give away has exactly met the needs of others who really needed them.

I have also seen the truth of the principles that Jack Kelly writes about in his article posted in the OP. I have seen how God does indeed reward in various ways those who, as prompted by Him and by the motivating eagerness to bless others, they themselves being blessed, only to be able to turn around and bless other even more. In it all there is a wonderful joy that can emerge in a believer's life as they see God working in wonderful ways.

And, money is not the only thing that can be a blessing. Time with others can be tremendously value and of comfort and blessing to others, such as visiting the elderly (this is a real need) or having others in the home for a meal. Or lending of items, helping one in the grocery store that can't reach something, stopping to be of assistance, even when one is in a hurry. An encouraging word, praying for others, etc.


I love what David shares in Psalms 41:

Oh, the joys of those who are kind to the poor!
The Lord rescues them when they are in trouble.

The Lord protects them
and keeps them alive.
He gives them prosperity in the land
and rescues them from their enemies.

The Lord nurses them when they are sick
and restores them to health.


vs 1-3


And, I also remember the stories of those who were believers in Jesus during difficult times (such as the Great Depression), how they still sought to bless others and how they were delightedly surprised at how God in turn blessed them in taking care of them in unexpected ways.

We have a wonderful God in whom there are abundant treasures of which He can dispense at the right time and as the needs come up, even in the midst of what seems to be an impossible situation. And it's in those situations that God is pleased with our faith in Him to ask Him for what we need and trust Him for it:


Effective Prayer

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.


“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

Matthew 7:7-11


On this note, I remember a missionary who served in Russia who told of how the Church there very much cried out to the Lord for their needs, particularly for food. They would literally and loudly cry out to God, looking to Him in faith for what they needed. She spoke of how God always faithfully provided for those who asked Him for help, those who in faith sought Him who can move in impossible situations.

As we see the looming challenges facing our nation today, we are in a unique situation and opportunity to see God work beyond and outside of these challenges. And we are in a wonderful opportunity to be part of God's work in this way. I've seen the truth of what Jack Kelly writes of and can attest that his guidance in how to follow God's Word is definitely trustworthy and well worth pursuing. :nod

As a side note, I find that I daily have a choice.....to overly focus on the bad news of the day, to the point of unhealthy fear or remember God's word and trust Him that He's here, in control and has a wonderful plan - for God is sovereignly faithful. I do not meant to say one should stay unaware (for prophecy is certainly unfolding quickly) but I've found it's best to feed mostly on God's Word of wonderful hope than to overly feed on the hopelessness of the world. It's our hope in the Lord that God uses to draw others to Christ.
 
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