Return to the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus.
Isn’t it a sad thing, when we claim to be children of the most High God, who owns everything in this world, who lives in a place where even the streets are made of gold and yet we ourselves are always in need and never having enough to live a fulfilled and content life? I mean, we call Him our “Father” and yet live like as if our Father doesn’t care at all for His beloved children. It’s a sad thing to see God’s children always pleading for more money, when He has given us ALL things pertaining to LIFE and GODLINESS through the knowledge of Him who called us. 2 Peter 1:3
The most common prayer request is God’s children seeking financial provision. Sometimes it is money to just pay all bills and at other times it is to pay off debts. But whatever the reason, the money is never enough because bills keep coming and debts keep building up. Many marriages that started off really happy ended up bitter and cold due to money problems. The need for money has destroyed many relationships, split friend’s apart and stolen peace and joy. Have you noticed that it is really hard to worship the Lord joyfully when you have money problems? In fact, you can’t even concentrate on prayer or reading the bible, let alone worship.
Surely, this is not the will of God for any of His children. He would want all of us to prosper in all things and be a blessing to the poor and the lost (who do not know the Lord). How can we be a blessing if we ourselves are always looking for a blessing?
Being in lack is a curse according to the word of God. It is not a good thing to be in lack or being poor. Read Deut 28:15-68 – The list of curses for not walking according to God’s ways include never having enough, not having a home, being hungry and being thirsty.
Proverbs 10:15 – The rich man’s wealth is his fortress; the ruin of the poor is their poverty.
But Praise the Lord, Galatians 3:13 says that Christ has redeemed us from this curse of the law. Praise God! Our Lord Jesus Christ has completely redeemed us from poverty and lack. We are blessed in Him. We are able to live a great fulfilled and satisfied life through Him. We need to start thinking this way to see it manifest in our lives.
2 Cor 8:9 – Amplified – “For you are recognizing more clearly the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (His astonishing kindness, His generosity, His gracious favour), that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich (abundantly blessed).
See friends, our Father in heaven is a loving “Daddy”. He wants every single one of His children (including you) to live a fulfilled, content and satisfied life without any stress, anxiety or lack. Why? Because only then can you see His love and truly worship Him in spirit and truth and only then can you be a blessing to others. You can never be a blessing to anyone by being poor yourself. Many times you have passed by a hungry poor beggar on the street side, but you couldn’t do anything to help. You just continued walking and going about your life. Why? It wasn’t because you were insensitive or uncompassionate, but because you couldn’t afford to help and be a blessing.
A child of God needs to be living a fully satisfied life and his/her generosity should be a witness unto the Father’s love. If I claim to be God’s child, then I should live like I am the child of the King of kings. I can afford to be generous because I can never ever be in lack if God is really my Father.
I too was ignorant and stupid with money. I started off my career with a decent job in a computer firm in Bangalore back in the 90s. But I didn’t know God or Jesus or the bible. I wasn’t wise at all. In fact I was immature, stupid, proud and arrogant. I carried an attitude of “I know it all”. It was a good job and I earned a salary. But by nature, I wanted to satisfy all of my desires at the very moment I felt like doing so. I spent much of the money as soon as the salary came in, usually on clothes, eating out most days, drinking, buying things I didn’t need, etc. Then the banks introduced credit cards. So now, I was spending way more than what I was earning. With credit cards, I could buy whatever I felt like buying whenever I wanted to. I convinced myself that I could always pay it back little by little when my salary comes in.
Little did I realize I was getting into a vicious cycle. I never was able to pay the credit card debt off and I found myself always chasing a massive balance. On top of it, all of my necessary expenses such as vehicle maintenance, petrol and other bills still needed to be paid. I was getting poorer and poorer even though I had a good job with a decent salary. After one year of work, I had no money in the bank and still owed money on my credit cards. 12 months of working, earning a salary every month and after 12 months, I had zero in the bank.
Solution? Look for another job that paid me higher salary. I complained that my company didn’t give me enough bonus or didn’t appreciate my work and give me a raise, etc. I blamed the boss, the government, the economy and everybody around me, except myself.
I jumped from job to job, earning more each time, but it didn’t change my situation. Just earning more didn’t make me rich. I only spent more and accumulated larger debts. There was a time, I used to sell my bike every 6 months or so simply because I got bored of it and got a different bike just because I love bikes. How foolish!! I wasted a lot of money God placed in my hands. But then I didn’t know Jesus.
