Financial Stewardship

 A survey conducted by the Barna Research Group in December of 2008 says that 20 percent of Americans have decreased their giving as a way of dealing with the current financial hardships. Twenty-two percent of that group have stopped their giving altogether.

A member of my board serves on the board of another large non-profit organisation. Most of his fellow board members work for para-church ministries. At a recent board meeting, they were all giving reports on how the economy has affected their organisations. It was all doom and gloom until they came to him.

The others said their income was down; they were laying off people, cutting back on their projects, and planning for negative growth. But He told them it had been a record year for us. We set new records for income every month in 2008. Even the last quarter of 2008, when the financial crisis finally came to light, was a record quarter. His fellow board members were shocked. When asked what made the difference, He told them it’s was because our partners had been taught the truths on God’s prosperity. That’s the difference.

This is a great testimony to the power of God’s Word and the faithfulness of our partners. Those who know the truth have been set free (John 8:32) from the ups and downs of this world’s economic system. God supplies our need according to His riches in glory (Phil. 4:19), not the world’s economy. It’s that simple.

What’s happened for our partners and this ministry isn’t meant to be an anomaly. This is what God wants for all His people. Christians should be setting an example for the unbelievers of how God is their source. Their light should shine brightest in the darkest hour. God wants His people to prosper.

As I start talking about this, I know there is resistance from many people to this message of God’s financial blessings. They associate prosperity teaching with greed and selfishness. And sad to say, prosperity preachers often flaunt their prosperity in a way that invites that kind of criticism.

I’m not against any other minister. Neither am I their judge. I just want to make it clear that I’m not preaching on prosperity for any selfish gain. Jamie and I live in a house that we built twenty years ago for $63,000. We’ve added on since then, but it’s still a modest house by American standards. Most homeowners reading this letter probably live in a house worth more than ours.

I’m not saying that to complain. I love where I live. If I had a million dollars, I wouldn’t upgrade. I am content with what we have. It’s debt free. Thank You, Jesus! I’m just saying I don’t believe in prosperity so that “I can get all I can, can all I get, and then sit on my can.”

I believe God wants to prosper us so that we can bless others. That’s what the Lord told Abraham:
And I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing” (Gen. 12:2)
The Lord blessed Abraham so he could be a blessing.

Second Corinthians 9:8 says,
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”

The Lord gives us His grace, which produces financial prosperity, so we can then abound unto every good work. If we desire to give more but aren’t able to because of financial lack, then we aren’t really prosperous. True prosperity isn’t measured in what we keep but in how much we are able to give.

The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 4:28 says,
Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.”

The reason we are to work is not to meet our needs but to enable us to bless others! I know that is a radical concept, but that’s exactly what these verses are saying. Of course, God wants us to pay our bills and take care of our needs. Paul is speaking about priorities here.

I know some of you are saying, “If I was to do that, who would take care of me? My needs wouldn’t get met.” That would be true if there wasn’t a God who said that when you give, it will be given back to you more abundantly than you gave (Luke 6:38). But you have some awesome promises from God that apply when you put Him and His kingdom first – the Lord will supernaturally take care of you.

Matthew 6:33 reads,
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

The ‘things’ that this verse is speaking of is what you eat, drink, and wear (Matt. 6:25-32).

The Lord is saying that when we put His things first in our finances, He will see that our needs are met. And remember this: God is El Shadahi, not El Cheapo. The Lord will take care of us better than we take care of ourselves. The Lord doesn’t mind us having things. He just doesn’t want things to have us. This problem is avoided when we understand that God prospers us so we can be a blessing to others.

That’s the testimony that I and my partners are giving. We have put first the kingdom of God, and He has taken care of us. In the last quarter of 2008, Jamie and I have actually had the largest increase in our investments that we have ever had. I don’t know how it happened, but God did it.

I’ve had people come to me and say, “I don’t like this prosperity stuff. I don’t want more. I’m content with what I have.” Well, I’m also content, but I want more so I can be a bigger blessing. You have to be blessed before you can be a blessing.

It’s really a selfish attitude that says, “I’ve got mine, forget the rest of the world.” If you’ve got all you want or need, learn how to prosper even more so that you can bless someone else. If you don’t want more for yourself, then continue to prosper and give it to me. I’ll use it to reach the world with the nearly-too-good-to-be-true-news of Jesus’ unconditional love and grace.

In 2 Corinthians 9:10 it says,
Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness.”

God gives seed to sowers, or literally, gives money to givers; i.e. people who will put giving ahead of eating. There are really only two types of people – those who are eaters and those who are sowers. There are givers and takers. With eaters, it’s all about them. When they get seed, they eat it. But givers put others and, specifically, God’s kingdom ahead of their own needs.

However, God knows givers need to eat too. So this verse says the Lord will give you bread to eat and money to give. Actually, those who live to give will have more than those who live only to eat. This verse says God gives seed to sowers. So if you are short of seed, God must not see you as a sower but a taker. If He can get money through you, He will get it to you. That’s the promise of this verse.

And here is a miraculous thing. As the money flows through, there’s always plenty for you. I don’t know how that works. There isn’t any explanation except that God supernaturally makes it work. It isn’t natural. You can’t figure it out. You just have to put faith in these promises of God. This is why unbelievers can’t operate in God’s prosperity.

Jamie and I are living testimonies of these truths. We started out dirt poor. Our total income for the first full year of our marriage was $1,253. The second year it jumped way up to $2,500. I don’t know how we survived. But we did, and we were giving way more than 10 percent of our income.

When we started our ministry, we decided to give all our materials away. We finally got to where we suggest a donation for the things we give, but we have still given away more than 6,000,000 tapes, CDs, books, videos, DVDs, and other materials. At a low-ball figure of $5 per item, that is over $30,000,000 worth of goods. That’s not bad for people who had nothing.

How did we do it? By sowing and fanatically trusting the truths of God’s Word on prosperity. We haven’t amassed a fortune for ourselves, but we have been able to give tens of millions of dollars worth of valuable ministry materials to people all over the world. Add to this the 14,000-plus people per day downloading my teachings free through our website.

God wants to prosper you so you can be a blessing, and we want to help. In March I will be teaching about financial stewardship on the Gospel Truth television programme. I’m teaching this for the express purpose of countering the fear and negativity that is being forced on us through our ungodly media. This can be our greatest hour. This is not the time to panic or withdraw. We need to sow in the year of famine (Gen. 26:12).

Please request my teaching, Financial Stewardship. This is what is working for us and thousands of people. You can rise above the limitations of this world’s system of finances and have all your needs supplied according to God’s riches in glory. To request this powerful teaching please call our Helpline on +44(0)1922 473300, or go to our online shop.

God Bless You,

Andrew & Jamie

P.S. For those who already believe these truths, we suggest you get this teaching to share with someone else. People are in need in this area and may listen to teaching on prosperity when they are closed to everything else. This is a great opportunity.

Financial Stewardship

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