Joseph Prince - Understanding The Bible Principle of Sowing
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This is an excerpt from: Prosper God's Way During Recession
Now, because of time I have to close with this. I need you to see this. This is very important, okay? Did Jesus take the curse of poverty on Himself on our behalf at the cross? So that verse you all know, and some people here are well-established in it. But you look at 2 Corinthians chapter 8, verse 9, "You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich". Right? So here, stand alone, you can say, "Oh, it's spiritually rich, spiritually poor". You can say it that way and who is there to argue? But everything must be translated in context. Remember what we said about how to study the Bible? Must be translated in context. This is talking about physically. Even physically, He was destitute. They gambled for His clothes at the foot of the cross.
One of the things He carried for us, of course, first and foremost, He carried our sins, praise the Lord. But the Bible also says He carried our diseases, amen. "Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses. With His stripes we are healed". But He also carried our poverty. There is no lack in heaven. We walk on streets of gold. Something is very wrong with heaven. You won't feel comfortable going there. You will tell God, "God, I think this is a bit grandiose. Tone it down. We don't want people to say of You, God, that You believe in the health and wealth gospel, okay"? Something is wrong when Jesus says, "Pray this way, 'Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.'" No lack, no lack. Supply, supply. Okay, I gotta put this through. The context is important. This is verse 9, right? Look at the verses before. He's talking, Paul is saying, "I bear them witness according to their ability, beyond their ability, they were freely willing," talking about the people in Macedonia, Christians in Macedonia, "imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God". See?
Talking about giving. "So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would complete this grace in you as well". Giving is a grace, he says, all right? These people in Macedonia, they encouraged us to take a gift to the poor saints in Jerusalem, the poor Christians in Jerusalem. They're asking us, they're imploring us to take the gift, so we're gonna send Titus to prepare your... you're in Corinthian. You're gonna have a part to play in this, that Titus can finish this grace in you. Giving is a grace gift, amen. And then look at this. He says that, "As you abound in every thing, in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, in your love for us, see that you abound in this grace also". What? Giving grace, amen? Drop down. "I speak not by commandment, I am testing the sincerity of your love," whether you give or not. "It's not by commandment, but I test the sincerity of your love, amen, by the diligence of others. You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ". Okay?
This is before this verse. After this verse, still on money. "In this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; but now you also must complete the doing of it". Give the money. You promised to give the money to the poor saints, Corinthian church. Now fulfill it. It's all about giving. And smack dab in the middle is that Jesus became poor that you might be rich. I said Jesus became poor that you might be rich. Translate in the context. By the way, this is chapter what? Eight. You know what's chapter 9? Chapter 9 goes on, the context here, and this is the one we use always, verse 6, "This I say: He who sows sparingly will reap sparingly, he who sows bountifully will reap bountifully. Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver".
It's all one thought. From Jesus becoming poor at the cross, now you are rich. Act like it. Never say you don't have anything to give. Give. He who sows sparingly shall reap sparingly. He who sows bountifully shall reap bountifully, amen? Man, time is up, man. Oh, real fast. "God is able to make all grace". Shout, "All grace". "Abound". Say, "Abound". Towards who? Towards who? Yeah, I can say me. "Towards you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work," amen. And I have not finished on Isaac again. Want me to finish it? Well, let's finish Isaac, okay? And then I'll send you home, okay? Ha ha, all right, Isaac. So God says, "Stay in this land, I'll bless you," all right? Drop down. "Then Isaac sowed in that land, and reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the LORD blessed him".
Don't you just love that? How much did he reap? And what year was it? Famine! You know what is in front of him when he sowed? Would you like to see the land? If it's severe famine, you know what the land looked like? Now like this. All right, just imagine, just imagine. Here's seed, all right? You are asked to sow in this land. Would you? You gotta do it by faith. I said you gotta do it by faith. Your mind is saying, "There's no way this seed will sprout. No way! Famine! Not enough water! The ground has lost its nutrients that's necessary. It's just like dust". It takes faith. Sowing takes faith. It's easier to look at the stock market and say, "A lot of my money can go there," because it looks green, potential. Natural logic, everything's good. Oh, this investment, everything, you know, today we decide where our money goes based on the greenery and the logic. But when you look at this, no way you would invest.
