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This series is all about living in God Privilege. We’re learning how to live in the promises of God and focusing on three of them: wealth, health, and protection.
For the past two weeks, we’ve been talking about God’s promise of wealth. And we’ve discovered that it is about more than generosity. We’ve got to learn how to see money from God’s perspective.
God wants YOU to prosper.
The bottom line is, God wants you to prosper. I’ll prove it in scripture, but let me give you my definition of godly prosperity:
Godly Prosperity – More than enough for my family plus an overflow to accomplish everything God asks me to do.
Now, let me show you in scripture:
II Corinthians 9:8 NKJV – God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
In other words, God wants you to have way more than you need to take care of yourself so that you have the extra needed to help others.
That’s how you know if you are living in the promises of God. If this scripture doesn’t describe your life, then all you have to do is apply what you learn from this series.
It works. I’m not teaching you anything that I haven’t put to the test already. I’ve applied these things to my life. I’ve seen the results of it and I want you to experience the same.
My expectation is for this series to send all of you on a journey with the destination of godly wealth. I’m talking about living debt-free, having more than enough plus an overflow for every good work.
Say this: God wants ME to prosper.
Everything we’ve talked about the past three weeks has been preparation. And now that we are ready to cooperate with what God has always wanted to do in our lives, let’s talk about divine multiplication.
But first, let me tell you a joke that contrasts some of the world’s economic strategies with God’s strategy.
God’s Economy vs The World’s Economy
- Socialism: You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor who doesn’t have a field to put it in.
- Communism: You have two cows. The government takes both, gives you some milk, and the cows die of neglect.
- Fascism: You have two cows. The government takes both, gives you some milk, and the cows die in the war.
- Nazism: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.
- Divine Multiplication: You have two cows. You sell one to buy a bull. The herd multiplies, the economy grows, and you have more than enough for your family plus an overflow to accomplish everything God asks you to do.
The Origin of Multiplication
Multiplication was set in motion the moment the earth was created. Consider an apple. In it, you’ll find several seeds. It just takes one of these seeds to grow an entire apple tree that will produce countless apples that each contain multiple seeds.
Talk about divine multiplication. We can’t even comprehend how many apples can be produced from one apple seed. And get this:
Our first command from God was to multiply.
Take a look:
Genesis 1:28 NKJV – Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it…”
The first thing God asked us to do was multiply. In other words, divine multiplication has been around since the beginning of time. God wants to partner with you to multiply in every area of life.
It’s so important to God that He didn’t just ask us to multiply, He commanded us to multiply.
Jesus Demonstrates Divine Multiplication
Of course, Jesus gave us an example of this many times. One time, Jesus was just trying to get some time by himself. He had just gotten the news that John the Baptist had been killed and Jesus just needed some time.
But, someone spotted Him, and then the word got out that Jesus was in town. So a bunch of people gathered to receive healing from Jesus which led to the feeding of the five thousand.
It’s believed that when you add women and children to the count, this crowd was probably more like 15,000 or more. That’s a lot of people to feed! And all it took was five loaves and two fish combined with divine multiplication.
The early church demonstrated multiplication.
Or how about in the early church? There were 120 believers in an upper room waiting on the Holy Spirit that Jesus had promised.
They all received the Holy Spirit, spoke in other tongues, and then Peter gave a powerful message to people who were struggling to believe what had just happened.
After his message, look at what happened:
Acts 2:41 NLT – Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.
In one Sunday, this church went from 120 people to 3,000. In one Sunday! That’s what you call divine multiplication!
Y’all, this is just three places in scripture where you discover the reality of divine multiplication. And we could keep going. But what I am trying to get you to understand is that multiplication is a big deal to God.
God has not just asked us to multiply – He commanded us to multiply!
Yet somehow we’ve gotten off on this idea that multiplication is a bad thing. You’ll hear people say things like:
- “God just wants our church to be small.”
- “God just wants me to be poor to keep me humble.”
- “I can’t handle more than one kid.”
Well… I’m going to call it. BS! God commanded us to multiply. Therefore, any idea that is contrary to multiplication is deception. If you believe multiplication is a bad thing, you’ve been deceived.
So, cast off the deception and buckle up because I am about to fill you with truth.
God has given us the assignment of a steward. We are to steward the earth. In other words, God put us in charge of what He owns and we are responsible for taking care of it.
Don’t let this get you wound up with all the nonsense about global warming. That’s just a fear tactic politicians use to control you and take your money through bogus regulations.
Listen to me. God already told us that at the end of this thing, life would be going on like normal. People will be eating and getting married and living life. And then, BAM, Jesus is going to come back.
That doesn’t sound like an earth destroyed by global warming to me. If that were the case, the Bible would say something about Jesus coming to save us from being fried by natural gas emissions.
