Ever wonder why some people stay broke? You see them in the same blessing line, waiting on somebody to lay the same hands on them, so they can get the same blessing ... over, and over, and over again.
Here's a thought, perhaps the problem is defective economics. Perhaps they missed the simple principle of Divine Economics: that the purpose of God's Grace is not really to fatten our pockets, fill our fridges, or buy us new cars. God doesn't bless us just so we can walk around blessed ... or even so we can stand up in Testimony Service and brag about what He's done. Instead, perhaps God blesses us so we can use what he gave us to BE a blessing to someone else.
Until God sees in us a willingness to give it all away, He can't really trust us with too much: our greedy selves would just go and spend it all on ourselves, like the Prodigal Son ... then be back next week asking for more.
Proof is in the pudding ...
We pastors love to quote Malachi 3:10 on Sunday, but we mess people up by enticing them to focus on the "blessing window," instead of the fact that it is critical for us to make sure God's storehouse is full: it is the overflow that opens the window ... if the storehouse isn't full the window won't open.
I even wonder sometimes if we aren't missing a more subtle truth, being so focused on the getting, and all. I wonder if God never intended for us to spend so much time trying gimmick after gimmick to make Him give us stuff: maybe God gives because He's generous, and the gimmicks are just meant to get us to think if our Father is so generous to us, maybe we ought to do something in return.
Rich human beings provide their children with nice things because they are their children -- not because they did stuff. If a man can be generous to his kids, don't you think God would be generous to His? But the record shows that rich kids who aren't faced with some sort of responsibility often squander what they have ... like the Prodigal Son ... and are back in daddy's face next week, looking for more: THANK YOU, Holy Spirit! So maybe all the "gimmicks" are intended to make us think about our own responsibility to do something with whatever God gives us.
Ask yourself: when was the last time you went up to the line? How many times did you go up, in 2009?
And when you got blessed, what did you DO with what you got? Got a shiny new car in the driveway? How many Saints have to ride the bus, along the same path you drive down going to church? Fridgerator full? Maybe Sister Jones could use a new pair of shoes, or a bag of groceries .. or even a sandwich.
I have always liked how James put it -- right after the part we love to quote about "faith without works."
Suppose you see a brother or sister who needs food or clothing, and you say, "Well, good-bye and God bless you; stay warm and eat well" – but then you don't give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? James 2:15, 16 New Living Translation