3 John 2
3 John 2 #2
5/24 and 5/25/2003
3 John 2 NKJV
2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
Last week we talked about: HEADED FOR HOME. Our points were 1-Set Your Heart on Pilgrimage 2-Keep the Right Perspective and 3-Having all you need for the journey.
I challenged you to approach this scripture in a new way and redefine what is meant by prospering, being in health and having a prosperous soul.
We defined your soul as the inner man. Genesis 2 says; 7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (KJV)
-This inner part is the essence of who you are as a human being, your personality, your emotions, your brain, and I’m going to include the spirit part of you that contacts God.
-The spirit and soul are indistinguishable for all practical purposes except for the Word being able to divide them.
-The word for prosperity carries the image of a successful journey.
-We should have that come to pass in our health our spiritual life and our dealings with the world. Our businesses and jobs should be successful.
I want to focus today on:
A PROSPEROUS SOUL
A heart at peace gives life to the body,
but envy rots the bones.
-There is an absolute relationship between what is going on inside you and the rest of you.
-In other words, if is difficult to define someone as prosperous and successful who is rich, healthy yet miserable on the inside.
-If you were to pick one to stand alone, this is the only one that will.
What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (Jesus)
Message Matthew 16
Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?
1. A PROSPEROUS SOUL HAS THE RIGHT FOCUS
Romans 11 TLB
33 Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods! 34 For who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who knows enough to be his counselor?* 35 And who could ever give him so much that he would have to pay it back? 36 For everything comes from him; everything exists by his power and is intended for his glory. To him be glory evermore. Amen.
-Everything God created was to give Him glory. My purpose and your purpose is to give God glory.
-The greatest temptation is to bring glory to yourself.
-Satan got it wrong when he started desiring the glory that was to be intended for God.
-Whenever anything fulfills its purpose it brings glory to God.
-We should worship God.
-What does that mean?
-When we think of worship we often mean singing.
-We say “wasn’t worship good today”?
-We think praise is the fast songs and worship is the slow set.
-The truth is: singing is an expression of your worship but you worship God with your life.
Different people have different styles. If your background was denominational you think it is hymns.
Calvin put music to modern tunes and it was called “Geneva jigs”. Charles Wesley took modern tunes from the pub and put Christian words and they were frowned on. One of his famous hymns started “There once was a girl whose name was Matilda”. He fixed it. Some people think the angels brought that tune from heaven.
There is no such thing as Christian music, only Christian words-Rick Warren
Whatever touches your emotions is the style that relates to you.
People will say, I got so much out of worship today…it was supposed to be an expression of your love for God. God invented all music and He likes slow fast loud and the whole spectrum.
None of us really want to go on. To most people an oldy is Elvis.
We grew with the music we started with and it touched us and changed us. As Bob Dylan said, “the times they are a changing”.
Can you worship God even if they aren’t playing your song? If not-you have never understood or grasped true worship.
20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
-She was trying to figure out the logistics and Jesus was saying, YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT.
-You worship from a heart living in the truth.
· YOU WORSHIP WITH AN OBEDIENT LIFE
-Every part of the service here is worship. The offering. Praying for others. Listening to His Word and honoring it.
-If only singing is worship, I’m ill-equipped!
-You physical expression to God is wonderful. But it never rises above a life submitted to Him.
-If I jump and sing and do a special and play a concert of hymns and them go out and cuss the guy who cuts me off….am I worshipping God with my life?
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual a act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
-Notice that Paul said it is spiritual worship to present your body to God.
-In other words, if I am sacrificing for others to be a Christian I am bringing glory to God and worshipping Him.
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
-If you can do it in life, singing it is just a bonus.
· YOU WORSHIP GOD BY DOING HIS WILL
I glorified you on earth
By completing down to the last detail
What you assigned me to do.
-When you fulfill His will rather than your own, that is worship.
-Jesus was in the Garden of Gesthemane and He said, NOT MY WILL BUT YOURS BE DONE.
