Shepherd Of Prosperity

This is a study on Psalm 23 to discover the goodness of God and the prosperity promises he made for his people. At the end of this article I hope you will enjoy a higher level of confidence and faith that God is determined to prosper and protect you.

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams
Psalm 23:1-2 (NLT)

Verse 1 itself links the Lord with provision. As long as he is my shepherd, I have all that I need. I will have all the health, wealth, protection, comfort, encouragement and anything else I need. In short, the leadership of the Lord in my life guarantees total and complete prosperity.

Verse 2 was spoken within the perspective of a sheep. Green meadows and peaceful streams provide unlimited food and water to the sheep. The sheep cared by this shepherd will never suffer from hunger nor any other lack. This reinforces Verse 1 on the assurance of prosperity of God in our lives.

3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.
Psalm 23:3 (NLT)

Why does he need to renew my strength? Obviously when I am tired or discouraged.

You may be facing a tough battle now. You may feel like giving up because the enemies are too strong. Your strength is weakening. I have the word of The Lord for you. The Lord is telling you not to give up. Trust in him. He will renew your strength. He will make you stronger than all your enemies. You will beat them. Once you manage to beat them off, the reward is great.

He also guides me along right paths. What is that? Based on the context set by Verse 1 and 2, the right paths must be the paths to prosperity. He wants to lead us toward greater prosperity. The subsequent sentence tells us that our prosperity brings honor to his name.

Do you want to bring honor to his name and glorify him? If your answer is yes, then start believing him for your prosperity.

4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.
Psalm 23:4 (NLT)

Please note that Verse 4 begins with “Even when I”. The Lord did not lead me to the darkest valley. I did that myself. Why? Moments of weakness, anger, greed and carelessness can lead us into making mistakes. However, even if I got myself into deep trouble from my mistake, I shall not be afraid because the Lord is still with me. I shall believe that he can and he will rescue me.

A shepherd’s rod and staff are used to protect himself and his flocks against predators. They are symbols of protection. So, whenever you are under attack, focus on the Lord’s promise of protection and deliverance for you. Only then will you experience peace and consequently able to activate your faith to fight back.

5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Psalm 23:5 (NLT)

Feasts are for celebration. The Lord wants us to celebrate for our victory even before our enemies are completely defeated. Why? He wants us to live by faith. He wants us to believe in his deliverance even before we see it. After all, what is faith?

1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)

The Lord honors me with overflowing blessings. Overflow refers to more than enough. More than I can contain. Does blessing always refer to prosperity?

22The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
Proverbs 10:22(KJV)

6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalm 23:6 (NLT)

This is the last verse in Psalm 23. It starts with “surely” and ends with good news. What is “surely” anyway? It means there is no exception, no maybes. When I was in my religious church, I was informed of many “maybes”.

Maybe God wants you to be sick.
Maybe God wants you to be poor.
Maybe God wants you to suffer.

Yet Psalm 23 says otherwise.

Verse 6 gives me the certainty that the Lord’s goodness and unfailing love will pursue me for life. Pursue means I don’t have to look for them. They will come after me. All I need to do is to trust and believe in the Lord. Then his love and goodness will pursue me for life.

“, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.”

This is a great ending for believers. Live in the house of the Lord forever.

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Praise God For Prosperity

5 May the nations praise you, O God. Yes, may all the nations praise you.
6 Then the earth will yield its harvests, and God, our God, will richly bless us.
7 Yes, God will bless us, and people all over the world will fear him.
Psalm 67:5-7(NLT)

Praise God. This term is very common in a church environment. It is as common as “excuse me”, “good morning” and “hello”. I used to wonder what it means and its purpose. Is God that insecure that he needs people to sing praises to him? What if we stop praising him? Will he suffer from low self-esteem?

Yet there is no place in the Bible that tells us that God has a self-esteem problem. In fact, the above verses tell us the result of praise. It seems that praising God result in the blessing of prosperity. Why is that so? I don’t know for the moment but this does not stop me from taking advantage of this verse.

“How can you benefit from things you don’t fully understand?”

Let me ask you back.
Do you understand fully how electricity works? Do you still use electricity?
Do you think it is alright for anyone without a degree in electrical engineering to use electricity?
Do you think it is alright for anyone without a degree in mechanical engineering to drive a car?

If we choose to limit ourselves to use only things we can fully understand, we will be very poor.

Consider this, a farmer does not know why a seed will grow. All he knows is as long as he sows the seed, provide water, fertilizer and protect his crops from pests he will get a harvest. As for the detail mechanism of botany, it is not needed. I am sure there are farmers who are richer than botanists.

What is the message here?

Praise God if you want to have great prosperity in your life.

