Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 John 2
From the worldís perspective, prosperity is the condition of having success in personal financial affairs and being well off. From this perspective prospering has more to do with the amount of wealth than it has to do with our spiritual lives. Those who prosper seem to get richer every day and there seems to be no end to their accrued wealth. However today wealth is shuffled around on paper and the gold stays in vaults kept securely from the hands of thieves.
The word prosperity is primarily thought of in the financial world as having wealth in abundance. Although wealth has certain benefits the world desires it cannot buy your life or health, both of which you consider of greater value than gold. Money is deceptive in that you think that money can solve every problem, when wealth cannot extend your life a single second beyond the time God has given you.
Prosperity has more to do with an abundance a number of qualities including wealth. However there is wealth of knowledge, wealth of health, wealth of toys and a wealth of foolishness. Jesus spoke of another kind of wealth by having life more abundantly (John 10:10.) God is offering mankind something considered being more precious than all the riches of this world called life. God says the gift of life is free to those who will receive it. God is not talking about a wealth that goes beyond human conception; He explains that prospering in life is to have an abundance of life without an end. Prospering with life is like the man who found a gem of great value and sold everything he had to buy it. Jesus called it a free gift.
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it. Matthew 13:44-46
Christ used this parable as an example to show that there are things with so great a value that men would sell everything at their disposal to obtain it. Still behind the scenes were prudent men who used their wisdom to find out who owned the field and the price they wanted. They also made a decision to commit all of their personal assets to buy the one thing they found of great value. At the same time Jesus said that the cost of following him would be to deny yourself.
We also find that prudent men set priorities in life by planning a way to achieve those objectives. Jesus spoke about those who worried about the common everyday things that took their mind off Jesus Christ and eternal life. They worried about the simple things, such as what they were going to put on the table to eat and what they were going to wear. Jesus tried to calm the fears of men buy telling them that God fed and clothed the lilies of the field. He said that man was of greater value to God than all the lilies of the field. Then he said.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
He said the wise man gets his priorities straight and establishes a method to obtain them. Jesus also said that eternal life was more about knowing God and having a personal relationship with him. God is life and in his life he does things to promote an abundance of life. Things like love and forgiveness encourages life and gives life to relationships. Those who listen to God will know the way to the throne of Jesus Christ and eternal life. Jesus likens his disciples to sheep that knew his voice and followed him.
However the majority of people are focused on things God hates. The wealth men of this world chase after are left to people who spend it foolishly. The bible tells us that we came into this world with nothing and will leave this world with nothing.
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? Mark 8:36-37
Unfortunately men have sold their souls to gain power and wealth. They set their priority on money, which is so short-lived and here today and gone tomorrow. The wealth of life is gained by knowing a God that is always been and will always be. Godís plans are eternal and those who want the ground floor of eternal life get involved with Godís plan.
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 1:8-9
Prosperity with an abundance of life has three rules. Know Godís plan through educating yourself to know Godís will. Then consider his plan for feasibility and decide if the cost is worth obeying God. Then be careful to do everything written in his plan. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
Needless to say that ruin is never far from those who reject or ignore the knowledge of God. The Bible says knowledge gives men of God an advantage of wisdom that preserves his life. (Ecclesiastes 7:12) The world considers Godís word to be foolishness and reject the word of God, thinking they forge their destiny through their own efforts.
Ruin will always be at the door of those who will neither seek the love of God nor accept the gift of life from God. Most hope that they have been good enough to be accepted by God into heaven. They judge themselves by human standards saying that they are better than everyone else. To their surprise even the hope they have will be taken from them and thrown where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Because they rejected God all or most of their life God will reject them. They refused to accept his authority and the plan that would rescue them from Godís wrath. Their refusal to repent and turn from the evil works will bring them to their own ultimate ruin.