Happiness is essential commodity that money or any material possession can not buy. A lot people put all their efforts on acquiring wealth hoping that it will give them happiness. And other people think that having a family will make them happy. The fact shows that some rich people with money and family are not finding the key to happiness. Other says playing music make them happy. Michael Jackson, the King of Pop Music said, he was a lonely man when not on stage.
The founder of Apple products said, ” I was lucky early in my life. When I was 25, my net worth was $100 million or so. I decided then that I wasn’t going to let it ruin my life. There is no way you can spend it all, and I don’t view wealth as something that validates my intelligence”(Steve Jobs). His belief was that money can ruined one’s life.
“Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants. Again he said,”Money never made a man happy yet,nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one”.(Benjamin Franklin)
The above quotes are from people who accumulated plenty of money or wealth before they died. For example, Steve jobs net worth was over $100 Billion Dollars before he died. Then what is the Key to HAPPINESS?
These confirmed what Jesus said, “even when a man has abundant riches his life does not result from it”.(Luke 12:15 ).
King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings on earth during his time. He said, “Be wise enough not to wear yourself out trying to get rich. Your money can be gone in a flash, as if it had grown wings and flown away like an Eagle”.(Proverbs 23:4-5, 2Chronicles 9:22)
Apostle Paul wrote to Brother Timothy: “Command those who are rich in the things of this life not to be proud, but to place their hope, not in such an uncertain thing as riches, but in God, who generously gives us everything for our enjoyment.( 2 Timothy 6:9, 17)
Bro. David, are you saying poverty will give one happiness instead of riches?
That is not what I mean, after all Proverb 22:7 says, “The rich rule over the poor,
and the borrower is slave to the lender.
What I am alluding to was the fact that accumulation of wealth can not guarantee happiness particularly, if it is I’ll gotten wealth. Some people today will stop at nothing to make money. We are talking about Kidnapping, bribery and corruption including Human sacrifice. Some people will donate their own body or their own children just to be rich. This what our God is counseling us againt.
Then what is the Key to HAPPINESS?
When Ted Turner, the founder of CNN – Cable News Network discovered that money can not buy happiness, he donated one Billion Dollars to the United Nations Organization and encourage other milioneers to follow suit. He realized that there is Happiness in Giving than there is in receiving.
Bill and Melinda Gate responded in a big way by retiring from pursuit of money to a Philanthropists. They were spending Billion of Dollars to support their project of eradicating H.I.V and AIDS , Malaria from the world. They have inner peace and happiness ever sinces. Why? Because they find that GiVING is the key to HAPPINESS.
In quoting Jesus Peter said, ” I have shown you in all things that by working hard in this way we must eshelp the weak, remembering the words that the Lord Jesus himself said, ‘There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.”(Acts 20:35 GNTD)
Ones again Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38 NIV)
God says, “With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. Ship your grain across the sea; after many days you may receive a return”. God is a generous giver. Whatever you invested for the Kingdom’s Interest, God will reward you bountifully.(Proverbs 8:18), (Ecclesiastes 11:1 NIV).
The natural law of sowing and reaping was a divine plan for our world. What you sow is what you reap. If you’re a farmer and you plant an orange, surely you will reap many Oranges and not Apples.
Some people think that their Tithes and Offering will support the lavish lifestyle of their Pastor. The question about the lavish lifestyle of Pastors is for God to Judge. Jesus is the appointed judge of both the living and the dead the Bible says. Allow God to be the Judge.
When I became a Born Again Christian God led me by Holy Spirit to research the subject about giving or paying of (Tithes and Offerings). I discovered that Tithe leads to Blessings. God is the person that hold the promise note. The Bible says, it is the blessings of the Lord that make Rich regardless of our donations.
Again, it is God who promised to open the heavenly blessings to you and me. Since God can not lie and he does not change, all his covenant will come to pass. Your concern should be obedience to God in other to receive the blessings that He promised. I came to understand that my giving is for my own blessings.
My offerings is not for the Pastors but for God. He will take care of his servant regardless of my contribution. God has nothing to loose because He is the giver of all good things. Without God giving us good health and wisdom and his blessings we can not produce wealth.
Giving Is a test of Your LOVE for God.
God himself gave us everything we have. From our lives to all material things we are enjoying today. Above all things, he gave us his only begotten son for sinners like me because he loves us. ( John 3:16). We too can demonstrate to God that we love him by giving to the poor and paying our Tithes and offering.
Apostle Paul reaffirmed this statements when he commend the believers in Corinthian Church, they excel in Faith, in Love, in Knowledge and in Zeal for God’s work but they failed the GIVING part of their worship. (2 Corinthians 8:7, 9 NIV)
In other words Apostle Paul emphasized that GIVING is part of our worship. The Muslims religious take giving of alms seriously than our Christians brothers.