And God says, "Look at gospel ground". You say, "What is it gonna do for me"? For you, gospel ground is just like dry. Stock market, ahhh. Crypto, ahhh. And whatever, okay? Now, I'm not saying these things are wrong. I'm not saying that, all right? The Lord may lead you into this, whatever it is. Go ahead. I'm just saying this is not the main system of God. And if you're involved in it, and you are really stressed out, and you're always in strife, it's not God. If you're in it, you are in rest, but your main state is always tithing, trusting the Lord, that's cool, all right? But when you look at gospel ground, it looks like this. And God says, "Sow". This is what Isaac sowed. It's a year of famine, don't forget. That's how the ground looks. Go back to the verse again. But Isaac sowed. Is that faith? Do you think he did it by faith or by logic? "And reaped in the same year a hundredfold; and the LORD blessed him. The man began to prosper".
Okay, it's not enough, okay? "And continued prospering until he became very prosperous". I call this 30-fold, 60-fold, 100-fold, all in the same year, you know? He reaped in the same year 100-fold. And he tells you who is behind it. "The LORD blessed him". Now, you have a problem. When you start prospering, remember this, all right? Prosperity with a purpose, God's purpose. And this is the problem, "For he had possessions of flocks and possessions of herds and a great number of servants. So the Philistines envied him". There'll be people who'll be jealous of you. There'll be people looking at a church and try to find, "Oh, this church manipulate the people for money. Must be one," right? They look at a big house of a celebrity and all, they don't say anything. All right, a big house of a businessman, don't say anything. If they see a house, even average-sized, lah, all right, "He might be doing something wrong," right? That's the mentality. Or a church must be small and poor.
As the saying says, "As poor as a..." how can you say that? Why is a church mouse different from other mouse? Oh, there is a difference. Compare church mouse with Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse is prosperous. No one says that Mickey Mouse believe in the health and wealth doctrine. Nobody says that. No, of course not. Don't blame Mickey. Don't blame Minnie. Don't blame Donald. It is the flesh. The flesh doesn't like God's people to prosper. They can prosper, but you cannot. And religious people unfortunately, the religious side of Christianity, all right, does not give an alternative, the middle of the road, how we can be good stewards of God's money, how to become faithful stewards of God's money. If you say God doesn't prosper, it won't come your way, amen. And I'm just starting. I'm just starting a series. I wish I had more time. I wish this whole day was a seminar. I can just go line upon line, go into some more stuff, okay? But how many are glad that at the cross, one of the things He paid for us, He became poor.
He who flung the stars, the galaxies, the universe in space, He, the Bible says the cattle on a thousand hills belongs to Him. He put the diamonds, the amethysts, the rubies, the sapphires, the gold in this earth. When He came, He divested Himself of all that. And on that cross, He died. He died like a poor man with nothing, why? Was He poor? In and of Himself, no. He did it for you. It's part of the redeeming work, the atoning work, that He bear our sins and you receive His righteousness. He bear your disease, you receive His healing and health. At the cross, He was rejected that you might be accepted. He said, "My God, My God," at the cross, that you might say, "My Father, my Father". And He also bore your poverty. Are you receiving His riches, amen?
And remember, this riches is always a channel. It never like a dead sea. It's me, it's mine. I wanna keep everything I have. No, no, no. I get all I can, I can all I get, and sit on the can. That is not God's way, amen? God's way is an outlet, always a blessing, always giving, always sowing, looking for opportunity, especially the gospel of Jesus Christ. You gotta believe that the tithe belong to the local church. And if you are listening to me and you are from another church, please don't tithe to this church, amen? Tithe to your local church. But when you tithe, make it an act of worship, the way they did it in the Bible times, amen?
Bring it before God and say, "God, I'm bringing You a portion, my first fruits as an honor, as a worship to You. I know, Lord, that this money I have is my sweat, my tears throughout the month, my difficulties and all that, but it was You who brought me through, lest I say my power and the might of my hand has gotten me this wealth. But I remember You. You are the one who gives me power to get wealth, that You may establish the covenant. Thank you, Father. And I receive Your windows of heaven blessings that there's not room enough to receive. Thank you, Father God". Make an act of tithing. Not just tithe. The Bible uses the word, "Tithing the tithe". That's worshipping the Lord with the tithe, amen?