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God never intended for His kids to live without. He sent Jesus so that we could have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10)! Jesus died so that we might enjoy life with each other and partake of all that this life has to offer that is good. Every good and perfect thing comes from above (James 1:17, author's paraphrase).

Poverty is not good. It was not originally in God's plan for man. He didn't create poverty as a blessing to Adam and Eve. He didn't create trees in the Garden of Eden that gave no fruit! He didn't create soil that refused to make vegetables grow! God never would have given Adam the ability to feel hunger if He did not intend to fulfill him with physical sustenance.

Poverty is a curse that came about when sin entered the earth after the fall of mankind. Suddenly man had to work by the sweat of his brow and still receive very little from the land. Sin did this, not God. Man, not God, gave the earth over to Satan by inviting sin in. Sin warped the way things were supposed to be. Poverty entered the earth.

But do you know what? Even in the Old Testament, before Jesus came and redeemed us from that curse that sin brought, God prospered those who lived pure and holy lives before Him. Throughout the Old Testament, you find that those who walked after God eventually had favor and became prosperous people in the earth. Go through the Old Testament and you'll find out that almost every major player who tried to live a pure and holy life before God eventually experienced blessing.

Empowered To Prosper
Do you think that was a coincidence? No! That's God! He is the one who empowered a man to prosper back then just as He empowers men to prosper today. Psalm 35:27 (NKJV) says, "Let them shout for joy and be glad, Who favor my righteous cause; And let them say continually, 'Let the LORD be magnified, Who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant.'"

What about a few others? Scriptures like these tell us what part God has in the prosperity of His children:

"The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it."
(Prov. 10:22 NIV)

"When God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work - this is a gift of God."
(Ecc. 5:19 NIV)

"You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth…."
(Deut. 8:18 NKJV)

"Those who seek me diligently will find me. Riches and honor are with me, Enduring riches and righteousness. That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, That I may fill their treasuries."
(Prov. 8:17-18,21 NKJV)

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
(Jer. 29:11 NIV)

These Scriptures prove to you that God is not enough. He's too much! He blessed His kids even before Jesus came to town to save the world. And if He did it back then (before Jesus), how much more do you think He'll do now that you're redeemed? It gets you thinking, doesn't it?

God ain't sitting up there on a golden throne looking down His nose at His creation, seeing poverty as holy and blessing us with sickness! Whoever thought that one up was listening to lies. Poverty isn't God's brain-child. It came from the devil. It's a curse and it's bad news. The Good News is Jesus! His blood redeems us from every curse.

You're the Church!
In the world, money is power. And for centuries it hasn't been too much different in the church. By preaching poverty, they kept the people poor and the church rich. But God never intended for it to be that way. He intended for both the church and the people to prosper! After all, who is the church? You are! I am! We are the church!

Together we are the body of Christ, united in our faith, united in our love for Jesus! The church isn't some building down the road! It is you. You are entitled to all the prosperity that Jesus lived and died to give you.

You are entitled to a rich and rewarding relationship with Jesus (spiritual prosperity), a healthy body and mind (physical prosperity), and resources vast enough to bless your family and all the other families of the earth (financial prosperity). Sound like a tall order? It is! Jesus did a great thing at Calvary! He made the Way for each of us to experience the goodness of God in every facet of our lives.

Sadly, prosperity has become something of a curse word in many Christian circles today. But I believe that even the Christians who once frowned upon prosperity will come to see the truth of prosperity.

Sure, we know that there have been some folks who took the prosperity message and abused it for their own gain. This was wrong and we all know it. But the obsessions of a few misguided Christians do not discount the message.

God is not an evil Father. He's good. He's love! And His heart's desire is to be close to His children, to bless them with health and prosperity in this life and in the life to come. As His heirs we aren't supposed to be poverty stricken and down in the dumps! We're to be totally fulfilled spiritually, physically and financially!

Any Time There's Money, There Are Crooks
For some people, prosperity might as well be a four-letter word. The sound of it makes many people's eyes bug out like they just heard their Mama cuss.

But God doesn't think prosperity is a cuss word. His whole joint up there spells out luxury. Sure, there are people who cheat, steal and lie. Some of them are in the church. They're wolves in sheep's clothing, trying to make a buck off God's people.

But don't get all excited over it. Can you think of one place in life where there are no crooks? Hey, there are crooks everywhere. Every field has them. There are crooked doctors, but not all doctors are crooks. There are crooked businessmen, but not all businessmen are crooks. Anywhere there's money, there are crooks. The church has money, so the church is going to have a few crooks. Don't let it shock you. That's the world. That's what sin does to a place.

But just because there are a few crooks, don't discount the entire thing! I hate to use this cliche, but you wouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water, would you? You wouldn't neglect The God of too much just because some crook took advantage of His goodness, would you?

At Least Try to Live What You Preach!
What blows me away is how many preachers sneer at the prosperity message but still take up an offering on Sunday morning. I think that's hysterically funny. I mean, if you don't believe in having anything, then go broke! Hey, don't get mad at me. At least I'm living what I'm preaching.

I preach prosperity and I'm prosperous. I figure, if you preach poverty then why are you even trying to live decently? Why not starve to death and really give God the glory! Drop dead. Go out with a bang!

If you're a preacher and you're against prosperity then why don't you tell the people what you really believe next time you take up the offering. Say something like, "Now some of you who are going to give in this offering will be blessed. Some of you...well, you're gonna go broke because you know how God is. Sometimes He does, sometimes He don't."

No way! You never hear anybody say that. Preachers who don't believe in prosperity really just don't believe the people should prosper. The church, well, that's different, they say. That's a load. There isn't any difference at all! If the church believes it should prosper, then it should also believe that the people should prosper. What's fair is fair.

Hey, money is power. We all know that. And they don't want you in the power seat. Why? Because they want to be in control. It's easier to rule poverty-stricken people because, let's face it, they're happy to get anything.

Now, I know this is serious. And I know I'm knocking over a few sacred cows here. But it just isn't right! I'm so tired of people thinking that serving God means being poor! I'm so tired of hearing the church condemn prosperity while their walls are lined in expensive stained glass and gold!

The church is the people! And serving God means being rich in every facet of life! Poverty isn't for God's people! It isn't even for the birds! God provides for them, too, you know (Matt. 6:26).

Source: God's Not Enough, He's Too Much! by Jesse Duplantis
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Jesse Duplantis
Web site: Jesse Duplantis Ministries
Jesse Duplantis is a dynamic evangelist who has traveled throughout the world since 1978 preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the founder of Jesse Duplantis Ministries (JDM), which has its International Headquarters in America and additional offices in the United Kingdom and Australia.

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