The advantages of Giving or being generous.
God saw the affliction of a widow and her son, because the Widow was about to run out of food. In Fact, she was about to die with her son after eating the last meal. God dispatched Prophet Elijah to go and bless her but she must pass the Test of GIVING.
This widow had very small flour and and a small oil enough for one meal and then died from hunger. Then God sent his prophet to go and test his faith in God. Prophet Elijah told her to use that small flour for him so that he can eat. She complied. The result was God miraculously replenished her flour and the oil. She did not suffer any hunger throughout the season of famines. (1 King 17:8-16 )
The Widow Pass God Test On Giving and she was bountifully rewarded with life and provisions that last until after the famine. Imagine a man of God telling you to pay your Tithe with the last money in your pocket. How would you react? Would you remember that God can be testing your faith like that widow? Actually many people will leave that Church and call the pastor a thief.
I personally did not know the importance of Giving until I becomes a Born Again Christian and until The Holy Spirit minister to me. I read a book Possess Your Possession written by Bishop David Oyedepo and another book by Kenneth Hagins. As a man of practical faith, I researched the Bible and corrected my ways.
God has blessed my ministries. “Jesus Witness Ministries” and I am going to share my testimonies with you very soon. My life will soon become a testimony.
How Does God View giving to Your Pastors?
God view Pastors as our spiritual parents and he wants us to be obedient to them. For this is right. Likewise HE. command the Pastors to “Keep watch over themselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made them overseers. Shepherds the church of God, which he bought with his own blood”.(Acts 20:28, 30, Ephesians 6:1-3)
Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; (have faith in his prophets) and you will be successful.” (2 Chronicles 20:20 NIV)
It is enormous responsibilities to shepherd the flock of God. God is willing to compensate them with material prosperity, good health, and long life. Conversely, they will be held accountable for your soul. They deserve our obedience and honor.
To the Member of the Congregation God said, “For you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
(1 Peter 2:25 NIV)
He said,”But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today”. (Deuteronomy 8:18 NIV)
Given is a test of our obedience to God. God is looking for those obedience sons and daughters to bless but they must pass the test of GIVING.
Another point is all people pay Tithes and Offerings whether you like or not.
We have a choice to either pay to God and receive abundant blessings or pay to Satan with pain and suffering. God promise of preventing devourers from taken your money.
What is devourers you may asked? Devourers are are those thing you must pay even though that you hate to pay for it, such as Police tickets, car accidents, burglary, and many accidental expenses.
God said, “I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty”.(Malachi 3:11 NIV)
Jesus uphold the principle of planting and harvesting.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38 NIV)
Jesus himself give his own life. He gave us the Holy Spirit and Power. He gave us everlasting life by his grace and Favour.
You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me.
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.
Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. (Malachi 3:9-10 NIV)
When I compared what Jesus said in Luke 6:38 and Malachi 3:10 both of these verses agreed on one thing. That God, who can not lie will pour out blessings until it will overflow into your lab and store house.
Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles.
No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed: Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you. (Deuteronomy 16:16-17 NIV)
May the good words of The Lord find a good soil in our hears and produce good result. AMEN.
But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” (Matthew 13:23 NIV)
Jesus Warned us Against Materialism:
He said,”Stop storing up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Rather, store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also”.( Matthew 6:19-21, 33)
Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless. (Ecclesiastes 5:10 NIV)
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24 NIV)
Jesu told this parable:
“The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’
20 “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?’
“This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” ( Luke 12:16-21)
The moral lessons of this parable is that richness toward God’s Kingdom gives peace and HAPPINESS.
The above advise by Jesus is to have investment in Kingdom Of God where it is guarantee that we shall reap financial prosperity, good health, security and everlasting life. We should cultivate the Act of GIVING to God.
How GIVING Provoked Blessing:
Even though Sarah and Abraham was very old, their generosity and GIVING provoked the blessings of having a Son. They did not know that they were entertaining Angels. Read how it all started:
“Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.” “Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.” So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.” Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree. “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him. “There, in the tent,” he said. Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” (Genesis 18:5-12, 14 NIV)”
Did the Angels fulfill their promise?
“Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.”(Genesis 21:1-3 NIV)
GIVING Saved LOT’s Life When Sodom was destroyed.
But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate.
Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, young and old, with blindness so that they could not find the door. The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here—sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you?
Get them out of here, because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to the Lord against its people is so great that he has sent us to destroy it.” (Genesis 19:3, 11-13 NIV)
Lot did not know that they were GIVING meals and accommodation to the Angels of Destruction. Only Lot and his two daughters survived when Sodom and Gomorrah were incinerated.
GIVING is equal to BLESSINGS.
This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” (Hebrews 7:1-2 NIV)
Again The King of Salem BLESSED Abraham and Abraham GAVE 10% of everything. So there is connections between GIVING and Blessings.
