A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25 NIV
While you may not be familiar with the term prosperity gospel, you've likely witnessed on TV or heard stories. The idea is that as Christians, God wants us to be wealthy and healthy, and the more you give, the more richly you are blessed. For example, the televangelist who promises blessings if you send him money ($54 million) to buy a jet.
The problem here is the difference between man's definition of prosperity and God's. Man's idea is to amass physical wealth, temporary things (idols) with no lasting value. Here's what Jesus had to say, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal." (Matthew 6:19) However, God's view of prosperity is by providing our needs in this life, but looking toward the eternal.
While God freely gives, he also expects us to help others. Remember that thing about loving our neighbors as we love ourselves? (Mark 12:31) What would happen if the same money sent to the televangelist was instead used to relieve human pain and suffering? To care for the widow and orphan, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and comfort the prisoner. Doesn't that sound more like Jesus? Isn't that how he used the gifts of the Father?
Gracious God, we give you thanks for our prosperity. You not only provide for our daily needs but offer us the richness of being with you in eternity. Please help us to remember you are not a God of scarcity but plenty. Open our hearts to uplift others with that same generosity. We don't need to fear for our future because you are there. We ask this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.