You Are Richer Than You Think You Are
You are richer than you think you are: What is Biblical Open Mindedness and how it relates to your financial life.
Before we discuss how you are richer than you think you are, I want to talk about open mindedness. In our culture today we hear so much about how important it is to be “open”. Popular culture’s values of tolerance and openness force opinions and lifestyles on us that are frankly an abomination. It seems that our society’s definition of being open minded means that we accept any person, or any group based on their lifestyle choices and belief systems. To some this openness can prevent somebody from really allowing any belief system to grow roots, especially Christianity. As Christians we are always open to people to reach them, serve them, and love them. However, we should not be open to their influence and lifestyle.
Today I want to talk about and establish that Biblical openness means being open to God. It is openness to allow him to work in our lives. It is an openness to his character. It is opening everything to him even our finances so that we can be open to others in love and generosity.
You see generosity is one of the most decisive distinguishing characteristics of living for the Kingdom of God here and now in this present age. So after you finish reading, it is my hope that you will realize that you are richer than you think you are
When we come into the kingdom we are the recipients of a generosity that is so amazing that it defies logic and almost takes a lifetime to grasp. As recipients of God’s gracious generosity, we too become generous, and very quickly realize that we are indeed Richer Than we Think we Are.
Biblical Pictures of Generosity.
God’s generosity in giving his only son. This is the greatest example of generosity. “For God so love the world that He gave…” (John 3:16)
- The Good Samaritan – (Luke 10:25)
2. The Early Church (Acts 2:42-47)
Additional scriptures about generosity:
- Proverbs 11:25, “A generous person will prosper, whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
- Proverbs 22: 9, “The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.”
- The scriptures even take it further and command generosity of believers.
A. 1 Timothy 6:17, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. (18) Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (19) In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
Now you may be thinking “phew” I’m off the hook here because this scripture is talking to the rich.
To that I reply… there are so many other scriptures that instruct everybody to be generous.
You Are Richer Than You Think You Are.
Please consider the following statistics:
If your net worth is a positive $2,200.00 then you are in the top half of the world’s richest people.
If your net worth is a positive $61,000.00 than you are in the top 10% of the world’s richest people.
If you make $34,000.00 per year you are in the world’s top 5%.
If you make $47,500.00 per year you are in the world’s top 1%.
You see half of the world lives on less than $2.50 per day.
20% live on $1.25 per day.
I share this not to manipulate you but to point out that compared to most people in the world you are rich. Do you believe me that you are richer than you think you are yet?
Now 1 John 5:3 says this, “In fact this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.”
If his commands are not burdensome and he commands us to give tithes and offerings as well as be generous than there must be a pretty good reason for that.
Here it is, here is the reason… God wants to bless you. He wants you to have the means to be truly Biblically open to others. Biblical openness is generosity to others. He wants to bless us to be a blessing.
- The effects of generosity.
In 2 Corinthians 9:6 Paul has this to say about generosity; “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously”
The effects of generosity are God’s provision and blessing here on this earth.
Through generosity we also store up treasures in heaven.
1 Timothy 6:19, “In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
Generosity puts us in a place to be blessed of God in several ways:
- Through generosity we practice obedience and good stewardship.
- Being generous shows that we trust God.
- Generosity shows a maturity in our faith and character.
- God blesses our generosity with increase in this life and a greater ability to impact more.
You Are Richer Than You Think You Are
How can we live more generously? How can we plan to store more treasure in heaven where it really counts?
We can strategically plan to live more generously. If we are in debt, we can get out of debt. We can live more simply to be more generous. Start out by giving 10% of your income. That simple obedience will put you on a path to financial recovery and blessing. Don’t say you’ll do it when you can afford it, or after your business is established, or when you get that new job. If you become generous now, in tough circumstances God will give you a greater capacity to give because he will bless your overall financial situation.
The Targets of Kingdom Generosity-
- The poor.
Jesus said in Luke 12:32-34, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near, and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
- The unreached.
Jesus said in Matthew 28:19,20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The Greek word for nations here actually means ethnicity. Scripture clarifies every tongue, tribe, and people are the targets of God’s saving plan (Rev. 7:9). Unreached People Groups are those that have no Bible in their language, less than 1% Christian, and very few multiplying churches in their tribe. There are still around 6,500 unique people groups that are unreached to the Gospel.
- Ministries and ministers who are reaching the unreached and caring for the poor.
- Body of Christ – other believers Gal 6:9-10, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
Bible Axiom is partnered with Ministry Voice’s most trusted non-profit ministry that is doing all the above: His Feet International. Check out how you can be a partner and support all that God is doing. Pressing Needs
God wants us to be open to be used by him through being generous with our time and resources.
For God, faith and finances are inseparable.
In the famous scripture “Faith without Works is Dead” James makes it clear that the works he is talking about are works of generosity to the poor. Generosity is how we put our faith in to action.
Wrapping It Up –
You are richer than you think you are. Earthly blessings and prosperity can either be a desert or a promised land. They are a desert if they consume you, isolate you, and take you away from Kingdom purposes. They are a promised land if you are truly using that prosperity to further the Kingdom, to give to the poor, and to be open to blessing people.
So Biblical open mindedness is not openness to try new things or openness to lifestyles that contradict the Biblical message. But it is openness to be used of God in blessing anybody God brings in your path, and even those you will never meet personally who are truly poor and are suffering while serving King Jesus.