Today we continue our series, “Progress On Purpose.” I told you that God wants us to walk in “NEW LEVELS IN 2021!” But if we are going to do so, we must be intentional about our progress. With that in mind, as we lay the foundation for the year, I told you that I would discuss “Leveling Up” in five areas:
We have covered the first one thus far. As we get into the second, leveling up financially, I will break this down into the following five topics:
1. Soul Prosperity & the Answer to Poverty
2. Tithes and Offerings
3. Sowing into Ministry
4. Giving to the Poor
5. The Purpose of Prosperity
Yesterday we covered tithing. Today we will discuss the importance of your financial offerings to God.
In yesterday’s message, I shared a part of my testimony. When it comes to ensuring God is the LORD of your finances, I am not sharing something I read in a book. This is real to me. I grew up on welfare. I hated buying food with food stamps. My wife grew up without running water or electricity. So for us, to open our hearts to grow financially, to look at money from God’s perspective, as a tool to advance His Kingdom, it took a renewing of our minds. But this is how we live now. We live to give. We see money as a ministry. We know God can give His children money with a mission and prosperity with a purpose. I pray you open your heart to this teaching.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
Part 2: Giving Offering Beyond the Tithe (10%)
1. Let’s learn from the widow’s offering.
(Mark 12:41-44 NIV)
41 Jesus sat near the Temple collection box and watched as people put money into it. Many rich people put in a lot of money.
42 Then a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth less than a penny.
43 Jesus called his followers to him and said, “This poor widow put in only two small coins. But the truth is, she gave more than all those rich people.
44 They have plenty, and they gave only what they did not need. This woman is very poor, but she gave all she had. It was money she needed to live on.”
Let’s think about this situation. Here are a few things to consider:
a) Jesus paid attention to what people gave. Think about that for a moment. Let that sink in.
b) Jesus was not happy with the people who ONLY GAVE what they DID NOT NEED! If it does not mean much to you, it will not mean much to God.
c) This woman did not give 10%. She gave 100%. She gave what she needed to LIVE ON.
— Notice that Jesus DID NOT give her the money back.
— Notice that Jesus DID NOT tell her that she did not need to give because she did not have much.
*** She could not afford to give… so, from Jesus’ perspective, SHE COULD NOT AFFORD NOT TO! Since the earth operates on a system of sowing and reaping, cause and effect, and the free will of humans, Jesus knew that this woman needed “seed in the ground” in order to get out of her financial situation. Some people today would say that the church was taking advantage of her, by receiving her money when she obviously did not have much. But people who think this way don’t understand God’s Kingdom. Jesus applauded what this lady did because He knew that her harvest would be greater than her seed!
*** This woman trusted God. She believed God was her source. And Jesus knew that The Father, who is the Lord of the Harvest, would not let her down!
2. To understanding the importance of your offering to God, you must understand the difference between a harvest and an inheritance.
Because of Jesus, we have a glorious inheritance:
(Romans 8:16, 17 TPT)
16 For the Holy Spirit makes God’s fatherhood real to us as he whispers into our innermost being, “You are God’s beloved child!”
17 And since we are his true children, we qualify to share all his treasures, for indeed, we are heirs of God himself. And since we are joined to Christ, we also inherit all that he is and all that he has.
This past Sunday, my Spiritual Mother, Cynthia Brazelton, said the following about this passage: “There is a difference between an inheritance and a harvest. Harvest comes because of what I do. Inheritance comes because of WHO I AM!”
Her emphasis was on the inheritance part. Today, my emphasis is on the harvest part. But let me share a few thoughts about your spiritual inheritance:
a) Jesus qualified you.
— Because of Jesus, you are qualified! You are declared righteous!
— You are an heir of God and a joint-heirs with Jesus Himself.
— You are qualified… not because of what you do or what you fail to do… you are qualified because of what Jesus did for us!
— Some things come as a result of what we do (sowing and reaping, seedtime and harvest, cause and effect), but many things come to us simply because of what Jesus did FOR US! That is our inheritance!!!!
— Inheritance is not based on SEED, it is based on IDENTITY!
b) Our spiritual inheritance is equal for all believers, but our harvest is not.
— The Blood of Jesus applies to all believers equally.
— Forgiveness of sin applies to all believers equally.
— Eternal life is made available to all believers.
— We all get the same salvation, Holy Spirit, and eternal life.
— But there is a difference between your harvest and your inheritance. Your inheritance has NOTHING to do what you do. Your harvest has EVERYTHING to do with what you SOW!
— If you SOW little, you wil REAP little. If you sow NOTHING, you will reap NOTHING!
— You will still be saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, and going to heaven, but down here, in the earth, you reap what you sow.
