By Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin
Godliness will make a difference in your life and also enable you to make a difference in the lives of those around you. The Bible says godliness is profitable in all things. This is talking about prosperity for the whole man—spirit, soul, and body. In addition, the Bible says that the profit godliness brings is for this life and the life to come. And the profit that godliness brings in this life includes more than just finances and material profit.
First Timothy 4:7–8,15 says, “But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: BUT GODLINESS IS PROFITABLE unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. . . . Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.”
Notice particularly verse 8: “For BODILY EXERCISE PROFITETH LITTLE: but GODLINESS IS PROFITABLE UNTO ALL THINGS, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” Although bodily exercise does profit, the reason it “profiteth little” is that it only profits in one area of your life and only for a limited time.
Exercise does build you up physically, but it won’t build you up spiritually or mentally. But godliness is profitable unto all things. It pays off in everything, “. . . having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
Too many times, Christians only think about what a great day it will be when we all get to Heaven. And that will be a great day, thank God! But God’s promises are for more than just the next life. Paul said living for God is profitable in this life as well as in the next one, “. . . having promise of the life that NOW IS, AND OF THAT WHICH IS TO COME” (1 Tim. 4:8)! Godliness pays off here and hereafter.
“Godliness” simply means living for God. And how do you live for God? By doing exactly what Paul said in 1 Timothy 4:12.
1 TIMOTHY 4:12
12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Be an example for believers in word, in conduct (or manner of life), in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity. That’s living for God. And living for God is profitable!
When you live for God, you will see a difference in your life—in your job, in your family, in your finances, and in your health. Godliness is profitable in all things. You will also see a difference in the lives of those around you. Godliness pays!
How is godliness “profitable”? You see, God made an investment in us as believers, and He wants to realize some returns on His investment! We talk about our inheritance in Christ Jesus. But God has an inheritance in us, and He desires that it produce a high profit.
I believe that God not only desires for us to be saved (and thank God, He has remitted our sins), but He also wants us to bring glory to His Name after we are saved. That will help bring God great dividends for His investment in us!
You know, friends, godliness is not a hindrance to success. It’s exactly the opposite. Godliness is profitable unto all things! It’s profitable unto protection, promotion, and prosperity.
Godliness Ensures Protection
First of all, godliness will ensure protection.
If we’re God’s children, we belong to Him! And He will protect us. First Corinthians 6:19 says, “…Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own.”
You don’t belong to yourself. You’re not your own. You were bought with a price; you belong to God. Since we belong to God, then we ought to expect Him to take care of us. As I said, godliness ensures protection.
Now that doesn’t mean that we can act foolishly and think we’ll be automatically protected. We must still live godly lives, wisely choosing to serve God each day.
That’s what it means to be godly—to live for God and serve Him wholeheartedly. There’s reward or profit for living a godly life. Living for God will affect you in every way, including in the realm of protection.
The Lord didn’t say the going is always going to be good. In fact, the Word of God says that the afflictions of the righteous are many (Ps. 34:19). The word translated afflictions is referring to troubles and trials.
In Psalm 91:15, God said He would be with us in trouble. If you are never going to have any trouble, why would God say He’d be with you in trouble? No, serving God doesn’t mean you’re never going to have any trouble.
Some people get the idea if you live by faith, you just sort of float through life on flowery beds of ease. They think you’ll never have any persecution, opposition, or trouble. They get the idea that the blessings of protection, promotion, and prosperity will fall on them like ripe cherries off a tree. But that’s not what the Bible said.
Psalm 34:19 says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all.” Godliness ensures divine protection! That simply means God will see you through!
Godliness Ensures Promotion
Godliness pays off! It’s profitable! It will ensure protection, and it will also ensure promotion.
When I talk about promotion, I’m not talking necessarily about promotion according to the world. Yet, your promotion (or your profiting) shall appear to all according to 1 Timothy 4:15. “All” means everyone in the world and everyone in the Church as well. All means all!
Godliness ensures promotion, but you still have work to do. Unfortunately, God has been unable to promote many people. He wanted to bless and promote them. He wanted them to develop and grow. He wanted their profiting to appear to all. But they didn’t apply themselves. They were too lazy or slipshod.
When you live for God (and that includes being diligent and hardworking), God will promote you. He’s on your side. He’s not against you. Now if you just whittle away your time, it won’t work. But if you apply yourself and believe God, He will promote you.
Notice again our text that says godliness, or living for God, is profitable. It pays to live for God.
Godliness Ensures Prosperity
Godliness not only ensures protection and promotion, it also ensures prosperity.
Of course, when you use that word prosperity, people think about the natural realm—about financial and material prosperity. That’s true, but it actually means “to prosper in spirit, soul, and body.”
According to the Bible, your physical, material, and financial prosperity depend on your spiritual prosperity.
3 JOHN 2
2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest PROSPER AND BE IN HEALTH [that’s physical prosperity], EVEN AS THY SOUL PROSPERETH.
When it comes to the realm of the natural, so many people don’t see the truth that God wants them to prosper financially and walk in divine health. They think, God wants to bless us spiritually, all right. But we may have to go through life poverty-stricken and barely able to get by.
But that’s not true, and we see that fact over and over in the Word. Second Chronicles 26:5 says, “And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: AND AS LONG AS HE SOUGHT THE LORD, GOD MADE HIM TO PROSPER.” If you’ll read all of this account, you’ll discover that God is talking about material and financial prosperity.
As long as we seek the Lord, God makes us to prosper. Joshua 1:8 says the same thing: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
We could paraphrase that verse like this: “This Word of God shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do [do the Word; don’t just be a hearer of the Word according to all that is written in it: for then you shall make your way prosperous.”
Did you notice what God said? He said you will make your way prosperous. Of course, God would be behind your prosperity. He’s the author of it. But your actions determine whether or not you make your way prosperous.
You determine whether or not you prosper mentally or emotionally. It’s up to you whether you prosper in school, on your job, or in relationships. It’s up to you whether you prosper financially and physically. It’s up to you!
If you want to see a difference in every area of your life, and if you want to make a difference in other people’s lives, godliness is the key. Living a godly life will make your way prosperous, and you will have good success—spirit, soul, and body! With godly living you will receive divine protection, promotion, and prosperity!
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Kenneth E. Hagin uses the Word of God to answer many of the questions Christians have concerning money and the "prosperity message."
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