You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone. Philippians 4:15.
The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered. Proverbs 11:25.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God says:
You have to sow to grow and what you sow will grow. It is the matter of giving and receiving. To have Kingdom prosperity you must give to receive, you must sow to reap, and you must determine your standard of measure.
Today we continue instructions on how to prosper and increase. This is My Will for you from the beginning. My first words to mankind were words of blessing to be fruitful and increase. To bear much fruit. And Jesus reinforced that when He taught you that He is the vine and you are the branches and attached to Him you will bear much fruit and be His disciples. This was true of the first man and woman also, they came forth from Me in My image and according to My likeness and they were attached to Me, and it was I who gave them the ability to be fruitful and increase. When they severed their connection to Me by connecting with the devil they went from a fruitful life of dominion authority to a toilsome life of slavery to need.
But the good news is Jesus came to undo the works of the devil and you can get back into the Kingdom system. And the Kingdom system is sowing and reaping, that is, giving to receive. And this is Life Lesson No. 5: In the Matter of Giving and Receiving.
Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return. Luke 6:38. Prosperity is not like healing. No matter where you are you can receive your healing without even anyone else’s involvement. Prosperity is not quite like that, it usually comes through business, working, inheritance, gift, or favor and promotion from others, but ultimately every perfect gift and good thing given comes down from Me, the Father of lights, in whom there is no darkness or shadow of turning.
When Peter needed money for the temple tax, I had arranged ahead of time for a fish to swallow just the correct amount needed and Peter went at Jesus’ instruction, and caught that particular fish. And when Elijah needed food, I sent ravens with bread and meat every morning and every evening until the water in the brook ran dry, and then I sent him to the widow of Zarephath and miraculously multiplied the flour and oil in her jar and jug so that they ate for more than a year.
There are many ways I can get provisions to you, even to having a ram caught in a thicket or money in the top of your sack of grain. It can also come from creative ideas and methods of business that I show you in our fellowship time, or in visions and dreams. Like Joseph, Jacob’s son, and Daniel.
David spent time with Me and loved to inquire of Me in My temple. Psalm 27:4. I always gave him the winning battle strategies that he asked for, and from the nations he conquered he would take their treasures (empty their treasuries) and he amassed great wealth as did his mighty men, who had all been in debt when they first joined him. And what did they do with that wealth? They gave huge amounts to build the temple for which I gave David the plans in prayer that became My house in Jerusalem that Solomon actually had built and completed. And the day they gave of their abundance was not a sad day for them where they grudgingly sowed their riches into the Kingdom project, NO, it was a day of tremendous rejoicing. 1 Chronicles 29. I love a cheerful giver. I can increase a cheerful giver more and more for the joy they have in giving. Jesus spoke of the fruitful life of being attached to Him as a branch to the vine to share His joy with you so your joy would be complete. What joy? The joy of a fruitful life of giving and receiving.
So how much and to whom and how do you give to receive? When Jesus spent the day with Zacchaeus, Zacchaeus decided to give half of his belongings to the poor and to pay back anyone he cheated fourfold what he had overcharged them. And My Son said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:9-10. He let Zacchaeus decide and approved the generous heartfelt gift. My Son told the rich young ruler to sell everything he had and give it to the poor to amass treasure in Heaven and then come and follow Him. The ruler turned away sad for he had great wealth, but My Son then told the disciples that whoever gave away what they had for the sake of the Gospel would get a hundred times more back of what they had given, so then he would have had even more possessions than he gave up. But Jesus’ word was to that particular situation, He did not tell anyone else to do that. Many did it willingly in the early church community and shared the proceeds with the community but that was their own decision and no one had any lack for great grace was on them all. Then there was the widow that gave the little bit that was all she had to live on into the temple treasury. And then there was Lydia who kept her house and her wealth but shared her home and her wealth with the early church and even had a church meeting in her home. She could not have done this or shown hospitality to Paul and others sent to bring the good news if she had given all her possessions to the poor and closed down her business in purple goods. And I do tell you that everyone who reveres and honors Me, who walks in My ways shall eat of the fruit of your hands, and that you will be happy and it will be well with you and with your family. Psalm 128:2-3. So what is the standard of measure?
