Text: 3 John 2
Is there any difference between Wealth and Prosperity? If so, which is better? Which one of these has God called us to? (Genesis 39:2, Philippians 4:19, Proverbs 10:22, 2 Corinthians 9:8, Ecclesiastes 5:19, Romans 8:32, Deuteronomy 8:18).
Wealth is the state of having an abundance of valuable material possessions or money or assets. Prosperity, however, is the state of being successful, thriving and flourishing and having an abundance of material possessions including money as well as other blessings and virtues such as happiness, good health, good relationships, friends and family. Prosperity connotes both economic and social wellbeing. It also means being successful (it is a complete package of the good life God gives), e.g Isaac.
What then is money?
Money is a medium of exchange, as well as a store of value and a promissory note. It has no value except the agreed conferred value. In Matthew 4:8-10, why was material wealth not important to Satan at Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness? Worship was more important to Satan than money at the temptation. How did Jesus feed 5000 without cash (Mk 6:31-45)? Jesus asked his disciples not to take sacks, purse, and sandal (Luke 10:4). As these scriptures show, the intangible should be the priority. Resources flow towards value.
So, how the does one become prosperous?
- Believe that you have an inheritance in Christ (Acts 20:32, 26:16-18). Our inheritance is not dependent on our perfection because we are already His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10). God expects us to be prosperous.
- You must value the Intangible. The intangible is that which lacks physical form but powerful enough to move both the real and unreal world. An intangible asset lacks physical substance and is usually hard to evaluate. Be sensitive to that which you don’t see. Intangible assets include patents, ideas, relationships, copyrights, franchises, goodwill, trademarks and trade names. The general interpretation also includes software and other intangible computer-based assets. Esau traded the intangible for the tangible (Genesis 25:29-34). Your greatest worth is in the quality of the things that come from you. Why did Solomon not ask God for money? What would you have asked for? Some celebrities will trade their fame and fortunes for some inner peace and fulfilment.
- Learn to Create Value (the intangible). It’s not the lack of money that makes a person poor, it’s the lack of “value”. The problem here is that we define success and prosperity in terms of material acquisition. Real wealth and prosperity is the value we offer. “Value” cannot be seen with the physical eyes. Salary is a compensation for the value we offer in our organization. Some organizations can increase value in or devalue people. Your salary is an opportunity that you converted as a result of your time, energy and skill in exchange for what you get at the end of the month. It’s called “Value”. Wealth comes from venture and entrepreneurship. The wealthiest today are entrepreneurs because they create new values that eventually become big organizations. Apple is an idea that took over Jobs. Microsoft, GTB, Daystar, WhiteOlive etc., even salvation are ideas.
At the beautiful gate in Acts 3:2, Peter said ‘…Silver and Gold I have not…’ Could this lack of silver or gold be the reason why Jesus didn’t ask Peter but John to take care of His mother when He was leaving? God has a way of committing important things into the hand of the prosperous. Believe that you have an inheritance in Christ, value the intangible and create value for your world. You are prosperous in Jesus name.