Some Bible Scholars agreed that payment of Tithe started from the Garden of Eden when God set ONE tree apart from every other trees. Which means 10% of everything belong to God. Adam must have communicated this to his Children Abel and Cain. Abel gave the first or the best of his flocks to God or correctly paid Tithe to God by way of Sacrifices. There are no Mosaic laws and the priesthood at that time.
And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:16-17 NIV)
GIVING 10% to God is divine Covenants and it was tied to God’s Blessings.
“I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.
Bring or ( GIVE )the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
Given is tied to blessings. If practice this divine direction for six months and you did experience a change of stories, don’t read my articles no more. However you to sow the seed of faith into our Ministries or to your church.
Again God said,
“I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty.”
“Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty. (Malachi 3:6, 10-12 NIV)
What is liking to Pests that can be devourers of our crops or income today? Some people agreed, that it can be Police Traffic Tickets, Hospitals Bills, 419′s , stock market crashes, loss of property values, loss of Jobs or businesses and much more.
One person said, that we were all paying Tithe but to different gods, either 10% to God with blessings in return or 10%!to Demons without any benefit. That was true.
Ones again Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38 NIV)
Some people think we Christians are not obligated to pay tithes however, if you compare what Jesus said in Luke 6:38 to Malachi 3:10 you will notice that Jesus corroborated what Prophet Malachi said above. Our God did not change.
Widow’s Gifts Safe Her Life.
She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah. (1 Kings 17:15, 16 NIV
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-9 NIV).
God will reward your generosity. In the Mighty Name of Jesus.
Is it possible for a man to become a Doctor without going to medical school? No! There is no amount of prayer and fasting that can break God’s fundamental principles. If don’t sow seeds you can never reap. Apostle Paul encourage us to work hard so that you give to those who are in needs. We must give God something to bless. Again obedience is the master key to prosperity.
Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil—this is a gift.
(Ecclesiastes 5:19-20 NIV)
Claim your blessings in FAITH with your mouth.
But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. (Romans 10:8, 10 NIV)
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, (2 Corinthians 4:13 NIV)
OBEDIENCE IN CARING and GIVING to OUR PASTORS.
Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:13, 14 NIV)
GIVE GOD’s KINGDOM YOUR TIME and MONEY
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. “If you put God first, He will not put you last”( Dola1)
(Matthew 6:31-33 ).
GIVING ENSURE HAPPINESS IN THE FAMILY.
Giving should be a normal practice in the family because love is to give and to give and to give. Give money, give time, give respect and give more love. This should be practice by everyone in the family. If the husband GIVE love and money and the Wife GIVE respect and money and the children GIVES respect and money to their parents, this will result in Happiness for the entire family. If this not happening in your relationship pray to God to supply you the spirit of GIVING. The Bible says, “whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours”.
(Mark 11:23, 24 NIV)
Again Bill Gate was the richest man in the world, He retired from pursuit of money to become a Philanthropists. BILL & Melinda Gate Foundation is one of largest private foundations in the world. It had an endowment of $38.3 billions as of June 30, 2013 to support their project of eradicating H.I.V , AIDS and Malaria from the world. They have inner peace and happiness ever since. Why? Because they find that GiVING, is the master key to HAPPINESS.
Jesus will not forget all the people that are practicing GIVING.
God remember Cornelius gifts to the Poor.
Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your GIFT TO THE POOR.(Acts 10:30, 31 NIV)
Some people can say, I am poor. what can I give? You can give your time, talents, skills, respect, service and love without money. Let everyone of us Make a resolution today to Give something to someone everyday for 6 months. Come back with Testimonies of how HAPPY you are.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:7-10 NIV)
I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:8, 9 NIV). This means that Jesus has paid for our poverty and as a result we become RICH.
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV)
The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor. (Proverb 22:7,9)
In summary GIVING is the master key to unlock the supernatural blessings and HAPPINESS from God. The example of the widow’s GIFT show that no matter how poor you maybe, you can still practice GIVING. Remember the parable of a widow who dropped her last money in the donation box. Children can GIVE Respect and obedience to their parents. Poor people can GIVE their time and talents for the benefit of others.
Receive your HAPPINESS now in the mighty Name of Jesus.
SAY these prayers.
I thank you for showing me the benefits of GIVING
Please give me grace to practice GIVING, In the Mighty Name of Jesus.
Receive your HAPPINESS now in the Mighty Name of Jesus. Amen!
Pray for me also that I may proclaim the good news to more people to come to Jesus
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Please visit our website @ Jesus Witness Ministries.com for various articles like this. I am always praying for you to have strong faith to receive your blessings.
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Wow. This is a well researeched article. More of His Grace and anointing upon your life and ministry IJN. (Dr. Alice Soremekun )