I loved my wife and daughter. We lived comfortably, but in a “rented” house. I didn’t own anything and my net worth was zero. If I had died then, I wouldn’t have left my wife and daughter with anything. I was never able to be a blessing to anyone or enjoy a holiday without borrowing money from the banks or using the credit card. I didn’t know how to be a responsible husband. I didn’t really know how to be a good dad. I obviously didn’t know how to handle money either. Bad!!!
But then, in 1997, I met Jesus. Read my Road to Damascus story here. I learnt that despite my stupidity, pride and arrogance Jesus still loved me. Things did not change immediately for me, but as I was getting to know Jesus personally more and more and as I spent time in His word and prayer, I started getting wiser and smarter. I began to look at money as a tool in my hands to do good, rather than be a slave to money. Eventually God taught me how to handle money. I learnt that it is possible for anyone (literally anyone) to begin to prosper irrespective of how much they earn. Even a laborer living in a small hut can begin his journey to prosperity if he lived God's way. And God showed me through His word that it all starts off with trusting Him more than trusting money and then “saving” and then "giving". God is not in the microwave business. I didn’t prosper immediately or get rich quickly. But when God takes you into prosperity slowly and surely, the prosperity STAYS and you can never ever be in lack again.
The issue is not the size of a man’s income. The issue is the size of his mind. It doesn’t matter how much you earn, you can be prosperous with all your needs met and still have some left over. All you need is wisdom and the bible says “Christ is our wisdom”. 1 Cor 1:30. How then can I not prosper?
If only I had the wisdom to start saving from my salary and living God’s way back in the 90s, I would be very wealthy today. But I had no Jesus in my life and I had no wisdom either.
Proverbs 6:6 – TLB – Take a lesson from the ants, you lazy fellow. Learn from their way and be wise. For though they have no king to make them work, yet they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.
Proverbs 21:20 – TLB – The wise man saves for the future, but the foolish man spends whatever he gets.
Let me share with you three points on how the Lord has made me prosperous. Yes, I am prosperous.
Depend on God. Don’t depend on money.
Hebrews 13:5 says “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
1 Timothy 6:10 says “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
1 Timothy 6:17 says “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”
Most often, we strive to work more so that we can earn more. We have this mind-set that if we can make more money, we can be prosperous and debt free. Subconsciously we depend on money to get our perceived happiness, rather than depend on God. We say we are Christians, we believe in the living God, we claim to be His children and even call Him our Father and yet we don’t trust Him to provide for us. We need to change this way of thinking and start thinking less about money and more about God our Father. The more you get to know God through knowing Jesus our Lord, the more wiser you become and the more wiser you become the more prosperous you become.
Solomon asked God for “wisdom” and God was so pleased that along with wisdom, He also gave him an abundance of wealth. What you lack is not money. What you lack is wisdom. The bible says “Christ has been made unto us wisdom”. 1 Cor 1:30 . So if you get to know Jesus Christ, you will also be made wise. If you have Christ's wisdom in you, even the small amount you have will multiply. You will cease from making unnecessary purchases and you will become wise with your resources. Trust in God for your provision and stop striving to make ends meet. This doesn't mean you stop working, but make a decision to live by the word of God in all aspects of life. Not just when it comes to religion, but also in handling money. Make a decision to do it God's way according to what the bible says and test out God's word. It is the truth, the way and the life and it will always work. It CANNOT fail because it is Gods word.
Spend less than you earn
I am obviously assuming you are working, either for someone or for yourself. If not, the very first thing to do is to get a job.
Proverbs 10:4 says “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.”
You know how much you earn. Make a budget or at the very least, ensure your expenses are “lesser” than your income. Choose a house to rent according to your income, not according to your liking. Choose a car or a bike according to your income, not according to your liking. There is no need to impress others at the cost of losing your joy and peace. Always ask “How much can I afford to spend” before making any purchases. Sacrifice your personal likes and desires at the start and you will be able to live luxuriously later. Be patient and wait.
Proverbs 13:11 says “Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.”
Proverbs 21:5 says “The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty.”
It is often the case we automatically assume that we need to buy the “best” of everything. We often go by our eyes and want something that is appealing to us, be it a car, a bike, a house or anything else. Just because we have a job and earn a salary and have a credit card, we assume that it is okay and that we can pay the debt off little by little. This is unwise my friends. If the purchase has potential to exceed your earnings, then hold off. Wait for another opportune moment. Alternatively, find something else that you can afford and is within your earnings. Eg: If you plan to buy a car on finance, then the first thing to do is to add up all your monthly expenses including groceries, electricity, water, phone and all the absolutely essential expenses first. Then check what you are left with from your salary. The balance is all you’ve got. If that balance is sufficient to pay back your installments, then it is OK to make the purchase. If it isn’t, then you just can’t afford it right now.
