FREEDOM

CE

Prosperity is Freedom

In Luke 4, Jesus came to His hometown of Nazareth. He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah, He opened it, and began to read. He read, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Luke 4:18,19).

After reading this from Isaiah, He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. Everyone’s eyes in the synagogue were fixed on Him.

Then Jesus said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (v.21). When Jesus made this statement, He made it very clear why He was anointed.

First of all, He was anointed to preach the gospel to the poor. What is the gospel? The gospel is good news! Jesus came to preach good news to the poor! Now, what do you think that good news was? Was it that they were to always be poor and without hope? No, that is not good news.

The good news was that even though they didn’t have much, even though they were a nation held captive by the Romans, they could be set free from poverty. They could have their needs met. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus even shared how that could be accomplished. While talking about earthly possessions, He said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Notice, He said, “shall be added to you.”

I know that in some religious circles it seems poverty is next to godliness. Nothing could be further from the truth. Jesus did not come to make the poor poorer. He did not come to keep the poor, poor. He came to set the captives free.

Prosperity is a concept Jesus taught and it was something He wanted to give, not something He wanted to take away.

In Luke 6:38, Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Several times Jesus said that He did not say anything unless the Father instructed Him to say it. (John 8:28, for instance.) So, it must be the will of the Father for His children to prosper.

Now, prosperity is not necessarily money. I know of people who are very prosperous and they do not have a large bank account. However, God’s will is for us to have our needs met. And if a lack of money is going to cause the electric or gas company to end your service and make your family go without heat in your home, then money to pay the bill is a need.

Jesus said that He would meet our needs, but let’s put balance in here. He did give conditions. We can see this in the two verses we read earlier. Matthew 6:33 said we need to seek His kingdom first. And Luke 6:38 said that in order to receive, we had to give. We need to remember these things and not think of prosperity as a heavenly lottery ticket.

Remember this. Jesus came to set you free from everything that is a bondage. Poverty is bondage. Prosperity is freedom. Prosperity is God’s will for you

DR. LARRY OLLISON

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