MPGC40- THE CURSE OF POVERTY HAS BEEN BROKEN - PART 1
By Colleen Donahue

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God's kingdom on earth began in Eden. A kingdom was God's preferred form of government (not democracy). God, as the king in Heaven made man so that we would rule his earth. We were to be his prince and princesses exercising our authority and dominion on earth.

As king, God owns everything and He gives His subjects all that we need and more (because poor subjects reflect a poor king). We were meant to rule the earth in cooperation with God. If we needed anything we just needed to ask because the king owned everything we needed.

There was no money in Eden. The original plan was that we would depend on our Father in Heaven (our king) for what we needed. Dependence upon God was to be how we operated. Sadly, Adam and Eve chose to operate in independence of God and that was the sin they committed. Sin is always what is done independent from God. Their seemingly harmless choice to eat an apple from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil set in motion a downward spiral that every human feels today.

Poverty was one of the curses that resulted from sin. Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden where they had everything they needed at their fingertips. They lost their relationship with the king so they had no one to ask anymore when they needed something. They had to start getting things from each other because they had cut themselves off from God their provider. Worse yet they lost their authority over the earth and Satan became "the prince of this world."

We traded a benevolent, loving king for a cruel tyrant that wants us dead (hence disease, poverty, bondage and death). The earth was now under a curse and the work to "fill the earth and subdue it" became very hard. It was now by "the sweat of our brow." Work became a daily grind instead of being energizing and stimulating.

One sin grew to more sin as men stole from each other and envied one another enough to kill for it. Instead of getting all we needed (in every area of life) from God, we tried to get it from each other often resulting in selfish capitalism, debilitating socialism, and a world of "haves and have not's".

Man is in a cycle of poverty. It may be physical poverty or spiritual poverty but it goes on and on. There are many non Christians and Christians who live in poverty and know nothing else. Those who are poor in physical things are not much different from those who are poor in regard to spiritual things. Sadly, Christians and non Christians alike sit in darkness waiting to know about the light of Christ.

Some have the light of Christ but they only know that their sins are forgiven. They don't go on to find out that redemption extends to all aspects of our lives. They don't realize that we don't need to stay in poverty because Jesus has redeemed us from this curse.

What can we do as individuals to remove ourselves from this cycle? These are the answers that we'll seek in this study because.......

The Curse of Poverty Has Been Broken - Part 1

IN THE BEGINNING

Day 1- In the beginning --- there was plenty and man was given all of creation to rule over. The whole of thriving creation was there for man to use.
Genesis 1:26, 28-29 / Genesis 2:9

Day 2- In the beginning -- work was to be a part of God's plan for men.
Genesis 2:5,15

After man was banished from Eden, agriculture became man's first occupation.
Genesis 3:23

Day 3- In the beginning -- there was no money. In a kingdom, it is the king who provides for his subjects. We were to rule in partnership with God who in turn would provide everything that we needed from it. If a king has poor subjects it brings him no glory. Instead, our God as king planned to give us everything we needed and more.

A. We were to overflow with blessings.
Psalm 23:5

B. God has stored up treasures of goodness for men.
Psalm 31:19 / Isaiah 64:4

C. A spiritual feast was to be ours here on earth.
Matthew 22:4

D. A glorious inheritance is kept for us in Heaven.
Matthew 25:34

E. Plus we were to have a home in Heaven when our work was done here.
John 14:2

Day 4- "WANT" was the result of sin and slothfulness.
Deuteronomy 28:45-48

Adam and Eve's sin was not eating an apple. It was deciding that they knew better than God and acting independent of Him. God had said they could have everything EXCEPT..... but Satan deceives us into thinking, "that isn't so."

Prior to eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, evil had not come to the earth. Evil was in the heavenly realms because of the rebellion of Satan and his army of demons but it was not on earth.

Day 5- With the disobedience of Adam and Eve their innocence was lost and a chain reaction began. Here is that chain reaction....

A. their eyes were opened
Genesis 3:7a

B. they covered up and hid
Genesis 3:7b-8

C. they became afraid of God
Genesis 3:9-11

D. they started blaming each other
Genesis 3:12-13

E. a divine curse fell on Satan, man and the earth
Genesis 3:14-19

F. evil now existed on earth along with the good
Genesis 3:22

G. Man had to be driven from the garden because if they now took from the "tree of life" they would live forever in a world that would become increasingly filled with evil. God would make sure this didn't happen.
Genesis 3:23-24

Day 6- In being driven from the garden we (man) lost our rulership on this earth to Satan and while the earth exists he is the "prince of this world." Jesus called him this three times.
John 12:31 / John 14:30 / John 16:11

WHAT IS POVERTY?

Day 7- In short, poverty is a curse.
Proverbs 10:15B

Agar wrote this about poverty:
Proverbs 30:7-9

Day 8- There are a few lies circulating in Christian circles and lie #1 is that wealth is of the devil and that God wants Christians to be poor. The truth is that God tempts no one with evil.
James 1:13

If money and prosperity is evil then God would never have promised us blessing in return for our tithes.
Malachi 3:10-12

Day 9- Lie #2 is that poverty and Christianity are synonymous. But the truth is that poverty is a curse. It was not God's will for his children -- ever!
Luke 6:38

Day 10- Our Father owns EVERYTHING and we are heirs of the covenant promise.
Psalm 50:10-12

God means for his children to not only have enough for their own life/lives but also an abundance to be able to give to others.
2 Corinthians 9:8

[NOTE: In this verse the word ALL occurs five times in the original Greek text and the words abound/abundance
two times. ]

All God's abundance is received because of God's grace extended to us. We receive it by faith. It's not something we deserve or can earn.

