When you pray for your enemies instead of hating them, you become a candidate for increase. When you turn away from sexual immorality, you become a candidate for blessing. When you’re slow to get angry, you become a candidate for God’s best. When you give financially to the poor, you become a candidate for promotion.
Each of us is anointed for an increase in some area or other. And God’s choice is first and foremost based on our character, not our performance.
Hannah was chosen by God to give birth to one of the greatest men in history. How did He choose her? “When Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house, and [Hannah] was driven on by her emotions” (1 Samuel 1:9), God chose her. When she turned away from immorality, started praying, and turned her back on the world’s opinion, we read: “She was praying in her heart…” (1 Samuel 1:12).
Using wisdom to handle responsibility wisely brings good results to all who are involved.
Proverbs 28:20 (NIV)
A faithful person will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished.
What this verse is saying is that if you faithfully put your trust and faith in God and the promises of God, you will be richly blessed. But if you eagerly pursue riches and wealth on your strength and reasoning, then you will not go unpunished.
There is a price to pay when one puts their trust and faith in man rather than in God. The price is that you will never be able to achieve true happiness and contentment.
Proverbs 19:17 (NIV)
A man who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, and He will repay him for his good deed.
The art of giving with discernment is one of life’s great and enduring skillsets that constantly needs refining and practice if we are to be wise stewards of God’s gifts.
To be gracious to the poor man is not just about being kind. It’s about seeing value, worth and potential in human lives; it’s not what they currently are but who they can be with the right input of God’s love, care, and guidance.
Proverbs 10:9 (NIV)
A man with integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.
A diligent farmer plants his seed in spring because he knows that’s when the soil is fertile and warm enough for them to sprout.
We should plan our lives exactly like that. That’s the parable Jesus gives in Luke 12:16-20; “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ‘ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “
The whole point of this passage is don’t just do something when you feel like it, but schedule your work and set specific goals for yourself. That way, you can pay yourself with the due reward for your efforts. After all, God has called us to be good stewards of what He’s given us, not just to do things when it comes naturally.
Proverbs 10:4 (NIV)
Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.
Being lazy is not an option for a truly successful person. If you’re going to be a success in life, then be prepared to work hard.
Proverbs 22:4 (NIV)
The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honor and life.
To be a success in life, you need to have the right relationship with God. The reward for having a humble and reverential fear of God is not just prosperity or riches, but honor and life. We must understand that being wealthy is not the objective of life. Living a full and healthy life in Christ is all about knowing how much He loves you and being grateful for it. When you embrace that truth, opportunities to live a life of abundance will always be open to you.
Proverbs 14:31 (NIV)
He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.
If you truly want to be a person of value and substance, then treat the poor with the same respect and dignity that you accord yourself.
Proverbs 14:21 (NIV)
Those who despise their neighbor are sinners, but happy are those who are kind to the poor.
When we have contempt for our neighbors, it’s a sign that we are sinners. And when we happily treat them with kindness, it is a sign of our being Godly in character.
Proverbs 11:24-25 (NIV)
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.
When you’re willing to give abundantly and generously of your resources without expecting anything in return for yourself, then God will bless you abundantly for your efforts; however if you hold on tight to what you have and get stingy about sharing your resources with others, then all that blessing that’s due to come upon you may never find its way into your life.
Proverbs 22:9 (NIV)
He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.
A truly rich person isn’t one whose bank balance is overflowing with cash but one who’s able to share generously from his resources because he knows that it’s God alone who has given him all that he has.
1 Corinthians 3:8 (KJV)
Now he that plant and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.
Everything you do for the kingdom of God is like planting seeds in the soil. And when harvest time comes, you’ll be rewarded based on how well you’ve taken care of that field; however, if all you ever did was a plant but didn’t water or fertilize anything, then your crop will be meager at best.
Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,
You’ll get rewarded when you put in your best efforts in what you do. Whatever job or project that you’re involved in try to give it your very best because God Himself will reward you for all of your hard work through other people who can’t see into your heart and mind.
Matthew 6:19-21 (KJV)
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Don’t horde up earthly things like wealth and riches because nothing you can accumulate here on earth will ever be able to give you the kind of pleasure that comes from eternal riches in Heaven; because for all that money or status or power on Earth can get you, they won’t bring satisfaction when you’ve got to relinquish them one day and go away to stand before God.
Matthew 19:21 (KJV)
Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
Give up all that you have right now if you want to be a true follower of Christ who’s going to inherit all things with Him when He comes back for His Bride. It’s only through giving up everything completely, unconditionally can we find true joy here on earth as well as throughout eternity because our hearts will always be where our treasures are.
Matthew 16:27 (KJV)
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels, and then he shall reward every man according to his works
No matter how bad or good you’ve been, God is going to treat you fairly and with justice. So whatever gifts and rewards He gives to you will be in accordance with what you’ve done for others; because His Son Jesus Christ already paid the price for all of your sins on earth through dying on the cross.
Matthew 16:26 (KJV)
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Heaven is priceless! No amount of money can buy everlasting life with God. So considering all that you stand to lose or gain at the end of your life here on earth, you would be foolish to put your soul in jeopardy just for temporal things that will eventually rot and decay.
In the same way that plants grow from healthy soil, the quality of your life is a direct result of how well you interact with God. The fruit in your life grows from a healthy relationship with God.
Here’s another analogy: Money is like water in a pool, if you’re using it right, the pool doesn’t get dirty. But when misused or wasted, not only does the pool become dirty and unusable, but it can also threaten to drown everyone standing next to it.