First, I give you a definite amount for the tithe. It is one tenth of all your increase that comes to you in the way of wages, gifts, produce, inheritance, or other income. This is not large. Then offerings are above that and you decide on those, but under the Old Covenant free-will thanksgiving and peace offerings were animals from the flocks of the owners thereof that were unblemished and valuable, along with grain and wine. David said he would not give Me anything he had not paid full value for. People also gave gold, silver, precious stones, and other materials for the building of the tabernacle in the wilderness and that was the first offering ever taken from men for Me, and I Myself asked Moses to collect it from those whose hearts moved them to give. I love a cheerful giver. So the very first offering was collected to build My first dwelling place among men. And it was a rich and glorious place of gold, silver, bronze, precious jewels and beautiful fabrics and garments. And the people continued offering things such as pure olive oil to light the lamps on the golden lampstand and ingredients for the anointing oil and incense.
I do answer this question of the standard of measure, however, in various places in My Word so that you will understand and not go off into a ditch. Be mindful that I delight in your prosperity and it comes from giving, but some people take this too far and are only mindful of the giving and not the receiving and they and those who depend on them financially suffer from this. Your readiness and desire to give out of love for Me and your neighbor is pleasing to Me and also the completion of it by your ability. For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what you have, not according to what you do not have. For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality—your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality. Remember with the Manna in the wilderness that I rained down on the dewfall from Heaven? The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little had no lack. 2 Corinthians 8:12-15.
Let us look at an offering that My apostle Paul was raising for the believers in Jerusalem, for prophets in the church had predicted a famine was coming to that area and that the Christian community there would be in great need. The churches in Macedonia, hearing of this, requested to make an offering to help out those in Jerusalem, whom they considered to be the founding community of the Way which they now had embraced because of the believers who came to witness to them and share the good news who came from that community. Paul was very edified by their offer since the churches in Macedonia were suffering persecution and confiscation of their goods at that time, but they gave even beyond their ability due to the deep gratitude they had for the message of salvation that had come to them.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians about this offering, making known to them My grace which was given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction of persecution for their faith in Jesus, their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging Paul with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the believers. First, they gave themselves to Me by receiving Jesus as their Lord and then their hearts longed to give something in return for all the good I had done for them. And I multiplied their seed for sowing and increased the harvest of their righteousness; I enriched them in everything for all liberality. I give bread to the eater and seed to the sower. This offering also grew over time as they put something aside every Sunday when they gathered together for a full year before it was sent to the church in Jerusalem.
Giving to those in need is a gracious work and pleases Me. So do not lose heart in doing good, for in due time you will reap if you do not grow weary. While you have opportunity, do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. Galatians 6:9-10. Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,” when you have it with you. Proverbs 3:27-28. One who is gracious to a poor man lends to Me and I will repay him for his good deed. Proverbs 19:17. Be mindful of that, do not be stingy about helping those in need. If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, you say to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? James 2:15-16. Whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does My love abide in him? Do not just love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 1 John 3:17-18.
And be ready to help send those preaching, teaching, evangelizing, and sharing the Gospel on their mission. For how can people hear unless someone is sent? You may be called to go and you may also be called to sow into the work of those going. You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of My Name. For they are going out for the sake of My Name, accepting nothing from those to whom they are preaching. Help support such men and women, so that you may be fellow workers with the truth. 3 John 1:6-8. When you sow, I count it as if you go.
For you know the grace of your Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.
I asked for that first offering that Moses was to raise not as a command but only from those whose hearts moved them to do so. Exodus 25:1-2. It was not a tithe. And the people were so moved by all the wealth I gave them freely when I redeemed them from Egypt that they gave back to Me from it so generously that Moses finally had to tell them to stop giving to the project as he had more than enough to complete it.