Day 11- Time and again in our studies we have seen that obedience to God brings blessing and disobedience brings curses. In these verses pick out the two requirements of obedience.
Deuteronomy 28:1-2

[NOTE: In the original Hebrew the phrase "obey the Lord your God" is "listen to the voice of the Lord your God. ]

Therefore the two requirements are:
A. Listen to God's voice and
B. Do what he says.

These two requirements are restated in:
Jeremiah 7:22-23 / John 10:27

Day 12- As we walk close to the Lord, blessings will take care of themselves.
Deuteronomy 28:2-13

But when we fail through unbelief or disobedience to serve God joyfully in our abundance, God says we will experience hunger, thirst, nakedness and the need of all things. This is the picture of absolute poverty.
Deuteronomy 28:45-48

Therefore if blessings come because we listen to the voice of God and do what he says then curses come because we don't listen to the voice of God and we don't do what he says.

Day 13- So what is poverty? It is when we lack the things that we need and have nothing to share with anybody else. Here are some contributing causes of poverty and/or what can keep us in poverty.

A. Indolence (or laziness)
Proverbs 6:10-11

B. Love of pleasure
Proverbs 21:17

C. Drunkenness and gluttony
Proverbs 23:20-21

D. Living in unreality
Proverbs 28:19

Day 14- This verse is Paul's description of how we are to operate in this world.
2 Corinthians 6:10

The NLT (New Living Translation) says, "we own nothing, and yet we have everything."

God owns it all. We are stewards (or managers) of what he gives us. We have everything because all we have to do is ask and we shall receive what we need. What a freeing way to live!

POVERTY ABOLISHED AT THE CROSS -- HOW?

Before the cross Jesus was not poor. He always had what he needed plus enough at times to feed an extra 5,000 people! His little band had enough in funds to appoint a treasurer -- Judas. Bible teacher Derek Prince quotes, "He carried his Father's credit card and it was honored everywhere."

But at the cross Jesus was hungry as he had no food for over 24 hours. He was naked. He died owning nothing. One of the last things he said was "I thirst". He was buried in a borrowed robe and a borrowed tomb. He died in dire poverty in regards to physical things.

Day 15- At the cross an exchange took place (the same as it did for sin and sickness). Jesus endured our poverty so that we could share in his abundance.
2 Corinthians 8:9

Many commentators feel that this is talking about spiritual poverty and not money. But if this was true the verse would have to be rewritten. It was because Jesus had spiritual wealth that he was able to go to the cross and carry out this plan of salvation.

No, Jesus became poor on the cross with respect to the wealth of this world that those who receive him may become rich with the wealth of this world.

Day 16- Christ died to redeem us from the curse of poverty and now it is he who gives us the power to get wealth!
Deuteronomy 8:18

Day 17- Thorns and thistles are symbolic of the curse put on the earth and the poverty resulting from it. (Genesis 3:17-19). Jesus bled from his head when they put the crown of thorns (the symbol of poverty) on it. By the power of the blood of Jesus the curse of poverty was broken and by his blood we are anointed to prosper. Living by faith is working and believing that God will bless your labor. Our life reflects God and the world should see us blessed.
Malachi 3: 10-12

Day 18- Satan's deception for Christians has been that it's more pious to be poor than to be rich. This poverty mind set is difficult to get over because the root cause is a spirit of religiosity. Paul encountered it with the Colossians.
Colossians 2:8

The religious spirit enjoys asceticism (self inflicted poverty and austerity) because it draws pride from the effort. But in the same chapter Paul confronts this directly.
Colossians 2: 20-23

What value does Paul say asceticism is to us? Reread:
Colossians 2:23

Day 19- Asceticism poses as spirituality and cheats the believer out of the blessings that Jesus died to give us. Timothy warns us of this.
1 Timothy 4:1-4

Day 20- Spirituality at the expense of physical blessing defrauds the believer of their inheritance. The word of God causes us to gain it.
Acts 20:32

We are called to humility but not to a servility that embraces poverty and depression. The church is notorious for small-minded, poor and backward thinking with the rationale that it is "all for the Lord." This has often caused believers to do things in a second rate way and therefore give the impression that God is stingy and second rate.

Day 21- God wants us to think BIG and without limits because he is without limits. Notice in these verses that those who have pleased God have enjoyed his abundance in their lives.
Genesis 13:2 / Genesis 26:12-14 / Genesis 31:1 / Job 1:3

Day 22- Jesus took all the evil that we deserved so that we could receive all the good He deserved.
Isaiah 53:6

He also redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us so that we could receive a blessing.
Galatians 3: 13-14

Notice in Galatians 3:14 that the promise of the Holy Spirit is the key to all other blessings. He alone can bring us into the full enjoyment of all that is legally ours through faith in Jesus Christ.

Day 23- When we acknowledge our dependence upon the Holy Spirit we can lay claim to our inheritance which is....."the blessings of Abraham". And how did God bless Abraham?
Genesis 24:1

Day 24- One particular curse that Jesus bore for us was the poverty curse (hunger, thirst, nakedness and want of all things).
Deuteronomy 28:48

On the cross Jesus faced all these things and exhausted the poverty curse for us.

Let's continue in our next study to look at what abundance, prosperity and blessing include and what God's provision is for us.

 

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