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Prosperity Preaching

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3 John 2

(KJV)  Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

(NIV)  Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

Kin Hubbard made this comment that is worth noting:  I'll say this for adversity--people seem to be able to stand it, and that's more than I can say for prosperity.  I’ll go further than that and add that it seems easier to handle adversity than is does prosperity.

There has been so much distortion in our lifetimes about prosperity, that, you may have even raised an eyebrow when you realized where I was going this morning.  Prosper means to grow stronger and also to gain in wealth.  There is a manner in which God will work in your life to bring about true prosperity.

Does God want to bless me?  Absolutely

Will God bless me?  Absolute, given you obey him

Will his blessings to me reflect what I have in my mind?  It depends on who’s thought processes you are relying on…

Think for a moment what you feel to be vital to your existence in this life…

Chances are that you considered health, family, employment, church, hobbies…

Now how do you think God would answer that question for you?  Faith, obedience, surrender, sacrifice, relationship, thanksgiving, worship…

Go back to this morning’s text…John wishes/prays that Gaius, his friend, would prosper and be in health, even as his soul prospers.  The first thing that I want you to notice, which is the last thing that John says in this statement, is that Gaius’ soul is prospering.  That is important to God in the light of days we spend here on earth.

2 Corinthians instructs us to not be counted amongst unbelievers, but be separate, not touching the unclean.

Lev 11:44, 45, 19:2, 20:7, 26, Deut 23:14, 1 Cor 1:2, Eph 1:4, Heb 12:14, 1 Pet 1:15, 16 all sing in unison that we are to be holy.

Matt 9:29, 21:21, 2 Cor 13:5, Gal 2:20, Eph 2:8, Heb 11:6 warns us to live by faith.

1 Sam 15:22 says that to obey and heed is better than sacrifice.

Luke 9:23, Matt 20:28, Mark 10:45 shows that we should deny ourselves and serve, rather than seek our own.

2 Cor 5:20 instructs us to represent God in this world so that others might be brought back into relationship.

Grace and health are two rich companions; grace will improve health, health will employ grace.

Physical health is the result of nutrition, exercise, cleanliness, proper rest, and the disciplined order of a balanced life. Spiritual health is the result of similar factors. We must nourish ourselves with the Word, and then “work out” that nourishment in godly exercise (1 Tim. 4:6–7). We must keep ourselves clean (2 Cor. 7:1) and avoid the contamination and pollution that is in the world (2 Peter 1:4; James 1:27). While exercise and service are important, it is also important that we rest in the Lord and gain new strength through fellowship with Him (Matt. 11:18–30). A balanced life is a healthy and happy life, a life that honors God.

prosper—in general.

be in health—in particular

Jeremiah 29:11-14  11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.  I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

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