I’m terrible when it comes to picking gifts for my wife.
The first gift I gave her was a dress.
When I saw it, I thought it was beautiful. But when I gave it to her, I learned again the truth that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Because she said, “Oh Bo, I love you for giving me a dress. Thank you so much. But I suggest you stick to preaching. Your fashion sense is awful.”
I pouted, “You mean you won’t wear the dress?”
She smiled. “If I become suddenly suicidal, perhaps. In other words, I won’t be caught alive wearing that thing.”
But last month, I hit the jackpot. I finally bought her a birthday gift she really adored.
I bought her a book. But it was no ordinary book.
It was a gigantic 1000 page book containing beautifully stunning pictures of the most gorgeous places all over the world. She loved the book because I wrote on the first page, “Sweets, when our kids are grown up, I’ll bring you to these places.”
She loved the book because it wasn’t just a book. It was a promise. I promised, “I’ll grow old with you. I’ll stay with you forever. I’ll love you forever.” Because I wasn’t really giving a book. I was really giving myself.
My marriage is abundant because these past 11 years, I’ve been giving my time, effort, attention, and energy to my marriage.
Here’s what I learned: Life is not one bucket.
Life Is A Collection Of Buckets
You can’t expect abundance in one bucket when you’re giving into another bucket.
Some religious people think that if they give their time to their religious bucket, their family life will be abundant too. That won’t happen.
I’ve met a lot of religious people who are always in church, attending their religious activities, but they don’t give their time, attention, and energy to their family life. Thus, their family life is empty. They complain to God, “Lord, I gave my time to you! Why is my marriage suffering? Why is my relationship with my kids suffering?”
Simple. Because life is not one bucket but a collection of buckets. If you want to harvest abundance in a particular area of your life, you have to plant in that specific bucket.
Remember: Jesus said “Seek first the Kingdom of God…” If God is first, then there must be a second, a third, a fourth…
Some people think God wants them to give all their time to Him and be in church all the time and serve in ministries—neglecting their jobs, businesses, and families. They reason that “because if I put God first, God will take care of all these anyway.”
I met a woman recently who said, “Bo, for the past 22 years, I was serving the church fulltime. Without a salary. Today, I’m my 54, and I just realized I have no money for my old age. So I’m catching up, starting a small business and investing for the future.”
In between the lines, I could tell that she was asking, “Lord, why didn’t you take care of me financially? I gave my life to you.”
Many preachers I know simply tell people to give 10% to God. I’m one of the few preachers who tell people to give 10% to God (as a guide, not as a law) and also give 20% to their future in the form of paper assets, businesses, real estate, etc. Why? So that they can keep giving to God in their old age.
Let me state this again: I believe that God blesses us when we are generous to Him.
But because we lack financial wisdom, many spiritual people simply consume all of His financial blessings. They spend it all. Instead of setting aside a portion and investing it for their future.
If you want abundance in your finances, you need to give more time, effort, and energy into your financial bucket. Grow in financial wisdom, learn new skills, read financial books, attend financial seminars, and get financial mentors.
So you see, financial abundance is much more than giving to your spiritual bucket. If you want to grow your money, you also need to give to your financial bucket as well.
Where Do You Want To Have Abundance?
Here’s my question.
What bucket of life do you want to experience God’s blessings and abundance? Another way of asking this question: Which bucket in your life is empty or lacking today?
Give to that specific bucket!
· If you want abundance in your “marriage bucket”, give time and attention and love to your spouse.
· If you want abundance in your “family bucket”, give more time and energy and patience to your children.
· If you want abundance in your “financial bucket”, give time to learn and invest in your financial future
· If you want abundance in your “spiritual bucket”, give your time, your service, and your tithes to God.
Season of Delay
Here’s my belief: When you give, you receive.
This is a law in our universe. You’ll even receive much more than what you gave. This is as sure as the sun rising tomorrow. This is 100% guaranteed.
Here’s the great mystery of life: When you give, you don’t lose. You gain.
People don’t see this.
Why? Because between our giving and our receiving, there is a delay. If you want to receive the blessings of your giving, you need to be patient during the season of delay.
People expect instant returns.