Yes, we need to take care of the earth. But don’t give in to this nonsense about global warming. If fossil fuels were going to cause the earth to disrupt, God wouldn’t have created them.
That was a rabbit trail, but I’ve been wanting to tell you guys that for a while. Now that the fear of COVID is waning, they are trying to bring fear into your life through global warming. Don’t buy it.
What’s Required of a Steward
So, since we are God’s stewards, we need to find out what is required of a steward. Paul gives us the answer in I Corinthians:
I Corinthians 4:2 NKJV – Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
There is only one requirement for stewards mentioned in this verse. You have to be faithful. And it is not a suggestion – it is a requirement.
How would you define faithfulness? (Have people respond.)
All these things you’ve mentioned are great qualities to have. And they even line up with what the dictionary says about faithfulness.
But there is one very important definition that we missed: multiplication.
You are faithful when you multiply.
Some of you might be really concerned for me about now. You’re wondering how in the world can I define faithfulness as multiplication.
And that’s a fair argument. But hang with me, because the Word of God will reveal it to you too.
To explain, let’s head to the parable of the talents.
Matthew 25:14 NLT – The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. He called together his servants and entrusted his money to them while he was gone.
This story is a parable, which means it is a made-up story to help us understand something. And if you’re like me, you struggle with anything that is not literal. So, us literal people have to think a little deeper to understand the symbolism.
Let me help you out. In this story, the man going on a long trip represents Jesus and the servants represent all of us.
Notice it’s a long trip. If you were wondering what is taking Jesus so long to return, now you know. He gave us a heads up. What are you griping about?
In the meantime, while He is gone, He has fully entrusted us with His money – His resources.
Divine multiplication requires obedience.
Another thing to notice is that this man who went on a long trip didn’t occasionally come back to check up on the servants to make sure they were doing what they were supposed to do. No, he told them what to do and entrusted them to do it while he was gone.
We have a hard time understanding this because we’re used to being managed. Our boss gives us an assignment and then checks on us a thousand times to make sure we get it done.
God doesn’t do this. He gives you an assignment and then fully entrusts you to do it. If you don’t do it, well, you’re the one missing out on divine multiplication.
Most people are so conditioned to relying on their manager to bug them until they get things done that they treat God the same way.
For example, the Holy Spirit gives you some big revelation and you don’t even write it down. You think, “Oh, He’ll remind me to do it. Heck, maybe He will even do it for me.”
Let me give you a hint: He won’t. The Holy Spirit will ask you to do something once. If you don’t do it, then you won’t even get another instruction from Him until you do.
If you feel you are stalled out in your walk with Christ, then you better take some time to remember what He told you to do last and get out there and get it done.
The Master Distributes His Money
Let’s continue the story:
Matthew 25:15 NLT – He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities. He then left on his trip.
Most Bible translations use the word talent instead of silver in this verse. The reason the NLT uses silver is because a talent is a measure of weight and is mostly used for gold and silver. One talent is roughly 75 pounds.
Today, one talent of silver is worth about $25,000. So, the first servant was given about $125,000, the second $50,000 and the third $25,000.
The exact amount is really not what is important here. What we need to get is that these servants were entrusted with a significant amount of responsibility. I mean, 75 pounds of silver is no chump change!
The Servants Multiply (Mostly)
Matthew 25:16-18 NLT – The servant who received the five bags of silver began to invest the money and earned five more. The servant with two bags of silver also went to work and earned two more. But the servant who received the one bag of silver dug a hole in the ground and hid the master’s money.
Let’s make this story easier to understand. I am going to give all three servants a name:
- Moe: Started with 5 and ended with 10.
- Larry: Started with 2 and ended with 4.
- Curly: Started with 1 and ended with 1.
The Master Returns
Now, after his long trip, the master returned and had them give an account of how the money had been used. Let’s start with Moe’s response:
Matthew 25:20 NLT – [Moe], to whom he had entrusted the five bags of silver came forward with five more and said, “Master, you gave me five bags of silver to invest, and I have earned five more.”
Now listen to the judgement of the master:
Matthew 25:21 NLT – The master was full of praise. “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!”
Don’t miss this! He said, “You have been faithful.” In other words, Jesus directly attributes faithfulness to multiplication.
There was nothing else this servant had done that was highlighted. It didn’t say he was dependable, or consistent, or loyal, or anything else. Yes, those are all good qualities, but the only thing tied to faithfulness here is multiplication.
The same is true for Larry:
Matthew 25:22-23 NLT– [Larry] came forward and said, “Master, you gave me two bags of silver to invest, and I have earned two more.” The master said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!”
Once again, the servant multiplied what was entrusted to him and it clearly connected to being faithful.
And notice the master’s response was exactly the same. This means that when we get to heaven, God will pay no attention to who has the most. The only thing that matters is, did you multiply what you already had?