6 Then the earth will yield its harvests, and God, our God, will richly bless us.
Psalm 67:6(NLT)

Verse 7 speaks of the fearing God. When I was in my religious church, no one explained to me what it means. So I assumed fearing God is like fearing monsters or ghosts. So in order to fear God, imagine him as a monster, then fear will come.

However the Bible says otherwise. The fear of God comes from his goodness. His blessings of prosperity on us cause people to fear him. Do you want to live a God fearing life and getting people to fear him? Start believing God for great prosperity in your life.

Why is Santa Clause Better Than The Religious Jesus

When I was in my religious church, I used to wonder like my fellow christians on why has Christmas become a celebration of Santa Clause. Isn’t Christmas supposed to be the birthday for Jesus Christ? How did this Santa Clause manage to sneak in? No matter now hard we tried to tell the public that Christmas is about Jesus and not Santa, no one bothers. Why? In this article, I will seek to explain this phenomena.

Please note that I use the term “Religious Jesus” to mark it as a separate entity form the true Jesus of the Bible. The Religious Jesus is the Jesus preached by the religious churches and this person is the exact opposite of the true Jesus of the Bible.

Let us start from Santa Clause. What type of a man is he? He is happy. He is kind and generous. He always laughs. He gives out presents unconditionally out of love. He only has one law: Be good and you will get presents. Be naughty and you won’t get any.

Even then, he is very forgiving. Even if you are naughty for the whole year and be good only in the last few days prior to Christmas, you will still be qualified for presents. Whenever he talks to you, he used kind words. Children love him. He doesn’t condemn you nor put you down. He doesn’t lay burdens or guilt on you.

His favourite words: Ho ho ho. Laughter. He loves to laugh. He creates happy mood. He lifts up your spirit. His only weakness is he only works once a year.

How about the Religious Jesus?

In my view, he is the worst person ever existed. He is a hypocrite, sadist, liar and evil. Whatever evil you can think of, he can do exceeding abundantly worst than that. For some unknown reasons, religious churches love him and promote him.

Here is how he operates:

If you are not a christian, he will tell you how much he loves you. He loves you so much that he is willing to die for your sins. His love is selfless and unconditional. He wants you to accept his love and be a christian.

Once you have become a christian, the evil face appears. Now that you belong to him, you are to obey his every instruction. He wants you to read the Bible, pray, go to church, give him money, serve in church and go for missions. He doesn’t like disobedient children and he will not hesitate to punish anyone who dares to disobey him.

Whenever you pray, he will tell you all your faults. If you sin, he will condemn you for sinning. If you do good, he will tell you it is not enough. No matter what you do, he will find ways to put you down.

If you disobey him, beware! He can give you or your family accidents, sickness or any other disaster. Ironically even if you tried your best to obey his every command he can still give you or your family accidents, sickness or any other disaster. In a nutshell, nothing is beneath him. He can sink to any level, any perversion. When that happens, you are required to praise him for his goodness.

He also loves your money. It does not matter to him how poor or needy you are. He wants you to give him money. It is his glory to see you poor and sick.

Do you dare to ask him for prosperity? I don’t think so.

Based on the above comparison, who will you choose to spend time with? Santa Clause or Religious Jesus? I go for Santa Clause anytime.

However, I have a good news and a bad news for you.

The bad news is: Santa Clause does not exist.
The good news is: neither does the Religious Jesus.

The Jesus of the Bible is exactly opposite from the Religious Jesus that is preached in the religious churches.

Here is some simple comparison:

Religious Jesus: I want you to stop sinning. I will not hesitate to take stern action to punish you if you still sin.

Jesus of the Bible: I paid for the penalty of your sins. Sin has no power over you now. You are free. Come to me. Together we are going to beat this sin of yours. Remember, I am always on your side against your sins.

Religious Jesus: Sometimes I will give you sickness for any reason I choose. After all I am God. I can do anything I like. I can be as perverted as I want to be. Even then, I expect you to praise me and tell others what a good God I am.

Jesus of the Bible: At the Cross, I took away all your sickness. By my stripes you are healed. Sickness and disease has no right to oppress you. Stand up to your right. I paid dearly for you healing. It pleases me to see you healed. Start believing in me and claim your right of healing.

Religious Jesus: Give me all your money. I love your money. It does not matter to me how poor you are. If you are poor then continue to be poor for my glory.

Jesus of the Bible: At the Cross, I was poor in order to make you rich. It does not matter how bad your situation is right now. As long as you keep believing, you will receive my prosperity. Even if you are very rich now, I can still give you more. It is my glory to see you rich.

