"There's no reason to be the richest man in the cemetery. You can't do business from there." —Colonel Harlan Sanders
In my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, you can visit the cemetery where John D. Rockefeller is buried. His pursuit of riches destroyed his health. He developed alopecia, a condition where his hair fell out, and his digestion left him eating only crackers and milk!
In his early 50s, his life began slipping away. Then he discovered a life-changing Scripture. He applied God's eternal law: "Give, and it will be given to you: Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will men give onto you. For with the measure you use, it will be measured unto you" (Luke 6:38).
Rockefeller embraced the principle of generosity. Sowing seeds of financial blessing into countless areas of need, he gave millions to mission work, hospitals, educational programs and the underprivileged. His giving saved scores of lives through the discovery of penicillin plus medications to fight malaria, tuberculosis, diphtheria and hookworm disease.
At 53, with his life deteriorating, he planted financial seeds in good soil and that enabled him to live until the ripe old age of 98!
"But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare into many foolish and harmful lusts, which drown men in ruin and destruction" (1 Tim. 6:9).
Prosperity in Perilous Times
Days ago, I engaged with a woman about current events. She listened, then commented, "I don't follow the news."
Jesus directed us to discern the times and be prepared in the end times. We're living in apocalyptic days with almost nonstop cataclysmic events, and we need biblically informed prophetic perspective.
An area intensifying is staying stable financially during unstable times. Inflation is at a 20-year high, and forecasters foresee a freefall with obscene spending and Biden's tax hike—the highest in 53 years.
His leftist "woke" agenda will bankrupt America with a $31 trillion debt, trying to transform free market capitalism into big government socialism. The trajectory is like the Carter era with 18% inflation, 14% mortgage rates, skyrocketing gasoline prices and a "Misery Index" that's the worst in America's history.
Price Comparison: 2020 vs 2021 (Market Insider data):
— 1000-ft. lumber: $304 now $1500.
— Gasoline: $1.95 now $3.75.
— Ton of coal: $39 now $80.
— Bushel of corn: $3.43 now $6.86.
— Ton of wheat: $183 now $251.
— Copper up 36%; fuel oil up 37%; pre-owned cars up 21%.
Many people are preoccupied with fall football, children's activities, pizza deliveries, trips to Chick-fil-A and Costco. Have you noticed any Christmas decorations going up already? Warning: "A prudent man foresees the evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished" (Prov. 27:12).
4 Suggestions for Success
Smelling salts are applied to a dazed boxer to wake him up. Paul said, "I fight, not as one who beats the air" (1 Cor. 9:26b). As we're being shaken, let's wake up!
1. Hold fast to God's promises for His obedient followers. God is good and our source (not government) amid financial upheaval. Resist anxiety and "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be given to you" (Matt. 6:33).
"I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken nor their offspring begging bread" (Ps. 37:25).
2. Work diligently and discipline spending habits. "Owe no one anything" (Rom.13:8a). So if you are in debt, get out! And don't dismiss our debt to God as we practice the principle of "first fruits" giving (tithing), instituted so He'll "open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing, that there will not be room enough to receive it" (Mal. 3:10b).
3. Set aside money for future needs. Set apart financial provision for the future, unlike undisciplined fools who squander it (Prov. 21:20). "Go to the ant" as an example of saving (Prov. 6:6-8) and heed Joseph with his careful savings that saved a nation when famine hit (Gen. 41:25-57).
4. Practice the principle of seed-faith giving. "I shovel it out. God shovels back. God's got the bigger shovel!" said John Bunyan, author of Pilgrim's Progress.
"He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Let every man give according to the purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful (hilarious) giver. God is able to make all grace abound toward you, so that you, always having enough of everything may abound to every good work... He who supplies seed to the sower and supplies bread for your food will also multiply your seed sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness" (2 Cor. 9:6-8,10).
Two Transformative Truths
1. We will always reap the same kind of seed that we sow, whether sparingly or abundantly. "One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed" (Prov. 11:24-5 NIV).
2. We will always reap more than we sow. "You can count the seeds in an apple, but who can count the apples in a seed?" God multiplies, not just adds, that's why throughout Scripture He's known as a God of abundance. He's "El Shaddai" (God of plenty) not El Cheapo!
When we give in faith as God directs with right motives, then we hold on in faith with expectation. We make no demands and set no deadlines. We enjoy the adventure of seed-faith giving, knowing the blessing is either coming at us or going by us, and we won't miss the opportunity to give God thanks!
"Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which will be greatly rewarded. For you need patience, so that after you have done the will of God, you will receive the promise" (Heb.10:35-36, MEV).
The Blessed Life
In his book, The Blessed Life, Robert Morris invites us to discover the joy of giving and the rewards of receiving. He says, "When God changes your heart from selfishness to generosity, every part of your life-journey is affected!"
For 50 years I've celebrated God's simple secrets for achieving financial blessing. "I know both how to face humble circumstances and how to have abundance ... I can do all things because of Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:12-13).
Join me on this journey, no matter what's ahead.
Here's the Deal: Listen to the four "Rediscovering Seed Faith Blessings for Perilous Times" podcasts on this theme on our Charisma Podcast Network. You will benefit from inspirational examples of God's supernatural provision.
Remember Rockefeller as we thank God for bountiful provision and take heed to this closing admonition: "Command those who are rich in this world that they not be conceited, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who richly gives us all things to enjoy. Command that they do good, that they be rich in good works, generous, willing to share" (1 Tim. 6:17-18).
Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.
Larry Tomczak author of 10 books, is a cultural commentator of 46 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy adviser with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). and he has a variety of resources on his website (see www.larrytomczak.com). You can also hear his weekly podcast here.
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