But the greatest things in life—a great marriage, a strong family, a happy friendship, financial freedom, and godly character—doesn’t happen instantly.
When you plant, you don’t harvest right away. You have to enter into a season of delay.
So what do you do while you wait?
Keep on giving.
Why Giving To God Is Crucial
Giving to God will train you to give in the other areas of your life. Personally, I don’t believe that tithing is a law for Christians. (Sorry, too long to explain.) But tithing is a great guideline and a fantastic training tool for greater giving. Because the first blessing of giving to God is not abundance but an abundance mentality. Without an abundance mentality, it’ll be difficult to receive abundance in every area of life.
I have a conspiracy theory.
I believe that the entire physical and spiritual universe around you is conspiring, plotting, and conniving to give you massive abundance.
One of the most difficult things to overcome is a scarcity mentality. That there’s a limited amount of blessings in the world.
God is an abundant God, not a God of scarcity.
Today, I meet many people trapped in mediocrity and stagnation today because of their scarcity mentality. They think that God wants them to stay small, live small, and be small.
I’ve met spiritual people who believe they should be poor.
I’ve met good people who believe they should always remain in hardship because they are good people.
I was like this for almost 20 years of my life.
But when I was 30 years old, I changed my thinking. I decided I wanted to become a millionaire missionary. It was crazy but I believed it was possible.
Today, I’m still a missionary. I run 9 non-profit organizations, doing beautiful work in the world. Only one pays me a salary. I can do that because I earn through my small businesses and other investments.
I’ve broken out of that scarcity mentality.
I believe God wants abundance for my life.
And I believe God wants abundance for your life too.
Have you ever met a parent who has a secret desire that their children suffer? Who prays, “Lord, please make my kids poor?”
I doubt it. There are a few deranged parents out there, but a normal father and mother would want the best for their children.
God wants abundance for your life.
No, it’s not primarily money. Abundance is primarily about love. But I believe it includes money—but only so that we can love!
Make Do With My Imperfect Love
Last week, someone told me, “Bo, you’re so selfless.”
“No,” I told her, “I’m a selfish person.”
I really am. I know myself!
But at least, I’m trying to love everyday of my life. Every morning, I pray, “Lord, help me to love the people you will send to my path.”
Before writing this article, I imagined you reading it and I prayed for you. Yes, I love you! My love is very imperfect, but you’ll have to make do with this imperfect love. This is all that I can offer you.
For the past 30 years, I’ve been trying to love people with this imperfect love. Let me share with you the 5 ministries for the poor that I’ve been involved in.
And it’s true: When I gave love, I’ve received so much love. That’s been my experience…
Here are the 5 ministries where I have received so much love…
· Anawim: We’ve picked up 60 abandoned elderly from the streets and give them a loving home. We love and care for them until God calls them home.
· Tahanan ng Pagmamahal: Led by my friend Rey Ortega, we house 18 orphans in a small home in Pasig.
· Pagasa ng Pamilya: Also led by Rey, we now send 95 poor children to school. For the past 30 years, this ministry has graduated hundreds of scholars who are now helping their families.
· Grace to be Born: We counsel pregnant women in crisis who are considering abortion or are being forced to abort their babies. We provide a temporary shelter for them until they give birth. We also care for abandoned babies and facilitate adoption.
· He Cares Foundation: Led by my friend Jodean Sola, He Cares Foundation sends 240 streetkids to school and feeds 300+ of them every week. This ministry also runs a micro-lending program in 6 slum areas. We also built a village for 120+ homes.
And receive love abundantly as well.
May your dreams come true,
PS. Join Me In Giving Love. If you want to help my ministries for the poor, sign up as a member of www.KerygmaFamily.com You’ll be blessed because you give. You’ll feel great knowing you’re doing something for those who need your love. Join me at www.KerygmaFamily.com now!
PS2. Gain an Abundance Mentality. I really have a burden to help people get rid of their scarcity mentality and grow in their abundance mentality. I don’t want you to be trapped in a scarcity mentality the way I was trapped in it for 20 years. Join my TrulyRich Club and gain an abundance mentality. Each month, I’ll send you material to help you gain a new way of thinking that will open your life to more blessings. Log on at www.TrulyRichClub.com now!