Religious Jesus: I want you to do things for me like serving in the church and going for mission. I don’t care how much you need to sacrifice. I am God. If you think you are in a bad shape right now, I can make it worse if you dare to disobey me.

Jesus of the Bible: I appreciate any intention of yours to do things for me but I want you to remember this: You are the one I love. My love for you is not dependent on the things you do for me. Even if you stop doing those things, I still love you.

Conclusion

I hope this simple article is able to help you to tell the difference between the true Jesus and the Jesus invented by the religious churches.

The Blessing Of Prosperity

22The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.
Proverbs 10:22(KJV)

How often have you been greeted with terms like “God bless you” especially in a church environment? What does that means? Unfortunately, most people who utter the phase don’t know the meaning. To them, “God bless you.” is no different from “Hi” or “Hello”.

However, for those who really read and believe in the Bible, the blessing results in riches without sorrows. Therefore, whenever we see God blessing people in the Bible, it means God wanted them to be rich. It is the will of God for all his people to be rich. For those who are interested in more information in this area, please refer to my other articles on this issue.

You will be presented by undeniable truth that God wants his people to be rich. God is glorified when christians are prosperous in every area of their lives.

Of course, I am sure many religious people like pastors and theologians will be against this truth but why should I care what they think? After all, Jesus died for my sins, not pastors nor theologians. By the way, I do admit that I don’t have good impression of them due to my past history with them.

The second part of Proverbs 10:22 says “he addeth no sorrow with it”. What does that mean? To put in simply, not all riches are from God. Any form of riches that cause sorrow to your live is not from God. For example, you get a high paid job that requires you to work for long hours until you have no more time to spend with your family. This could cause distress to the whole family and result in sorrows. In this scenario this job offer is not a blessing of God.

We need to constantly remind ourselves that God gives us riches because he loves us and wants us to be happy.

18 Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot.
19 Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God.
20 He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.
Ecclesiastes 5:18-20(NIV)

In short, enjoy life. God wants us to enjoy life to the fullest and he is generous enough to give us riches to do so. The blessing of God is complete, meaning it covers every area of prosperity.

“If that is so, why am I not rich even though I am a christian?”

I have addressed this issue in my other articles. Please refer to an article entitled, “The Vow Of Prosperity”.

In order to get the best in life, we need to believe that he is able and wants to bless us.

27Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.
Psalm 35:27( KJV)

The Greatest Wish Of God For You Is Prosperity

2Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
3 John 1:2(KJV)

What do you think God’s greatest wish for you? If you are in a religious environment as I used to be the answer to this question will inevitably be in the form of doing things like going for mission, serving in the church or giving money to the church. However the above verse says otherwise.

God’s wish above all things to his people is not for his people to do things or give stuff to him. His greatest wish for his people are prosperity and health. This prosperity includes the prosperity of the soul. religious groups will definitely dispute this and use the term “Health And Wealth Gospel” to label Bible believers but the truth is clear – the God of the Bible wants his people to live in prosperity and good health.

“How do you explain christians who are poor and sick?”

Since prosperity and good health are guaranteed by God, there is no reason for christians for not living in it. The only conclusion is we have been robbed. Please refer to my earlier articles on this issue.

“What is soul prosperity?”

The soul refers to the mind. It is the part of us that defines who we are and how we behave. A person may be confident, shy, ruthless, merciful, kind or greedy. It comes from the mind. Therefore, soul prosperity is the prosperity of your mind, your thoughts. What are the thoughts that you are entertaining in your mind?

7For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
Proverbs 23:7 (KJV)

In other words, if you think you are poor, you are poor. If you think you are rich, you will be rich even if your circumstances say the opposite. Positive thinking is invented by God, not human beings. Many people (including non christians) have successfully achieve financial prosperity through the principle in Proverbs 23:7. You can never find a successful person who thinks negative. They are practising Proverbs 23:7 even if they do not realise it. There are many books and websites out there that tell you the benefit of positive thinking and stories of how people overcame the odds by first thinking the right things.

Unfortunately many christians had been deceived by the religious groups into filling their minds with religious doctrines that promote poverty instead of the Word Of God that brings prosperity. If you are one of them, remember what the Bible says on what to think:

8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Phillippians 4:8 (NLT)

The above verse tells us God wants us to think positive. Only then can our soul be prosperous. A prosperous soul is necessary for outward prosperity and health. God wants our souls to be prosperous because he wished above all things for us to prosper and be in health.

Troubles? So what?

33I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]
John 16:33 (Amplified)

When I got into the Word Of Faith, there were some well intentioned christians trying to convince me that there are troubles in this world. (As if I never had troubles in my life.) This is due to misconceptions based on rumours that said Word Of Faith teaches people there are no troubles if you believe in Jesus. Well the truth is I have never heard of such messages.

