The Real Prosperity Gospel
Daily Reading // 1 Corinthians 16:1-4
READY // SILENCIO
Take a moment to quiet your mind and prepare your heart for your time with the Lord.
READ // LECTIO
Read the passage above up to three times aloud. Allow yourself to feel the words as they are read.
REFLECT // MEDITATIO
Now direct your focus on the words, phrases concepts or sentences that got your attention. What is God speaking to you today through His word?
1 Corinthians 16:2 (NKJV) On the first [day] of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.
These are the very earliest days of the Christian church and the formation of their most foundational teachings. From the very beginning the church was taught to give to others who were in need.
Notice the word ‘prosper’ in this text. You might say this is the beginning of prosperity as a motivation for giving. There are interesting two things to notice regarding this word.
First of all, it is not in the past tense. It is not ‘as you have prospered’. This is true with the original too. It is called the present passive subjunctive tense.
In the church, we typically give based on how we have prospered, not necessarily ‘how we may prosper’. Giving doesn’t just respond to prosperity, it also releases prosperity. That would be a good giving principle for us to remember.
Here’s the second thing: Prosperity is NOT necessarily talking about finances. The promise here is NOT ‘give and get more money back’, or ‘give and get whatever you want’.
The word here literally means, ‘to grant a prosperous and expeditious journey’. Prosperity, from God’s point of view, is so much more than money. It is relationships. It is eternal character. It is peace and freedom from the grips of money and greed.
The ‘Prosperity Gospel’ basically teaches: Serve God and He will fill your bank accounts, give you expensive cars and houses, and you will never get sick. That appeals to a lot of people.
The real prosperity gospel says: Serve God and you will prosper through difficulty, persecution, pain, in lack and in plenty. Your prosperity will be in character, in Christ-likeness, in ways that strengthen your soul. Who cares about material things?
RESPOND // ORATIO
Pray in response to what the Lord has spoken to you.
Jesus, You told me I can’t serve God and money. I have to choose one. I would rather experience soul-wealth than material-wealth. I will give, trusting in You. Amen.
Tomorrow’s reading -> 1 Corinthians 16:5-12