Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit. 3 John 1:2
Even as a young girl, reading and researching have always been among my top priorities. So you would not be surprised when I said that the library was one of my favorite places. Weekly, I anxiously awaited selecting the six books allowed for a 14-day checkout. Because I am a Baby-Boomer, I did not grow up with the World Wide Web. My childhood consisted of pencils, pens, paper, hard-copy books, learning to write cursive, and calculating mathematical problems without a calculator.
Do you think that those are antiquated ways of a former life? If you follow my blog, you know that I have embraced technology with an open mind. Even so, for 12 years, I tutored students and realize that technology and the new style of learning has presented severe challenges. How many parents are desperately seeking tutors for their children, or adults who have the desire to pursue higher education but have given up because of virtual limitations, digital books, and poor study habits?
I decided to do some research by searching the internet “for effective learning techniques.” Excerpt from the article:
The world we live in is a constantly evolving one with new disciplines and skills arising every year. With so much to learn and so little time, employing the right learning techniques is essential.
According to research, here are the best learning techniques:
1. Distributed Practice.
2. Practice Testing.
3. Interleaved Practice.
5. Elaborative Interrogation.
6. Retrieval Practice.
The author of this article has written learning techniques based on scientific studies that are new and improved that promises to produce a successful outcome. But my question is: If our world is dynamic and constantly evolving, it would be a small percentage of individuals who would even have the time to learn the complexities of these scientific methods.
I did not have these techniques when I self-studied in 1994, for four months and challenged the college course of Anatomy and Physiology 1 and 2, and passed. Nor did I have knowledge of scientific-based strategies when I pursued my Nursing degree and maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout the program. Please know that I am not boasting about my abilities. I was one of two nursing students that were above the age of 22. Believe me, 40 has never been the new 20. The struggle to complete a nursing degree at this stage in life involved sacrifice. During my educational pursuit, I ceased all social activities. Praying for understanding and the wisdom to apply nursing theory, critical thinking, and quick, accurate judgment to always deliver safe patient care was only possible with Divine Intervention.
I do know that prayer, faith, and miracles are not scientifically based. Yet, I have a life-time of testimonies that proves God always does the impossible. Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Matthew 19:26. Without technology, I would be severely limited. Now when I provide volunteer tutoring services, I combine old-school methods with technology to facilitate success. The point that I emphasize is not everything new and improved provides successful, positive outcomes.
There is another false concept that has crept into modern-day society, “The Prosperity Message.” For the Believer, Jesus Christ is our role model. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7. According to historians, a manger was an apparatus to feed cattle. When we study the life of Christ, He was born in a place where animals were fed (probably comparable to a barn). The Son of God began a lowly life and continued to live a life of poverty. Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” Matthew 8:20
Striving for financial gain is not supported by the scriptures. Remember the story of the rich, young ruler who desired to follow Jesus?
Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Matthew 19:21-22.
It is the behavior of unbelievers who love money to seek wealth and prosperity as the first priority in their lives. “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24. When we love God, we embrace and accept His definition of prosperity, seeking after Him to gain spiritual growth and development.
If financial success is not God’s definition of “to prosper,” then what do verses such as 3 John 1:2 really mean? “Beloved, I pray that in every way you may prosper and enjoy good health, as your soul also prospers.” We know that our spiritual component exists for the sole purpose of having a relationship with God. Created in God’s image means that we were created to serve and worship Him by always staying connected through faith, prayer, and diligent study of the Bible. Serving God means that we give up the sin of self-reliance. Our purpose is not to acquire more money; “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4. The Believer’s prosperity is spiritual growth and development!
With God, we can enjoy a never-ending supply of God’s love, grace, and mercies. Jesus provided us with the answer for having prosperity: Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33. When we strive to live holy and acceptable lives, we do not need to focus on money. Our Heavenly Father sustains and provides for all of our needs. What does it mean to seek God? The Contemporary English Version of Matthew 6:33 says, But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants. Then the other things will be yours as well.
Jesus emphasized to His disciples:
1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, also believe in me.
2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. John 14:1-3
Our present earthly journey that we are living is temporary. Revelation chapters 21 and 22 provide us with God’s plans for our future, living eternally in the New Heaven and the New Earth. Plainly spoken, we will receive immortality, a life without sin, death, sorrow, trials, or Satan. God has promised us happiness and joy forever and ever. Amen! Gaining eternal life and living in a perfect world more beautiful than any place we have ever seen and having face-to-face communion with God is the ultimate definition of prosperity. Can you imagine meeting Jesus and personally thanking Him for sacrificing his life for us?
Today’s standards may proclaim that the acquisition of wealth enables one to reach their fullest personal potential. And modern-day sermons may include that God desires for all Believers to enjoy financial prosperity. However, our Role-Model, Jesus, left instructions for us in the Bible that are still pertinent to modern-day Believers. Rely on God, He will give us spiritual prosperity that will last eternally.
I have no desire for the most expensive purse or clothing, nor a bank account bursting at the seams. All I want to do is to see Jesus! To gain Eternal life is the prosperity that I desire. Until Jesus comes again, I will continue to spread the message of His unfailing love, and the Plan of Salvation. While the world seeks after wealth, the Saints of the Most High God have the hope that burns within our hearts, Jesus Christ is coming soon! And that is a reward, which the prosperity of money can never provide.
And my God will supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.…Philippians 4:19-20
Bible Reading: Philippians 4
God, we thank you for your Son, Jesus, who died and rose again that we may have Eternal life in the New Heaven and New Earth if we so choose. Please reveal to us your truth and give us the wisdom to dispel new and improved theories that are not biblically supported. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2020, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.