-When you pray that and mean it, YOU ARE WORSHIPPING GOD. Come Thy Kingdom, be done THY WILL.
Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts— 4 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 5 to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship. 6 Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also I have given skill to all the craftsmen to make everything I have commanded you:
-Sitting here in this room today isn’t the pinnacle of life. This is simply helping you get your life focused again so you can go out there onto the playing field.
(Let me add a dimension here that is important. Acts 2 and I Corinthians point out that when we speak in tongues we magnify God. There is an element of worship with our spirit that must include this element to be as fruitful as God intends. Make that a quest in your life.)
Ecclesiastes 5 TLB
19 And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—that is indeed a gift from God. 20 People who do this rarely look with sorrow on the past, for God has given them reasons for joy.
-Worship God with your life and your lips.
2. A PROSPEROUS SOUL KNOWS HOW TO REST
-That is a great word to use on a holiday weekend.
-Rest is a position of trusting God in faith.
Hebrews 4 TLB
God’s promise of entering his place of rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to get there. 2 For this Good News—that God has prepared a place of rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn’t believe what God told them.* 3 For only we who believe can enter his place of rest. As for those who didn’t believe, God said,
“In my anger I made a vow:
‘They will never enter my place of rest,’ ”*
even though his place of rest has been ready since he made the world. 4 We know it is ready because the Scriptures mention the seventh day, saying, “On the seventh day God rested from all his work.”* 5 But in the other passage God said, “They will never enter my place of rest.”* 6 So God’s rest is there for people to enter. But those who formerly heard the Good News failed to enter because they disobeyed God. 7 So God set another time for entering his place of rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David a long time later in the words already quoted:
“Today you must listen to his voice.
Don’t harden your hearts against him.”*
8 This new place of rest was not the land of Canaan, where Joshua led them. If it had been, God would not have spoken later about another day of rest. 9 So there is a special rest* still waiting for the people of God. 10 For all who enter into God’s rest will find rest from their labors, just as God rested after creating the world. 11 Let us do our best to enter that place of rest. For anyone who disobeys God, as the people of Israel did, will fall.
-We are resting when we are trusting God instead of just ourselves.
-Sometimes we feel like the world will stop turning if we relax.
-Also, in a very practical way.
-Clear your mind and catch your breath.
-The pressure is always there and there is always something to do.
HE PREPARES A TABLE FOR US IN THE PRESENCE OF OUR ENEMIES.
-The day begins with the evening in the Bible. Man’s first role was to rest and trust God.
-Busyness can be an inflated perspective of self importance.
-If you are going to have a prosperous soul….take a day off…take a vacation…..watch a movie……play softball……chill out.
-You can’t stay busy and stay healthy.
-I was thinking this week, WHAT WOULD I HAVE TO DO TO GET A SUMMER VACATION?
-In a very practical way this is the principal of the Sabbath.
-It is taking a day to stop and consider and adjust your life to God.
According to a Greek legend, in ancient Athens a man noticed the great storyteller Aesop playing childish games with some little boys. He laughed and jeered at Aesop, asking him why he wasted his time in such frivolous activity.
Aesop responded by picking up a bow, loosening its string, and placing it on the ground. Then he said to the critical Athenian, "Now, answer the riddle, if you can. Tell us what the unstrung bows implies."
The man looked at it for several moments but had no idea what point Aesop was trying to make. Aesop explained, "If you keep a bow always bent, it will break eventually; but if you let it go slack, it will be more fit for use when you want it."
Recreation is re-creation.
-The Kingdom of God is righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
-Are you enjoying the life God has entrusted you with are do you think it is your responsibility to keep it going.
-Do you sleep well?
-Do you have peace in your heart?
-Are you anxious?
(example with trip to U.K.-what is the worst thing that could happen?)
2/ Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. /
See Isa 40:13.
a Or reasonable
Some manuscripts read they didn’t share the faith of those who listened [to God].
Or Sabbath rest.
The New King James Version, 3 Jn 2. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1996, c1982.