Get on a budget – Luke 14:28 says “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it?” Most of us when we pray and ask God for money all the time, we’re basically saying “Lord, I am totally incompetent, I am unwise and don’t know how to handle the little you’ve given me, but send me more money.” The answer is an obvious “NO”. Read the parable of the talents. He took away the talent from the one who didn’t manage it well and gave it to the one who managed it well.
Get out of debt – Proverbs 22:7 says “The rich rule over the poor and the borrower is slave to the lender.” Your most powerful wealth building tool is your own income. This has nothing to do with your salvation of course. You can have a MasterCard and go to heaven, but would you want to? Get rid of your credit cards and for the next few months, don’t use it at all. Instead focus on getting out of debt. Pay it all off so you can have a clean start.
But that’s just the start. Spending less than you earn. There is an even better way; God’s way.
The 10/10/80 Principle
This is a life changing principle God taught me. As soon as you receive your salary, give 10% of it to God (your local church). That way you are expressing your gratitude to God for everything you have and He will make sure you are blessed. Then take another 10% and transfer it to another bank account. Do not touch this. This is your saving for emergencies and luxuries. Then plan your living expenses on the remaining 80% of your salary. Calculate your 80% and then apply the “Spend less than you earn” principle. Feel free to use your credit card, but service the credit card from the 80%. I use my credit card, but I never leave a balance on it. Every month 20th, I pay off the full balance and that way I don’t pay any interest at all. I am able to do that because I don’t spend more than I earn. A debit card is best.
Keep doing this every month for 6 months and suddenly you will become more confident in your life. You will begin to feel more financially secure. Why? Because you will actually begin to SEE that you have some extra cash in the bank and it is GROWING every month. This has nothing to do with how much you earn. Be it $200 or $20,000, the principle is the same. Even if you are earning very little; say $200 per month. Before learning this, you spent over $300 a month. That is more than what you earn. But now, you give $20 to God, save $20 and live on $160. Do this for 6 months. Now you suddenly have $120 sitting in the bank which you never had before. Do this for a year, 2 years, 3 years, and so on. After a couple of years, you probably have enough cash to plan a holiday, without having to use your credit card. That’s with $200 per month income. What if you earned $2000 instead or perhaps $5000?
Proverbs 13:22 says “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children…” If that be the case, then the good man must be very prosperous isn’t it?
Proverbs 21:20 says “In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil. And a foolish man devours all he has.” Wise people save money. Save for a rainy day. What if you lose your job? What if you suddenly have hospital expenses?
Some of you have been working for over 10 years or more now and still don’t have any significant balance or net worth. I was one of those myself. I’ve seen many of my Christian brothers and sisters who have been working for decades and still don’t own a home. Can you imagine, if only you had saved 10% for all those years, how much better off you would be now? You would probably be owning two or three homes, renting out to others.
This is how God would like His children to live and as you continue doing this, God blesses you with more. As you faithfully give the 10% to Him and also at the same time, show your faithfulness in handling the money He has given you, He will bless you with more and more. That is the secret to prosperity.
Luke 16:10 says “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
Read Genesis 41:25 – 43 – This is the story of Joseph who was sold as a slave to the Egyptians. He was bought as a slave with nothing by Potiphar, the Egyptian.
Gen 39: 2 says “The Lord was with Joseph”. That’s all we need. The Lord was with Joseph. He was bought in as a slave boy with nothing, but the bible says “he was a prosperous man” simply because the Lord was with him. Prosperity is not about how many cars you have or the size of the house you live in. Prosperity is not about the material things you can count. It is in your spirit. Joseph was a prosperous man and was in the house of his master, the Egyptian.
This man Joseph was put in prison and even there God’s favor caused him to prosper. But in one moment, we see that Joseph was just 30 years old and he was made the Prime Minister of Egypt. Why? Because Pharaoh saw that Joseph was very wise. He predicted a famine in Egypt coming after 7 years and advised Pharaoh that the way to overcome the famine was by saving 20% of their produce for 7 years. It was God that gave Joseph that insight and wisdom. Today Christ is our wisdom. Isn’t that awesome!!
It doesn’t matter where you are working or how much you are earning. If the Lord is with you, He can cause you to prosper. Christ is our wisdom. What is the wisdom of God telling you to do?
