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.