So quit comparing yourself with someone who is more wealthy than you. The amount is irrelevant. The only score that matters is, did YOU multiply what God gave YOU?
An example would be a stay-at-home mom who multiplied her effectiveness by pouring into her kids day in and day out. She will be equally as praised as the entrepreneur who multiplied his business.
Now, let’s see what happened to Curly… the guy who hid his money:
Matthew 25:24-25 NLT – Then [Curly] said, “Master, I knew you were a harsh man, harvesting crops you didn’t plant and gathering crops you didn’t cultivate. I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back.”
Before we read about Curly’s judgement, let’s examine what is going on here. First of all, Curly didn’t multiply – he maintained what was given to him. Don’t miss this. He didn’t multiply. He maintained.
Also, he didn’t understand the character of his master, so he incorrectly perceived him as harsh and unfair. Therefore, he was afraid. Fear shut him down and kept him from multiplying.
This happens to so many Christians. They don’t understand God’s character because of wrong teaching or not spending enough time in the Word of God. And so they think God is harsh and unfair and this fear causes them to go in their little hidey hole and live a pitiful life.
But God is love. He is just. He is righteous. And He is wealthy. And He loves you too much to leave you in your little hidey-hole. That’s why he gives Curly a very stern rebuke:
The Third Servant’s Judgement
Matthew 25:26-27 NLT – But the master replied, “You wicked and lazy servant!”
Oh, man. Can you imagine someone saying that to you? What if I said that to you? You’d leave the church and go tell everyone on social media that I wasn’t a real Christian because I said something that hurt your feelings.
Nevertheless, this is going to be the response we get from Jesus if we fail to multiply what was given to us.
I can see how the word ‘wicked’ in this verse could throw you off, making you think this kind of servant would lose their salvation. So let’s dig into the greek word translated to wicked here for a better understanding.
Ponēros (wicked) – Full of labours, annoyances, hardships; of a bad nature or condition
Wow. Digging into these words brings such a greater understanding, doesn’t it? This servant lived a terrible life because he chose not to multiply.
He probably worked an annoying, dead-end job. He probably didn’t make enough money to care for his own family, so they lived under the stress of credit card debt. Something was always breaking down and going wrong.
And because his life sucked, he developed a bad nature. No one wanted to be around him because he was no fun to be around. In other words, he was called to make a difference in the lives of others, but all he did was run people off.
Now you see why the master called him wicked and lazy? He didn’t do what he was asked to do!
God had an abundant life planned for him that would impact countless other lives, but because he refused to embrace multiplication, he lived a miserable life.
Let me summarize this for you:
Those who multiply are good and faithful. Those who maintain are full of hardships that cause a bad nature.
Ouch. That hurts. I think we could just stop here and all go lick our wounds. But we’re not going to do that. We are going to repent of all the times we’ve chosen to maintain instead of multiply.
Because whatever God puts in our care – whether it’s finances, or skills, or kids, or a business – we are to return it to him multiplied.
Grace and Multiplication
And here’s the good news – you don’t have to do it by yourself. God unloads His grace to help you.
You might feel discouraged right now, but that is not the purpose of this message. I simply want to make you aware that the call to multiply is on your life.
This can be overwhelming. And even the Apostle Paul was overwhelmed with the call of God on his life. But look at the Lord’s response when Paul was crying out for help:
2 Corinthians 12:9 NLT – “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
One of the Greek words for weakness is limitations. Just like you and I, the Apostle Paul had limitations. But limitations are actually a beautiful thing because when we reach our limit, God’s power can work through us to make up the difference.
That’s why Paul went from whining about his limitations to rejoicing about his limitations. He realized that God’s grace is more than enough to handle every area where he was lacking.
Isn’t that good news? You don’t have to have it all together. You don’t have to know how to do everything. But you do have to learn how to rely on God’s grace. This is called living by faith.
Romans 5:2 NKJV – …we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand…
The only way to divine multiplication is by faith.
You can’t do this by yourself. You can’t do this without confidence in God’s Word. You can’t do this without faith.
You must trust God to give you His grace every time you need it. You must trust in the promises of God even when it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. You must really believe our core scripture:
Ephesians 3:20 NLT – Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
It would be overwhelming and discouraging to try to multiply on our own. Thank God we don’t have to! Here’s the reality:
Your calling is greater than your natural ability.
And since God has called you to do something that goes beyond what you can do on your own, He will fully equip you, by His grace, to accomplish what He has called you to do.
But you have to stop trying to do it on your own and receive His grace by faith. You have to walk with God every day. You have to learn to seek Him first.
Now, let’s wrap this up by making it practical. Here’s the one commitment you need to make if today’s message has touched you:
I will embrace divine multiplication through faith.
It’s that simple. Make a decision today that you are no longer going to waste time maintaining, but that you are going to partner with God, do things you’ve never done, and expect them to multiply.