This post is part of a series. You can read them all by clicking here
So far, we have considered these keys to biblical prosperity:
- Cultivate a Trust and Obey Perspective on the Bible
- Steward with Generosity
- Eliminate Greed
- Watch your Entourage
Today, we move on to keys 5 and 6.
5. Invest in People
Three amazing passages in the Bible give us a perspective on using money to invest in people.
First, there is the passage that Paul wrote to the Corinthian church. For a while, Paul had taken up the cause of the Jerusalem church. There had been a famine and some economic hardship in the Jerusalem church, so Paul was making appeals to the churches he started to give aid to him so he could send it to the church in Jerusalem. Writing to the Corinthians about this offering, he says:
Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.” — 2 Corinthians 8:13-15
Jesus told his followers:
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.” — Mark 10:29-30
Jesus also told a remarkable parable to his followers that illustrates this same point in another way. In the parable, a poor manager had mismanaged some of his master’s money. The master was prepared to fire the manager, so the manager went to everyone who owed the master money and renegotiated their debts. His plan was to gain their loyalty so that if he lost his job, they would be willing to welcome him into their own homes in gratitude.
At the end of the story, the master commands the servant for his shrewdness and Jesus gives the moral of the story:
I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. — Luke 16:9
Putting all three of these passages together, it’s clear that God is teaching us to invest in people. We are supposed to use our worldly wealth to invest in people so that here on earth, we will have an increase of friends and so that our entrance into heaven will be joyous!
Specifically, the principles we gather from these passages boil down to the following:
- The greatest prosperity a person can know is the prosperity of good relationships.
- In healthy relationships, our needs can be satisfied by the plenty of others if our plenty is used to satisfy the needs of others.
- In the family of God, we must remember that investments in people will last forever.
It’s very easy to buy into the lie of modern materialism that money spent on another person will disappear from your life but that diamonds are forever! Actually, people are forever! And investment in people will bring about the prosperity that comes from the mutual exchange of resources.
If you want to get really practical, here are a couple questions to ask yourself.
- If you were certain it would work, how much money would you be willing to spend to see someone you know come to Christ?
- If you were certain it would work, how much money would you spend to see a relationship go deeper?
- Who are some people I should invest in?
6. Keep your eyes open for spiritual prosperity
Our second principle today reminds us to keep the whole prosperity thing in perspective. After all, a solid understanding of the Bible reminds us that not all prosperity is material. In fact, there is a good amount of prosperity that is spiritual. Consider this verse:
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. — John 15:1-2
Fruitfulness and prosperity are linked throughout the Old Testament especially in Psalm 1, but here, Jesus is using the idea of fruitfulness to talk about spiritual fruit. He’s talking about living morally upright lives. He’s talking about doing good works. However, most of all, he’s talking about leading people to faith in him and victory over sin. This is real fruitfulness, and the promise is that God wants to see it happen for us!
God is at work to make us even more fruitful, and if we do bear fruit, he works on us to prune off the bad parts and lift us up into the sunlight so that we can bear even more fruit.
The promise is that we will bear fruit, we will be fruitful, we will be prosperous with our lives, but the prosperity promised in this passage is of a more spiritual nature. The prosperity here is the prosperity of a growing stockpile not of food or gold but of transformed lives who have come to know Jesus because of us!
Tune in tomorrow to see the seventh and final key to biblical prosperity!