3. The size of your seed determines the size of your harvest.
Let’s walk through a passage in 2 Corinthians to understand this point.
(2 Cor 9:6-10 TPT)
6 Here’s my point. A stingy sower will reap a meager harvest, but the one who sows from a generous spirit will reap an abundant harvest.
— In 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9, the Apostle Paul is talking about money. Many passages speak to spiritual blessings (not natural ones), but this passage is clearly talking about money.
— Paul makes it clear that the size of your seed can and will impact the size of your harvest!
— You get to decide the size of the harvest you receive from God by the size of the seed YOU SOW!
— This is NOT equal for everyone because everyone does NOT sow the same size of seed. This is an individual endeavor, and it is a matter of your heart (desire) and your will (decisions).
— Paul’s message is simple: Sow little… reap little. Sow much… reap much!
— The size of your harvest is contingent upon what YOU DECIDE to sow! This is your choice. You get to participate in your own prosperity!
7 Let giving flow from your heart, not from a sense of religious duty. Let it spring up freely from the joy of giving—all because God loves hilarious generosity!
— Giving is not something you’ve GOT TO DO.
— This is something you GET TO DO!
— You should see giving to God has a privilege and honor.
— You should give with JOY in your heart.
8 Yes, God is more than ready to overwhelm you with every form of grace, so that you will have more than enough of everything—every moment and in every way. He will make you overflow with abundance in every good thing you do.
— God can give you the GRACE to meet the needs of every situation and to fund every Kingdom Project He places on your heart!
— But you have to be OPEN to being a CONDUIT of Kingdom FINANCE on this planet!
9 Just as the Scriptures say about the one who trusts in him: Because he has sown extravagantly and given to the poor, his kindness and generous deeds will never be forgotten. (quoting PSALM 112:9)
10 This generous God who supplies abundant seed for the farmer, which becomes bread for our meals, is even more extravagant toward you. First he supplies every need, plus more. Then he multiplies the seed as you sow it, so that the harvest of your generosity will grow.
— God supplies you what you need… for every need… PLUS MORE!
— He is the one who ensures you have SEED TO SOW!
— He is the one who will multiply your SEED as your SOW IT!
— But YOU ARE THE ONE WHO HAS TO SOW!
— God puts the SEED in your hands, and YOU have to make the decision to SOW IT!
— If you do… the harvest will grow… and your generosity will grow!
— But some people are foolish enough to EAT THEIR SEED and not sow it!
— When you receive income, the Holy Spirit will tell you what part of it is SEED FOR SOWING and what part of it is BREAD FOR EATING. God wants you to enjoy life, so He is not against you having nice things. But if you EAT YOUR SEED consistently, you will wake up one morning and realize that you do not have ANY HARVEST because you failed to put SEED IN THE GROUND!
4. You will reap whatever you sow.
(Galatians 6:7 NIV)
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
The Apostle Paul is very clear here. Whatever you sow, you shall reap. If you don’t like the harvest your life is producing, you must check the seed you are sowing.
I will use my mother as an example as I close out today’s message.
As far back as I can remember, my mother has been giving away food and clothes to others. She loves to do it. She is also super-friendly. She raised my sister and me to be conscious of our relationships and how to maintain them. As a result, my mother will NEVER lack for food, she will NEVER lack for clothes, and she will NEVER lack for friends. Why? Because she SOWS in these areas.
I am sure you know people who love to SOW in certain areas, and their lives are testimonies of Galatians 6:7. They reap what they sow. If you think of your own life, you too much acknowledge that you reap what you sow.
So, if you sow love, people will love you. If you sow peace, you will live a peaceful life. If you are quick to forgive, others will be quick to forgive you. This is very easy to understand. However, when it comes to money, people don’t like to accept this reality. If you give God the tithe (the first 10%), and you freely SOW beyond that, you will reap what you sow. If you sow financially, you will reap financially. If you choose not to, God will still love you, you will still go to heaven (if Jesus is your Lord), but you will NOT reap what you have NOT sown!
This is about as plain as I can make it, and this is a good place to stop this for the week.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for teaching me about sowing and reaping. You are the Lord of the Harvest. You will see to it that I reap a harvest on every seed sown. You put financial seed in my hands. You then lead me, by Your Spirit, concerning the part that is SEED FOR SOWING and the part that is BREAD FOR EATING. I will SOW MY SEED and ENJOY MY HARVEST. To ensure I have a continual harvest, I sow continual seed. I will never EAT MY SEED. I honor You with the first 10% of everything You put in my hands, and I then SOW beyond that, as I am led of Your Spirit. Living this way, I LEVEL UP in 2021 in the area of my finances, and I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!