Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Secret of Prosperity - Part 1 of 4

Prosperity - "a successful, flourishing, or thriving condition." Jesus said the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but that He came that people may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. This isn't just for some future time when we die and go to heaven. It's now. So who doesn't want this prosperous, abundant life! Everybody does!

I believe I've found the secret to prosperity, and while I've not yet fully "arrived," I've been growing in it for several years. To get to this place of growing in prosperity and the abundant life, I've gone through a gradual mindset change over a long period of time. I've learned who I am in Christ through God's grace and His gift of righteousness. I've studied the lives of others, including biblical characters and people I know, who seem to have this prosperity that I'm after.

I just heard the song "Woman" by John Lennon on the radio yesterday. In the song, John sings that he is thankful to his woman - Yoko Ono - for many things, including "for showing me the meaning of success." Lennon had great wealth and fame as a member of the Beatles. Do you think that's what Yoko had pointed out to him in order to show him the meaning of success in his life? Of course not. Perhaps through his relationship with her something shifted in his mind to show him that that's not what true prosperity ("a successful, flourishing, or thriving condition") was all about.

So what is it all about? (Especially in regards to our life in Christ). What is the abundant life and prosperity all about? Is it about earthly wealth? In other words, when Christ said He came to give us life to the full - even in this life on earth - was He talking about us getting a better car, a better paying job, a better house, and other material possessions such as those?

Like I said, I believe I've found the secret to true prosperity - but it's not really all that much of a secret! For many, I think it's simply a matter of a shifting from thinking one way to thinking another way. Isn't that really what "growing in grace" involves? In Christ, God has already given us everything we need - we are lacking in nothing - and we spend a lifetime of "growing" in understanding and appropriating the truth of what is already ours!

Since we already have all we need, I've found that the secret to prosperity in the Christian life is - are you ready for it?

Being content. Being content is a wonderful state of being. "Content" is a wonderful word. It means "satisfied." ("Satisfied" means happy, filled, gratified, fulfilled). A fuller meaning of "content" would be "satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else." God has already given us a lot! If you believe that in Christ you already have everything you need and that you need nothing more, then you are content - and I believe this is the secret of true prosperity.

The Secret of Prosperity Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4


  1. Joel,
    Amen, amen! It truly is all about being content in Christ. And it is being content in what Papa gives us, individually. So often, what knocks me out of this Reality is comparison. Comparison only leads to envy or coveting that which Papa has not given me. I am continually growing in the area of being content. However, I'm glad that I am seeing progress in what Papa Son Holy Spirit is doing in my heart.

    I am seeing that the things that truly matter, are not of the material/of this world. Inner character as well as my relationship with God and my relationships with others is of utmost richness.

    John Lennon had it right when he referred to his love and relationship for his wife.

    Good post, Joel.

    ~Amy :)

  2. Joel,

    Great series! Few verses which stood out to me:

    "The kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit"

    "a man's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions"

    "godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content."

    In the same chapter of 1 Tim 6, Apostle says about a group of people,

    "who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain."

    Using godliness as a means to financial gain is one of the worst states a person can be in.

  3. Amen to you, Joel and amen to you, Bino. Don't think I could have articulated it any better!

  4. Amy, well said! Yeah, comparison with others really does get us off track of the reality of the true blessings we have in Christ. And on the other side of the same coin, when others have more than others, they may feel superior, or they may mistake their earthly wealth as special favor from God, thinking that their brothers and sisters in Christ who have less are missing out and should be seeking God for more.

    I agree with what you say... it's what's on the inside that matters, and in our relationships with other people. We can be so very "rich" in all of this without having earthly riches.


    All of those scriptures say a lot to me. As I've said in this series, I don't think it's a 'bad' thing if people have a large amount of earthly possessions, but ever so increasingly I've found these scriptures are true - life does not consist in these things. And truly, truly, if anyone thinks the gospel is a means of financial gain, they've been robbed of the truth! That really is a sorry state for people to be in!


    Thanks so much!

  5. Told ya's,,, >>>

    "I'm Rich"

  6. Leonard,

    You're Rich, of Big & Rich??? Cool! Or are you Richie Rich? Or Rich Text Format? I'm so confused! ;)

  7. Always with the wise cracks he is...

    my best Yota impression

  8. I went to Richie Rich's house! That is, the Biltmore estate in Asheville, NC.

    I heard Rev J. Slick Breeze drives a yellow Lamborghini with purple gatorskin interior.

  9. I forgot to mention last night that just before we did the online study, I was walking on the treadmill, flipping through the channels, and Richie Rich was on. :-D