Derek Prince - God Will Take Care Of Your Material Needs If You Seek The Kingdom First
This is a clip from the full sermon The Christian And His Money.
In this closing talk, we'll deal with the theme of tithing. Perhaps it's necessary to explain what tithing is, because it's a very old fashioned word. In Old English, the tithe was the same as the tenth. And for believing Christians, tithing means the practice of setting apart for God the first tenth of your income, whether it's in cash or in kind. This is a practice that goes right back to the roots of our faith. In fact, it goes back to the father of all of us who believe, who was Abraham, that's right. You see, all of life really is a question of priorities. We find time for the things to which we really give priority. Most of us find time to eat because it has a high priority in our lives. We find time to sleep.
Some of us don't find time to read our Bibles, as we should, simply because it doesn't have a high enough priority. And in dealing with finance, again, the basic issue is the issue of priorities. Jesus established this very clearly in Luke 6:38 in connection with giving. He said: Give and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you. What's the first thing we do? Do we first give or do we first receive? We give first, that's right, that's the faith principle. People who wait to give until they have received are really not moving in faith. People have sometimes said to me, I'm too poor to give to God. I tend to reply, I think the truth of the matter is you're too poor not to give to God. Because giving is the way to receive.
You remember there was the widow that cast in two mites which together make about one farthing? And Jesus watched her and he especially praised her. He said, She's cast in all that she has to the offerings of God. He didn't say, How foolish! She should have kept it to buy something to eat with it. He singled her out for praise. Why? Because she was operating on the faith principle: give and it shall be given to you. I pointed out already that God is generous and the Holy Spirit is generous. Here Jesus unveils the generosity of God. Give - that is, to God - and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over. The picture is a basket full of seed or some such thing. First of all, you just fill the basket. Then you press it down, then you shake it together. And finally it begins to run over. That's God's measure. The word that's used by Paul is abundance. God is able to make all grace abound toward us, that we always, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.
The word 'abound' is derived from a Latin word for a wave. It means a wave that flows over something. So, abundance is when you overflow. That's the picture that Jesus uses here of God's measuring back to us until we overflow. And then he gives this principle: For with the same measure that you use it will be measured back to you. That means to say if you give one pound, it will be measured back to you in one pound. If you give five pounds, it's measured back to you in five pounds. The unit that you use to give is the unit that God uses to give back to you. So it's question of priorities. Jesus brought out the same principle in Matthew 6:33. A very familiar verse to many of us. There's a beautiful chorus that is based on these words. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
The things He's speaking about are our material needs. Food, clothing, a house, whatever it may be. But He says: don't make those your priority. Make your priority the kingdom of God. Seek that first, put it first. Make it the thing that you aim for, the thing that you pray about, the thing that you work for. And God will take care of your material needs. To some people that sounds fanciful. But I've been a Christian nearly 50 years. And by the grace of God I believe I can say that I've applied that principle: seek first the kingdom of God. And I'd have to say, to the glory of God, He has been more than faithful. I trust Him, He is faithful. You can trust Him, too, put Him to the test. The same principle is stated by Solomon in Proverbs 3. Verses 9 and 10. The key word that I'm bringing out in all these passages is the word 'first'. And it occurs here, too.
Proverbs 3:9-10. Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase. Everything that comes in, set aside the first for God. And in doing that you are honoring God. Bear in mind that it is possible to honor God by the way we deal with our finance. And because it's also possible to honor God, the opposite is equally true, it's possible to dishonor God. Liberality honors God, stinginess dishonors God. Putting our own needs and our own concerns before God's kingdom, dishonors God. That's the principle: Honor the Lord with your possessions, your material possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase. Now, what's the result? So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats - where you store your oil and your wine - will, what? Overflow with new wine. What's overflow? Abundance. It's exactly the word. You just can't contain what God gives you back.
Now you have to determine whether you believe that or not. For my part, I have to say I do believe it. I believe it works, I believe it's practical. I don't believe it's fanciful, I don't believe it's wishful thinking. I believe Jesus was the most practical teacher the world has ever seen. I also tell people often the most practical person on earth today is the Holy Spirit. If a thing is not practical, believe me, it's not spiritual. The Holy Spirit never initiates anything that doesn't work. And this works.