I was asked the other day by a mature Christian about the fact that in all his giving he had never received a 100-fold return. He wanted my take on it and I decided to blog about that for a while, so here goes…
I am neither a prosperity teacher nor a “poverty is virtue” teacher. I have experienced both and neither compare to the joy that comes from being in the presence of the Lord. As the song says, “money can’t buy me love.” It can’t buy me the kind of peace Jesus gives either, because His peace is beyond comprehension or description.
Let me be clear…
I do believe that it is better to give than receive.
I do believe that he who sows sparingly will reap sparingly.
I do believe that he who sows bountifully will reap bountifully.
I do believe Paul was explicitly talking about finances with respect to sowing and reaping.
I do not believe that anywhere in the Bible, we are promised a literal 100-fold return on our financial giving.
I do believe however, that many folks have received a financial miracle that reaches or even eclipses the 100-fold mark, but most do not.
I do believe in miracles of provision. What was manna if not provision? What was the water from a rock in Exodus if not miraculous provision? What was the feeding of Elijah near the brook by a bird, if not a miraculous provision? What was the feeding of the 5000 if not that?
God simply promises the generous will reap generously and the stingy will reap a stingy return. God’s generosity is not confined to a mathematical formula. There was a Jewish Russian immigrant to Israel who went into a camera store to buy a camera but discovered they were more than he could afford. Another man generously bought the camera for this immigrant.
They exchanged names and went on their way. Some years later, that Russian immigrant returned to a region of the former Soviet Union and became a top government official. He decided to return the favor to his benefactor who bought him the camera and awarded him an oil contract in that oil rich region from which he earned hundreds of millions of dollars. Who says God is limited to a 100-fold return?
We err when we try to put an infinite God in a mathematically finite and predictable box. Reaping bountifully simply means reaping a generous return on investment as God chooses to bless. I believe it is a good thing to sow financially into a ministry and while sowing generously, believe God for your own needs to be met in a generous fashion. God is immeasurably generous and that is good enough for me to know. I will give generously and with faith believing that God loves to bless a cheerful giver. How He does that is up to Him.
However, there is a primary means that I believe God uses 99% of the time and I have rarely ever heard it preached. Come back tomorrow as I begin exploring this important topic.
Interesting thoughts! God knows our hearts; if we give generously to gain something from God, He will not honor a heart in a that position. I know that Mr. Pink does not advocate a “give to get” mentality so this is just merely a thought. 🙂
You are right RaShell… I am not advocating what I call a vending machine mentality where you put a dollar in God’s vending machine and demand that it spits out $100. God is not our vending machine, our wish machine or in any way our servant. He is God. He is our Father. He is holy, just and pure. Unfortunately, I cannot say everything I want to say about this topic in a single blog, so folks will have to get it in pieces.
Bless you and Jason!
It will be interesting to see where you go with this. You are a brave man…lol… I remember reading years ago in a Vine’s Expository concerning the literal meaning of 100-fold and, like you had said, the meaning is nothing that can be measured. And it certainly does not mean 100 times. Vine said that a 100-fold is comparable to a watermelon seed. When you plant the one seed, you get lots of watermelon. You then plant all of the seeds from all of those watermelons and on and on until that one seed ceases to produce. I figured it was more of an exponential blessing that carries on, even through the generations to my children, etc. I appreciate your willingness to explore these topics that are needlessly hot-potatoes. In our eagerness to please God we do not always know when to move from the letter of the law to the spirit of the law.
You are so right Joanne! Judy also mentioned to me that I was wading into a potential controversy and opening a can of worms. However, I was asked the question and wanted to answer as best I could. Blessings!
Michael, so glad to be receiving your blog posts again. I appreciate your style, offering clear revelation and bringing us back to the basics for greater effectiveness.
So nice to receive your supportive feedback today. I am very happy to be back and find that I have to hold back everyday because there is so much stored up in me that I have not yet shared. Hopefully in the days to come and possibly through the MPI Business Institute as well, where I can spend a lot more time on a subject.