People tend to just continue to work, work, work, earn a salary and not do anything different to change their life style or spending habits, but expect to become prosperous. These are the one’s always praying for financial provision. Things don’t work that way friends. Make some changes and observe the results. God’s grace will help you make the change with ease and you will be amazed in just a couple of months. But you need to make that decision to change your spending habits and discipline yourselves to follow God’s way. It is a trap of the devil to keep you locked down in that state of lack. Break free in Jesus name and live the God kind of life. You be the master over your money and don’t let your money be your master.
I have been doing this for at least 10-12 years now. And God has blessed me and my family amazingly. We never owned our own home and always rented. We never had enough money for family emergencies or holidays or any urgent purchases. We always relied on the credit card as most people do. But not anymore my friends. Today, by God’s grace we are fulfilled, satisfied and live a content and joyful life. We own our own home and an extra home that we rent out. We also are a blessing to others. I don’t mean to boast in any way at all. I've already mentioned how stupid I was with money. I share this with you only to help you grow in the Lord and prosper in all things just as the Lord has prospered me.
When I initially started giving 10% to God, I actually had hardships in my job and I wanted to quit. I was earning quite well, but I was living in a rented house. I also had a credit card balance. I actually took up a job at our church, with a significantly reduced salary. But I still kept giving 10% to God, trying to save 10% and living on 80%. I did this consistently and there came a time when God blessed us with our very own house. Despite the lower income, I didn't have any credit card debt. Today I still serve at our church, but work in the corporate world and still continue the same discipline. We give to other people in need and support other organizations and individuals serving God. We give away a significant portion of our income every year and yet God ensures that we never lack anything. This is why the Simply-Jesus blog is totally ad free and we don’t seek any donations for its upkeep. Freely I have received and therefore I freely give.
It is not God’s will for anyone to be in lack friends. No matter how much your salary is, start being faithful in the little. Start the 10/10/80 principle and you will literally see yourself coming out of poverty and begin to step into prosperity.
You say, but brother Santosh, “You don’t know. I am already in huge debt. I cannot afford to give 10% to God and save 10% because I have to pay back my credit cards first.” Or perhaps, you say “Let me pay off all my bills and debts first and then I’ll begin saving”. Friends, this is exactly the trap you are in. The way OUT is to step out and start living God’s way. I was exactly in the same position and I gave little bit when I went to church, just to feel like I’ve contributed something. I made plans to get out of credit card debt. I made plans to pay off my credit card balances first and I promised to myself that I will live God’s way as soon as I am debt free. That’s the trap we all fall into friends. The way out is to simply start living God’s way and He will ensure we step into freedom. That is exactly what I did. I began when I was still in debt and before long I was free.
I know, some of you might debate, tithing is not for us. It was in the Old Testament and not valid anymore, etc. Friends, it is not a question of whether tithing is in the Old Testament or New Testament friends. That is a theological debate and I will address that in a different blog. It is a principle of honoring God. Honor God, and trust in Him to provide for you. Remember the very first principle in this post? Depend on God. Don’t depend on money. Freely and joyfully giving away 10% back to God is evidence that your trust for your financial provision is in Him and not in your own capacity to earn more.
Let me conclude by saying this. Money doesn’t make you happier. It only magnifies what you already are as a person.
If you are a jerk and get money, it’ll make you a bigger jerk. If you are an arrogant and proud person and you get money, it’ll make you much more arrogant and proud. You will treat everyone around you like dirt. If you are an always complaining type of person and you get money, you will start complaining all the more and get stingier and stingier, making you more miserable. On the same note, if you are a generous and compassionate person and you get money, you will be super generous and super compassionate. People will call you a philanthropist.
The bible says in Acts 20:35 “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Luke 6:38 NLT says “Give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full-pressed down, shaken together, to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
The wonderful thing is that you can decide to do this TODAY and start your journey into prosperity. Things will not change by itself, unless you change something. You can decide to make the change today if you wish. Unfortunately, many won’t and they will remain where they are five years from now. But those who do, they will be well on their way into prosperity in the same five years.
Bless you my dear brothers and sisters. May the Lord grant you the grace to prosper in all things and make you financially secure.
I was radically transformed by the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ back in 1997 in a most unusual way and unusual place. Read my testimony here. Over the years of my walk with God, I have come to realize a few basic truths that have altered my life.
True freedom is freedom from self-centeredness. Dying to yourself, your wants, your desires and to what gives you pleasure for the sake of others is more liberating than you think.