The literal fulfillment of the 100-fold return in terms of material gain is found in Genesis 26:12 when Isaac planted in a time of famine and realized a 100-fold return. That was real and measurable and the result of God’s blessing on both his labor and his faith. It took faith to use limited resources and bury them in the ground where they could easily die with no rain or be eaten by the birds and it also took labor to prepare, seed and work the ground. It takes faith and works, as James pointed out.
To understand what actually happened with Isaac, you should understand that if a farmer planted 1000 kernels of corn, he would be extremely disappointed if he only got a 100-fold return because corn typically yields 500 kernels of corn from one seed.
Most likely however, Isaac planted wheat. During the 1800’s in the Dakota’s, a wheat farmer would typically get about 7 bushels of wheat per acre from a planting of 1.5 to 2 bushels per acre of seed. Today, the average return from two bushels of wheat per acre is around 43 bushels per acre but as high as 100. In other words, somewhere between 21 to 50-fold return. So, when Isaac got the 100-fold return, it was truly a blessing from God! (Hint: It was not GMO)
So how can we get the 100-fold return with our physical resources?
There are seven things I know of that are typically necessary if you are going to experience a literal, physical, financial 100-fold return (blessing) in your life. Again, to be clear, no where in the Bible is it promised to anyone they can expect a 100-fold return on their giving. No where. You can get a 500-fold return on your corn seed with no special effort, but your investment for land, tractors, fuel, etc., limit your overall financial return. What follows are seven conditions that lay the foundation for creating the possibility of a super abundant return on your labor and investments.
1. God’s work should be a priority in your life
Find out what matters to God and make it your priority. (See Haggai 1:4) If something is important to my wife Judy Ann, then it automatically becomes important to me because I love her. If something or someone is a priority to God, then that becomes a priority for me for the same reason. Here is a great example of one family’s driving desire to start a business. They called it “Build Your Bakery”. Is your story like theirs?
God promises to rebuke the devourer and open the windows of Heaven to the tither. (Malachi 3:10) Some would argue that tithing is not part of the new covenant. Well, it wasn’t part of the old covenant either. Some say we don’t have to tithe now that we’re under grace. We don’t have to. We get to. Why wouldn’t we want to honor God with our substance?
God promises to be generous with the generous (Proverbs 22:9) Generosity is a condition of the heart before it ever becomes an action or a lifestyle. Reflect on God’s incredible generosity to you and then express that to those in need around you. I recently reflected on several of my young friends who have all done exceedingly well but in various fields of endeavor. The one common factor I was aware of is that they are all generous to a fault.
4. Have a revenue generation mechanism
Give God something He can bless, be that a business, job or investment. Deuteronomy 28:12, Ephesians 4:28 and numerous other Scriptures talk about God blessing the work of our hands. God loves work. Before God gave Adam a wife, He gave Him a job. Jesus said, “My Father is always working and so am I.” (John 5:17) So do as Jesus said and occupy (trade and do business) until He returns. (Luke 19:13)
5. Seed capital
You must start with something. It can be money, effort or even a red paperclip. Don’t despise the day of small beginnings. Don’t despise the tomato seed in your hand because the farmer down the road has a bushel full of seeds. Take that one lowly seed, plant it, grow it and then reinvest the seeds from one or two tomatoes and soon you will have a back yard full of tomatoes.
Whenever you exchange effort or resources for the hope of a future gain, you are exercising faith. Your faith may be in your employer’s promise to pay or in the current market conditions or in your ability to “make it rain”. I would suggest however, you elevate your faith to trusting God to oversee, guide and bless the honest work of faithful hands. Does not Hebrews say that it is impossible to please God without faith? Let’s make God happy today… (o-:
Proverbs 10:4 says, “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.” Proverbs 27:23 urges us to “pay careful attention to the condition of our flocks and herds”. These are basic admonitions to produce a good return on our efforts. When you own your own business, you now have a vested interest to get a good return and that will require diligence.
I believe if you ignore the principles in the first three listed above, you will have a much harder time of it financially trying to make it on the other four. So, while I in no way want to minimize the miraculous provision that God sometimes provides, I do want to say that it seems the general rule of thumb is that He generously blesses the work of our hands when done diligently in faith, more than He provides “out of the blue” miracles.
The work you do in faith may be a job or a business or even a ministry, but I believe 99% of the time that endeavor is the delivery mechanism He uses for your supply. So now the key is how exactly do we work our job, business or ministry for maximum effectiveness?
The next blog I will begin sharing seven practical considerations that can take you closer to that 100-fold return in the natural. One of those ideas increased a small farmers profit (a friend of mine) by nearly 10 times from the same land without using genetically modified anything! Check back soon…