God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving.
God comes right out and tells us why He gives us more money than we need. It’s not so we can find more ways to spend it. It’s not so we can indulge ourselves and spoil our children. It’s not so we can insulate ourselves from needing God’s provision. It’s so we can give – generously. When God provides more money, we often think, This is a blessing. Well, yes, but it would be just as scriptural to think, This is a test.
But isn’t it wrong to be motivated by reward? No, it isn’t. If it were wrong, Christ wouldn’t offer it to us as a motivation. Reward is His idea, not ours.
You may think, No problem there. I’m putting my church and ministries in my will. By all means, do your estate planning and give heavily to God’s kingdom. But what kind of trust does it take to part with your money once you die? You don’t have any choice! Death isn’t your best opportunity to give; it’s the end of your opportunity to give. God rewards acts of faith done while we’re still living.
There never was a person who did anything worth doing, who did not receive more than he gave.
There is no inconsistency in saying that God rewards good works, provided we understand that nevertheless men obtain eternal life gratuitously.
Worship is giving God the best that He has given you. Be careful what you do with the best you have. Whenever you get a blessing from God, give it back to Him as a love gift. Take time to meditate before God and offer the blessing back to Him in a deliberate act of worship. If you hoard a thing for yourself, it will turn into spiritual dry rot, as the manna did when it was hoarded. God will never let you hold a spiritual thing for yourself; it has to be given back to Him that He may make it a blessing to others.
Because God’s eternal purposes may require the forfeiture of earthly benefits, we cannot make temporal rewards the chief motive of our obedience. Such rewards are not absolutely promised in Scripture and would be unsuitable as the chief aim of our lives. If Christians always received material blessing as a recompense for obedience, then it would be impossible to separate personal duty from divine bribery. Christianity would become merely a bartering system for personal gain. God’s ends are not so shortsighted or earthbound.
To properly evaluate the place of good works in the Christian life, we must understand that grace maintains the value of God’s children apart from any merit of their own; but we must also understand that God uses our obedience to promote our good and His glory. By our accomplishments, God works His holy purposes in our lives, provides us with many temporal blessings and, most of all, fulfills our Spirit-instilled longing to honor God with all our heart, soul, mind, and might (cf. Deut. 6:5; Matt. 22:37). While we must be careful not to define blessing only in terms of material possessions or earthly ease, we must also embrace the promise that God “rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).
You are in danger of desiring the blessing more than you desire God, and when that happens you may be easy prey for Satan to offer you a shortcut.
The promise of reward remains in heaven, but the joy of anticipation can be experienced now on earth.
Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayers and worn with thanks.
Are you more grateful for the blessings in your life or the One who has given you each blessing?
God claims all, because He is love and must bless. He cannot bless us unless He has us. When we try to keep within us an area that is our own, we try to keep an area of death. Therefore, in love, He claims all. There’s no bargaining with Him.
Blessings at times come to us through our labors and at times without our labors, but never because of our labors, for God always gives them because of His undeserved mercy.
I believe that the most universal gift, the most universal blessing that comes from God’s common grace to humanity is time; time to repent, time to believe, time granted by God’s patience, God’s patience. He is patient because He is merciful.
Though many view giving as merely another obligation, it is in reality a priceless privilege, because it is the pipeline which brings God’s promised blessings to His people…Generous giving to God results in greater giving from God; it is impossible to outgive Him. The promises associated with giving (Lk. 6:38; 2 Cor. 9:6; Ac. 20:35) should stimulate believers to be sacrificially generous givers. Sadly, the powerful lure of the world’s advertising, slick appeals from purportedly Christian ministries, self-indulgence, and lack of faith all hinder believers from experiencing the full blessing of giving.
I used to think that God’s gifts were on shelves one above the other; and that the taller we grew in Christian character the easier we could reach them. I now find that God’s gifts are on shelves one beneath the other; and it is not a question of growing taller but of stooping lower; and that we have to go down, always down, to get His best gifts.
He knows when we are spiritually ready for receive the blessing to our profit and His glory. Waiting in the sunshine of His love is what will ripen the soul for His blessing. Waiting under the cloud of trial that breaks in showers of blessings, is as needful. Be assured that if God waits longer than you could wish, it is only to make the blessing doubly precious. God waited 4000 years, till the fullness of time, ere He sent His Son. Our times are in His hands; He will avenge His elect speedily; He will make haste for our help, and not delay one hour too long.
Any blessing which is bestowed by the Father upon His undeserving children must be considered to be an act of grace. We fail to appreciate the mercy of the Lord if we think that by our doing something we have forced (or even coerced) God to grant that blessing which we have asked for (David Smith).
God’s gifts cannot be enjoyed without obedience to Him as the Giver (Richard and Sharon Phillips).
God is our greatest treasure, and our lives will count on earth only when we invest them in His kingdom for eternity.
The Good News of Christ is not primarily that Jesus will heal you of all your sicknesses right now, but ultimately that Jesus will forgive you of all your sins forever. The Good News of Christ is not that if you muster enough faith in Jesus, you can have physical and material reward on this earth. The Good News of Christ is that when you have childlike faith in Jesus, you will be reconciled to God for eternity.
How many blessings do we forego because the obedient faith necessary to receive them is never demonstrated?
To most people, the gifts we enjoy are more important than the Giver of the gifts. Some might be grateful for their many blessings. But how many are expressing that gratitude to God? How many are metaphorically falling at His feet and glorifying Him with a genuine and enthusiastic heart? Many are thankful, but how many prioritize their thankfulness to God? How often do blessings actually lead people away from God because they want something from God and do not see God in the something?
I wonder how many blessings I have missed out on in life because I have refused to obey the Lord?
The best time to look for blessings is when you feel like your life is devoid of them. The enjoyment of God’s pleasures is the outworking of genuine trust in the Lord. This demonstrates authentic contentment. It’s the Lord’s quiet, comforting way of informing you that He remains right here. He sits with you through the countless silent blessings He gives every single day.
We fail Him, but, blessed be His name, He has never failed us, and He never will do so. We doubt Him, we mistrust His love and His providence and His guidance; we “faint because of the way;” we murmur because of the way; yet all the time He is there blessing us, and waiting to pour out upon us a blessing so great that there shall not be room to receive it.