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Prosperity # 2a

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     We’re going to continue on the subject of prosperity for the Lord. In the MAL 3 the Lord tells us to give our tithes and offerings unto Him, so that we can receive the blessings of God and not the curse.

     I. There are 2 main things that you need to know about prosperity.

              A. 1st you need to know that it is God’s will to prosper His people. 3JOHN 2

                        1. The word “Wish” in this V would be better translatedPray.”

                                  b. The apostle John that walked with Jesus, knew Jesus, and served the Lord for many, many years, who would soon write the book of revelation, saidI pray for your prosperity.”

                                           i. In (2TIM 3:16) it says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

                                           ii. John was inspired by God when he wrote, “I pray for your prosperity.” And this has brought correction the body of Christ.

              B. The 2nd thing we need to know is the reason for God prospering us.

                        1. Look at EPH 4:28

                                  a. The reason why God blesses us with a job and with prosperity is so that we can do something about the poverty in the world.

                                           i. That would include giving to the church, but it also includes giving to those that are without.

                                           ii. As the Word of God is preached, it will begin to bring prosperity to the land.

                                  b. (MAT 6:19-20) Says, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon Earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.”

                                           i. If we just give to someone without them ever receiving the Jesus as Lord, they’re going to go right back to the same situation.

     II. God loves us and wants the best for us, but many times are motives are wrong when we are asking for prosperity.

              A. JAMES 4:3

                        1. The word “consume” in this V meansSpend in a bad sense, To waste.”

                                  a. The word “Lustmeanspleasure.”

                                  b. I like it the way the NIV puts it, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your own pleasures.”

              B. (Psalm 35:27) Says, “Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.” (KJV)

                        1. God does take pleasure when we prosper.

                        2. He just wants us to do it with the right motives.

              C. (MATT 6:33) Says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

                        1. If we want prosperity we have to do what the Bible says.

                                  a That’s where a lot of us miss it, we want to do it our own way and we want to do our own thing.

                                  b. If we want our prosperity to come from God, we need to do things Gods way.

              D. JOSH 6:17a; 19

                        1. This is talking about the city of Jericho. The Lord said that everything in the city belonged to Him.

                                  a. This is the tithe.

                        2. JOSH 7:1a; c

                                  a. The next thing that happened is that Israel went into battle with the city called Ai, and Israel was defeated.

                                           i. So Joshua began to pray.

                                  b. Look at JOSH 7:10-13

                                           i. Because they kept back part of the tithe, the enemy was defeating them.

                                  c. In (V 23) the things (the tithe) was returned to the Lord, and then in (JOSH 8:1 and 2) they now were victorious and began to prosper.

                        3. People sometimes think, “I don’t care how the prosperity comes, just as long as it comes.

                                  a. PRO 10:22

                                  b. In the phraseThe blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich,” the word “Blessing” can also mean “Prosperity.”

                                  c. And when he uses the word “RICH” it means “Rich, Wealthy, or To gain riches.”

                        4. But he goes on to say, “He addeth no sorrow with it.”

                                  a. Prosperity that comes from a source other than God is going to have a lot of sorrow with it.

                                  b. The word “sorrow” in this V meanspain, hurt, toil, sorrow, labour, hardship

                                  c. I don’t want my prosperity to come with a lot of hurt, pain and sorrow.

                                  d. I want my blessing to come from the Lord.

                                           i. There is a lot of prosperity in this country, a lot of prosperity that we have by living in this country, compared to other countries.

                                           ii. But if that prosperity does not come from the Lord, it will come with a lot of sorrow.

     III. In (JOHN 10:10) it tells that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy.

              A. And it is Satan that is the thief.

              B. But (John 10:10) goes on to say that Jesus has come to give us life and life more abundantly.

                        1. Some have said the word “life” in this V meansLife after death,” but in the Greek it meansthe absolute fullness of life.”

                        2. Let me share with you something that a Greek scholar writes about this word “life.”

                                  a. It means, “A life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, (but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last for ever. ”)

                                  b. What this Greek scholar is trying to say is that the abundant life that Jesus came to give us is for the here and now, and in the life to come where we’ll be with the Lord forever more.

              C. The Lord says in (JOEL 2:25-26) “And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm. (26) And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.” (KJV)

                        1. God is in the restoration business.

                        2. PRO 6:30-31

                                  a. The Devil is not going to give back anything on his own free will, but God will make him restore sevenfold of everything that he took.

     IV. 1COR 15:57

              A. (2 Corinthians 2:14) Says, “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place.” (KJV)

              B. There are times that we are doing what we should be doing, but we still don’t see the victory. Look at HEB 10:36

                        1. The NIV puts it this way, (Hebrews 10:36) “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” (NIV)

                                  a. Persevere” means literally in the Greek steadfastness, constancy, endurance:

                                  b. It’s the characteristic of a man who is not swayed by even the greatest trials and sufferings.

                                           i. We need to stand fast to the Word of God.

                                           ii. (Ephesians 6:13) “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand, Stand therefore.”

                                           iii. It’s the man that Perseveres in the things of God, the man that continues to stand, this is the man that will receive the promises of God.

     V. DEUT 30:19-20

              A. These 2 Vs are talking about the prosperity.

                        1. In (V 19) he says, “Choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”

                                  a. The word “LIVE” means “To live prosperously.” (Even the word “Blessing in V 19 can also mean prosperity.)

                                  b. Again, we can see that God wants us to prosper, He’s telling us to “choose life so that we may live prosperously.”

                        2. But notice in (V 20) there is the condition.

                                  a. Love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice.”

                                  b. If you and I choose to love the Lord and to obey His voice you will receive the blessings.

                                  c. But if we choose not to obey His voice, the curse will automatically come on us.

                        3. What is the curse?

                                  a. DEUT 28:15

                                           i. He’s about to list the curses, not the blessings.

                                  b. DEUT 28:16-18

                                           i. This is talking directly about the area of finances and our families.

                                  c. But look at DEUT 28:29

                                           ii. Poverty or even lack is a curse; but it’s not God’s fault. We made a choice whether we know it or not.

              B. But God doesn’t want that for us.

                        1. Remember God has given us a choice.

                                  a. What is the choice that we have to make in order to receive the blessings. DEUT 28:1

                                  b. I don’t understand how people can refuse to do His Word and wonder why things are falling apart.

                                           i. He says it right here in V 1-2

                        2. Go down to DEUT 28:11

                                  a. The NIV says, “The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity.” If we keep His Word.

WOLCC 5/2/93 SUN AM and WOLCC 3/17/96 SUN AM

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