Exchange This For _______
We see some churches struggle to keep the lights on and care for their people and other churches grow, expand and prosper, why? We could debate the whys for hours but that is not what this series is about.
Not only has God shown us the way to heaven, he shows us how to be sure we are going to heaven. Some will believe and act on what God says and others? Others choose not to believe God or not to believe God’s word. The choice is yours. Every choice we make has consequences. So is it with money, wealth and prospering. If you choose to spend your money and wealth on toys, you will not be able to buy food or have a roof over your head. If you choose not to work, you will become poor.
So how do we under “normal” circumstances increase our wealth scripturally? This is a great study. There are hundreds of scripture verses that deal will sowing, reaping, giving, tithing, increase, prosperity, wealth, riches, gold, silver, money, exchangers, and several other words that deal with prospering. My goal is not to list these hundreds of verses and let you figure this out. My goal is to show you principles from God and his word.
Because we know God can not lie, it is impossible for God to lie just like Hebrews 6:18 says. So if something God says or promises from his word, we can count on it. We can, take it to the bank as the expression goes.
So let’s look at what does God say about money. Again, I am not a financial planner and if you decide to take God at his word, knowing he can not lie, then you and God are going on an adventure in wealth creation. Believe me, I know there are a lot of so called believers out there that have less than the best intentions regarding money. And there are flat out thieves out there.
But I am not asking you for anything. Zero, nadda, nothing. I am going to show you how God says you increase wealth. If you decide to do what God says, he is the one you talk to about what you do. So are you ready?
Everyone starts out in life the same. It is what we do with what we have or with what we are given that determines our wealth. If you were to line up 10 Christians from all walks of life and you ask them all the same question, how would you describe your wealth today? You would probably get answers like –
We squeak by every month.
We are broke and poor.
We live paycheck to paycheck.
We get along and have a little savings.
We’re doing okay.
What would your answer be?
So what does exchange mean? Another words, the rate of exchange? Exchange by definition means a marketplace where securities, commodities, derivatives, or other financial instrument are traded . So what would an exchange rate mean? The rate or price for which one form ( of currency ) is exchanged for another.
So in plain English, when you exchange one thing for another and the price or rate of that exchange is set, before you make the exchange in many cases.
Example: When I was young you could buy a $ 50 US Savings Bond for about $ 27 or $ 28 dollars. That is the exchange. If I chose to buy that bond and keep it for 5 years, when the 5 years were up, I could cash in that bond and get $ 50. So the rate of my exchange is about 1.85% if I calculated that correctly. But the catch was, I had to keep the bond for 5 years to get that. Today I believe you have to keep them for 10 years or maybe 7, I have not checked lately.
Just as stocks, bonds, gold, silver, metals and everything has an exchange, so does God. The economy of the world, including your employer, deal in exchanges. Your employer makes a commitment to you to pay you so much money for so many hours you work for them. That is the exchange.
Some employers do not base their exchange in hours but on production and some base their exchange on your abilities and general time frames such as salaried positions. Even the Catholic Church says they exchange about 850 million dollars each week. Catholics give an average of $ 10 each to their church in exchange for their spiritual guidance. I am not a Catholic, just using them as an example. Is that a good exchange? You have to examine the spiritual guidance they give. Then what if they are wrong? Was that a good investment?
We always have to examine the return on our investments. If you give here, what can you expect? We will get more into this later.
When you look at God’s word, he talks about exchangers, exchange and uses other words similar to the word exchange. We all know Jesus went into the temple and overthrew the tables of the? Yup, money changers see Matthew 21:12 and Mark 11:15. Was Jesus against money? No. He was against the money changers turning God’s house into a business place and not a house of prayer.
When people come to God’s house, they should not be thinking about how they can make money from the people in the church. And they should not have to worry that they will get approached by people trying to sell them things. God’s house is a house of prayer and worship.
Just like other exchanges, God has his and he laid out in his word how to increase. God specifically names four types of exchange in his word. The first exchange is the Tithe. The Tithe has an exchange rate. The second is the Firstfruits and that has a different exchange rate. The third is Alms and alms have a completely different exchange rate. The fourth exchange God has is the Offering aka seeds and this has a completely different exchange rate.
These four exchanges determine your prosperity or wealth. Why? Ecclesiastes 5:19 KJV “Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.”
It is God who gives you wealth, not you or your ideas. God’s word has a lot to say about wealth.
But God does not just use money in his exchanges. God has a money exchange and you can invest in the spiritual exchange. Another words, you can invest in God spiritually and financially.
We will pick it up from here next time.