But when determining what and to who and where I am directing your heart to give, I want you to keep in mind this principal that is obvious in farming but is also applicable in giving and receiving: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. The bigger your need, the more precious the seed you should give, like the widow that gave the two little coins she had to live on. It was a very small amount but to Me it was more than all the rest. And consequently, I made sure she had a tremendous harvest on that sacrificial seed that she sowed into My house just as I had promised.
But here is the key: First pray and listen to Me in your spirit and come to a decision of what you are to give. Then do just what you have purposed in your heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for, again I say, I love a cheerful giver. And trust that I am able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed. And your giving to help others will produce thanksgiving to Me, they will glorify Me for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all. Do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices I am pleased. Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on Me, who richly supplies you with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed. 1 Timothy 6:17-19.
Towards the end of the earthly sojourn, My servant David was very busy planning for the magnificent temple his heart desired to build for Me that I had told him was not My Will for him to do the work of but for his son, but that did not stop him from collecting all he could and preparing the plans for his son Solomon to actually carry out the project. David longed to build Me a house, so I built him one. A fine palace but more than that, a line of royalty where ultimately the Messiah would take flesh and rule from David’s throne forever. On the day he was ready to take the offering, David called together all the princes of the tribes of Israel and all his mighty men and said to the entire assembly, “My son Solomon, whom alone God has chosen, is still young and inexperienced and the work is great; for the temple is not for man, but for the LORD God. Now with all my ability I have provided for the house of my God the gold for the things of gold, and the silver for the things of silver, and the bronze for the things of bronze, the iron for the things of iron, and wood for the things of wood, onyx stones and inlaid stones, stones of antimony and stones of various colors, and all kinds of precious stones and alabaster in abundance. Moreover, in my delight in the house of my God, the treasure I have of gold and silver, I give to the house of my God, over and above all that I have already provided for the holy temple, namely, 3,000 talents of gold of the gold of Ophir, and 7,000 talents of refined silver, to overlay the walls of the buildings; of gold for the things of gold and of silver for the things of silver, that is, for all the work done by the craftsmen. Who then is willing to consecrate himself this day to the LORD?” 1 Chronicles 29:1-5. He called giving to the offering for My temple a consecration to Me. And that is what giving is all about.
And what was the response? Then the rulers of the fathers’ households, and the princes of the tribes of Israel, and the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, with the overseers over the king’s work, offered willingly. They gave huge amounts of gold, silver, brass, and iron and whoever possessed precious stones gave them to the treasury My house. And were they having second thoughts about giving so much of their funds? No, the people REJOICED because they had offered so willingly, for they made their offering to Me with a whole heart, and King David also rejoiced greatly.
And now I want you to see the heart and reasons that I am seeking in the matter of giving and receiving. David blessed Me in the sight of all the assembly and said, “Blessed are You, O LORD God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name. But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You. For we are sojourners before You, and tenants, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and without You there is no hope. O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided to build You a house for Your holy name, it is from Your hand, and all is Yours. Since I know, O my God, that You try the heart and delight in uprightness, I, in the integrity of my heart, have willingly offered all these things; so now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here, make their offerings willingly to You. O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, our fathers, preserve this forever in the intentions of the heart of Your people, and direct their heart to You; and give to my son Solomon a perfect heart to keep Your commandments, Your testimonies and Your statutes, and to do them all, and to build the temple, for which I have made provision.”
Then David said to all the assembly, “Now bless the Lord your God.” And all the assembly blessed Me and did homage. And that was not the end of the celebration. On the next day they offered sacrifices and burnt offerings to Me, 1,000 bulls, 1,000 rams and 1,000 lambs, with their drink offerings and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel. So they ate and drank that day before Me with great gladness. 1 Chronicles 29.
Giving should give you great joy if you have a heart for Me. And you know that it is a matter of giving and receiving. Expect back a harvest and when it comes gather it! Do not leave it lying on the ground to rot. The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he himself does not know. The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come. Mark 4:26-29. Expect and collect.
I love you. You prosper when you give. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered. Proverbs 11:25.