Thursday, May 04, 2017

Balanced prosperity

Image: Pixabay
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Proverbs 30:7-32

TO CHEW ON: “Give me neighbor poverty nor riches—
Feed me with the food allotted to me;
Lest I be full and deny You,
And say, ‘Who is the LORD?”
Or lest I be poor and steal
And profane the name of my God.” Proverbs 30:8,9

I love Agur’s balanced attitude toward possessions. Though he doesn’t use the words, “prosper” and “prosperous” come to mind. He describes someone who is prosperous in a balanced way.

A sidebar article in my Bible gives good insights on how this attitude might look in our lives:
“As we ask God to meet our needs, we grapple with how to ask Him to prosper us. Our goal is not to accumulate wealth (riches) or renounce it (poverty) but to faithfully oversee our individual portion from God and remain undistracted in our love for Him” - Clark Whitten, “Neither Poverty Nor Riches But Prosperity,” New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 838.

The Bible speaks often about people prospering. From a sampling of these references, we learn that prosperity:

  • Allows us to be generous as Jacob was with Esau - Genesis 9:27.
  • Can come to us even when we’re in sub-optimal circumstances. Potiphar observed that all that his Hebrew slave Joseph set his hand to prospered and was successful, and so Potiphar promoted Joseph - Genesis 39:2-6.
  • Is promised to those who fashion and conform their lives to God’s word and the principles in it - Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-6.
  • Was a consequence of seeking God wholeheartedly, as Judah’s King Uzziah discovered - 2 Chronicles 26:5.
  • Is a promise for those who pray for and love Jerusalem (Israel) - Psalm 122:6.
  • Can come to us in many areas. John prays for early Christians: “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health just as your soul prospers” 3 John 1:2.

I love how my Bible’s sidebar article details many-faceted prosperity:
Prosperity is more than money. It is a lifestyle that includes spiritual fullness, physical well-being, mental soundness, social friendships, and financial well-being…. A prosperous person is one who is wealthy in all things that eternally matter” Charles Whitten, Ibid.

As I examine my life from this perspective, I see that it is flush with prosperity. I do well to be grateful.

PRAYER: Dear Father, please help me to recognize and be grateful for all that I have received so generously from Your gracious hand. I want to cultivate a lifestyle of seeing where I prosper and being content with what I have. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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