Monday, November 29, 2010

Customized Cross and Customized Prosperity

Customized Cross and Customized Prosperity

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33

These are Jesus’ words concerning God’s provision and Christian prosperity. We should listen carefully to these words. They answer some questions Christians around the world are asking.

Just how rich should great faith make us? Should there be a direct link between what we have in our bank account and the quality of our faith? Should Christians pursue growing wealth as a sign of growing faith?

Around the world among evangelical Christians there is an intense interest in making faith work for making one’s financial life better. Entire denominations are built on the idea that faith is the path to great prosperity.

As with everything any church promotes as the way, the truth and the life, all such ideas need to pass the Jesus test. The Jesus test is: Is that how it worked for Jesus? If it did not, it is not the right view of how it will be for us.
Jesus is the final test of all teaching. Jesus’ life and the life of His first disciples, the Apostles, show us the way, the truth and the life in action concerning prosperity.

Looking closely at Jesus and at the Apostles it is impossible to see faith being used as a tool to avoid pain or accumulate riches. Looking at Jesus and the Apostles it is clear that their faith was for the delivery and sustaining of God’s love.
Faith does impact one’s prosperity. Faith allows us to have our prosperity customized to fit our customized cross.

And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:27

The cross we carry is not Jesus’ cross. His was customized just for Him. The cross we carry is our customized cross. Our cross is the exact amount of Divine love we are expected to deliver into this world as the result of seeking first the Kingdom.

When we deliver God’s love, God pays the bills. He customizes our prosperity to fit our task of carrying our customized cross. Just as no two crosses are identical, no two financial realities will be identical.

Jesus’ prosperity was a perfect, customized fit for His mission to die for the sins of the world. Jesus was exactly as rich as He needed to be. Clearly Jesus’ cross carrying needed little or no material support!
The Apostle’s prosperity was a perfect, customized fit for their mission to be the foundation of the New Testament Church. The Apostles were as rich as they needed to be. Again, they had little, but they had what they needed.
Our prosperity will be perfectly customized for us, too, when we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness by carrying our customized crosses.

There is no “one size fits all” prosperity formula in the New Testament. As we live by faith, we will have the prosperity we need and ask for to deliver customized love to those God has chosen for us to love.

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. John 15:7

Customized is always a perfect fit.

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