I will never forget what it felt like the first time I owned a nice men’s suit. Phyllis and I had just returned from Bible school in the early 80’s and we had started our church. There was a businessman who took me to the nicest men’s store in town and bought me a wardrobe. One coat in particular stood out to me—it was a light brown cashmere sport coat. I don’t recall the exact cost of the coat, but I do remember seeing the price tag and thinking, “everything I own in my closet combined doesn’t cost as much as this one coat!” It was a life-changing experience, and when I put it on, I felt different. Why? I had a taste of what prosperity would do for a regular kind of guy like me.

For several years I had been hearing great men and women of God teach on prosperity. They would talk about where they came from and what God had done for them. It was so encouraging to hear, and yet I still had to deal with thoughts such as, “but does He want to prosper me?” It didn’t take long before I saw and experienced the answer to my question…YES! He does want to prosper ME!

How about you? Have you ever dealt with these kinds of thoughts? Let me assure you—your prosperity has been purchased and it is in God’s great plan for your life that you experience the prosperity that belongs to you. Second Corinthians 8:9 says, For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

Over the past few decades, prosperity has become a controversial subject in many Christian circles, but according to this Scripture, there is no question about whether or not God wants us to prosper. He has made it very clear that prosperity was His idea for His children.

Let me ask you this…for the person who does not accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, could we say that where that individual is concerned, that Jesus died in vain? What about the person who has been born again, yet doesn’t believe that healing is for today…could we say that for this individual, the beating that Jesus endured for their healing was in vain?

Let’s take it one step further…how about the person who is on their way to heaven and has declared Jesus as their Healer, walking in divine health, but refuses to accept the truth that Jesus was made poor so that they might be rich. As far as this person is concerned, this part of His sacrifice was done in vain simply because they don’t receive it and act upon it.

I don’t know about you, but I DON’T WANT TO MAKE ANY SACRIFICE THAT JESUS MADE AN EMPTY ONE! When we receive knowledge of something from the Word, then we become responsible for it. Prosperity is not a toy or a game or a side issue, nor is it a “sugar daddy in Heaven” operation. It is part and parcel of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is a responsibility for the serious believer.

There are some who believe that taking a vow of poverty is an act of holiness, but taking a vow of poverty is no more godly than taking a vow of sin! This kind of thinking is just one more lie that the devil has capitalized on in order to keep prosperity from God’s children.

As I mentioned earlier, when that businessman bought those suits for me, it changed me. It was the beginning of the prosperous life that I had been hearing about. I began to think bigger, and I began to see myself in a grander way. As silly as this sounds, I even began to preach better. There is just something that happens when you know you are representing the Lord Jesus with excellence, and it takes prosperity to do this.

When you embrace the message of prosperity like I did, you soon become a channel which God can use. I remember one time when I ministered in a Bible school in Ukraine, I took all the students to the nicest men’s store in town and bought each of them a new suit. They could hardly believe it, but I recognize the importance of representing God with excellence. It is much easier to preach prosperity when you’re representing it.

We’ve come through a lean time in America, but I want to encourage you to step up. Think of yourself as being valuable and worthy, and recognize that you represent God. There is nothing wrong with wearing the best, driving the best, or living in the best. In fact, it’s right because prosperity has been purchased for you!  Some people would say that thinking this way is greedy but actually, when you have it, you don’t think much about it. You just want to get involved in blessing somebody else.

Friend, I want to encourage you to stir yourself up in the area of prosperity. We are seeing some good things take place in our nation, and I’m thankful for that. However, we MUST keep our eyes on the Word and our faith in what He says. This world operates in an entirely different system than we do, so when things are bad, we are to hold to His Word. And when things are good, we are to hold to His Word. His Word is ALWAYS our answer!

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