There are tribulations, trials, distress and frustrations in this world. But the good news is Jesus had overcome it for us. In the Amplified Bible this means Jesus had deprived all the tribulations, trials, distress and frustrations of their power to harm us. He had conquered all of them for us.

What does this mean?

If you are a believer of Jesus, no matter what tribulations, trials, distress and frustrations that are facing you right now, Jesus has conquered them all. They have no power to harm you. All you need is to believe and not allow yourself to be affected by them. As long as you don’t give up you will triumph over them.

According to the above verse you need to be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]!

In short, guard your heart.

20 My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
Proverbs 4:20-23 (NIV)

Your heart is the wellspring of life. There are 2 important lessons in the above verses:
1. God’s words bring life and health to our bodies.
2. We need to guard our heart.

How do we guard our hearts? By focusing our attentions on the promises of God even if we cannot see them in the natural. The devil only has one tactic – get us worried by pointing us to the negative circumstances around us. He will even used people with good intentions to say things like,

“If God really promised prosperity, why are there still poor christians?”
“If God really promised healing, why are there still sick christians?”
“If God really promised protection from harm, why do we have christians who died young?”

Once we fall for that, our hearts will be unguarded and we got worried. When we get worried, the wellspring of life is choked. Our faith become ineffective and we become vulnerable for further attacks. This is what the devil is hoping for.

This is his only objective when launching attacks against us because he knows that as long as we are guarding our hearts, he is no match for us. His attacks won’t last. All the tribulations, trials, distress and frustrations he has created for us will have to go away as long as we continue to guard our hearts, refuse to worry and continue to believe.

Our only defense is to keep believing and focus on the Word Of God regardless of circumstances. The choice is yours. Will you choose to give up every time you are attacked and become an easy prey or will you choose to believe in God and fight.

True Prosperity Must Include Wisdom

8 To acquire wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish understanding will prosper.
Proverbs 19:8 (NLT)

What is true prosperity? Can we have true prosperity without wisdom and understanding? I will explore this subject in this article.

True prosperity must fulfill 2 conditions:
1. It must cover every area in life.
2. It must be able to withstand all storms and to bounce back after every setback.

Let us look at the first condition.
Prosperity from God is not limited to a lot of money alone.

What is the use of money if you are very sick and have to lie on the bed all the time?

What is the use of money if you are full of worries and anxieties?

What is the use of money if your family is breaking up?

What is the use of money if you are going to die soon?

What is the use of money if you are so busy making it that you have no time to enjoy it?

Prosperity from God is complete and covers every area of our lives. It covers both inward and outward living.

2Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
3 John 1:2 (KJV)

In other words, we need to prosper inwardly in order to prosper outwardly. Only then our prosperity can be complete and cover every area of our lives. God gives us wisdom to achieve that. What can the wisdom of God do for us?

13 Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding,
14 for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.
15 She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.
Proverbs 3:13-16(NIV)

In the above verses, wisdom is personified as a woman. She has long life in her right hand, riches and honor in her left. Isn’t that a complete set of prosperity? Note that Wisdom is more profitable and yields better returns than silver and gold. This means that along as you have wisdom, you can get rich even if you have no capital. Wisdom is your most valuable capital.

Verse 13 tells us that wisdom and gaining understanding are together. You can’t separate them. How can we get wisdom and understanding if not from meditating the Word Of God?

Here is more on the benefits of Wisdom:

14 Counsel and sound judgment are mine; I have understanding and power.
15 By me kings reign and rulers make laws that are just;
16 by me princes govern, and all nobles who rule on earth.
17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.
18 With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice,
21 bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full.
Proverbs 8:14-21(NIV)

Don’t you like the results of it? Riches, honor, enduring wealth and prosperity! Treasuries full. All these are clear indications that wisdom brings prosperity in our lives. The second condition for prosperity is the ability to withstand all storms and to bounce back after every setback. Can wisdom do that?

13 It is better to be a poor but wise youth than an old and foolish king who refuses all advice.
14 Such a youth could rise from poverty and succeed. He might even become king, though he has been in prison.
Ecclesiastes 4:13(NLT)

Of course! The above verse tells us that it is better to be wise even if you are poor now because your wisdom can lift you out of your poverty and give you success. You can even become a king even if you have been in prison.

Finally, the question now is how to acquire wisdom. Does the Bible give us a clear answer?

Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Joshua 1:8(NIV)

Meditate the Word day and night. Keep the words of God in your hearts. They will give you wisdom. The result is prosperity and success. Don’t forget to pray.

5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
James 1:5-8 (KJV)