Live Long and Prosper

 

Scripture: (3 John 1:2 KJV)  Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

 

Before you think that I am going to promote some trendy prosperity theology let me make it clear that the prosperity that God first desires for you is for your soul. There is so much that God has to offer us today. In order to keep this message within some time and length parameters lets concentrate on this one specific point: Firsts and foremost God desires for your soul to prosper. Lets then take a quick look at you can turn an impoverished soul into one that is prospering. Then, as your soul prospers the rest of your life will reflect the richness of God’s blessings.

 

            First, remember from Ephesians 1: 3 how we have already been blessed with every spiritual blessing. Right now we have within us the ability to do and be that which God has called us to. The author of Maximizing Your Potential, Myles Munroe, was talking this weekend about how God has given everything on earth, that which it needs to become what it has been created for. A bird has within it the ability to fly. A fish has within it the knowledge of how to swim. It does not have to go to swimming school to learn. Even though it does swim in a school. (His joke not mine.) Look at an acorn. Within it is a huge oak tree waiting to be climbed. So what I am going to give you this week is what I can remember from Mr. Munroe’s speech. The difference will be my focus will be upon your soul prospering, and as we, together with the Holy Spirit, gain some spiritual integrity, the financial aspects of our life will come in tow.

            Seven “P’s” to prosperity:

1.      Purpose:

2.      Potential

3.      Priority

4.      Plan

5.      Persistence

6.      People

7.      Prayer

 

Let’s quickly go over all seven and see how as we apply these to our spiritual life we will achieve growth and prosperity. First there is purpose. This has been a big subject for me for many years. I believe that we as Christians need to have definite purpose in our spiritual life. The five fold purpose that I have found both through the writings of great leaders like Rick Warren and Christian Education professor Dr. Gangle, has given me some definite direction in the fulfillment of purpose. In order to better give you a picture of these five fold purposes being put into practice let me share with you the mission statement for My Father’s House/ Clear water Open Bible Church;

 

My Father’s House

Clearwater

Open Bible Church

Mission Statement

 

My Father’s House exists to bring glory to God. We will do this through dynamic worship, in depth Bible teaching, extensive and diverse service to the community, a positive evangelistic outreach and fun-filled fellowship among the members. Worship, discipleship, ministry, evangelism and fellowship make up the core of all our objectives. Doing all for the building up of the body of Christ and the lives of God’s people as well as the community at large. It is the goal of My Father’s House, Clearwater Open Bible Church to apply the truths which are found in God’s word to the betterment of the physical, spiritual, emotional and social lives of ourselves, our families, the people in our community, city and throughout the entire world.       

 

When you put these five principles in practice for you own personal spiritual growth you can quickly see how you will be able to apply spiritual growth to every aspect of your life.

Second you have potential. The Bible teaches us over and over again how we have been so wonderfully made by God. We were created in His image and given the potential to take dominion over the earth and lead others to Christ. On a personal level we need to know that we do have the built in potential to have a right relationship with the God of all creation. All power and authority was given unto Jesus and he knocks on the door of our hearts and asks to come in. The potential of His power to be dwelling within us shows us the truth in the verse that says, “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.”

Moving on to the third “P” which is priority. We live in an age where the most valuable thing has become our time. We need to make the most of it. Not only do we need to make the most of our time, but we need to determine what is important. We end up having long-term goals and then some short term goals and even some things that pop up that have to be dealt with right now. On a spiritual plane we could be talking about the amount of time we are spending studying the Bible or  in Prayer. We could be talking about getting rid of some sins that are in our lives. We could be talking about getting some training in evangelism in order to fulfill the great commission that was given to all of us. There are many things that we need to get in perspective in order to go forward. But the important part is to know that you desire that your soul prosper. Too often we neglect our soul and feed our bodies then no matter how fat we get we are never satisfied. And I am not just talking about food. Anything that we use to try to fill that emptiness inside will not quench the thirst that lies within our souls. Get your priorities straight then make a plan.

If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Once we come to the realization that we need to nurture our soul, we have purpose and direction, we need to set out on a clearly defined plan. How much time are you going to spend in the Bible and when? When and where can you get alone to spend some quality, personal one on one time with God? What resources can you get to help you in reaching others? Put your plan down in writing then stick to it.

Persistence: This may be the area that we all, OK, where I, fail the most. I will get on fire for God then within a month or two, sometimes less, I find myself drifting away from my plan and thus away from that closeness with God. That is one of the best reasons to put your plan down on paper and even keep a journal of where you are in your spiritual walk. I know that this sounds like a lot and I kind of doubt that any of us will follow all of these suggestions so let me start to bring it back into perspective. The next “P” on our prosperity survey is people. The best scripture verse that I can give you is found in the Book of Hebrews;                     (Heb 10:23 -25KJV) Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

I cannot begin to express how important it is to our spiritual development that we hang around with good faithful men and woman of God. Our faith blossoms when we share it amongst brothers and sisters. Get over the thought of hypocrisy and get yourself in a good Bible believing Church. The truth is we become like those we hang around. Find people that have vision and love the Lord and cut those ties from the people that keep trying to bring you down to their level. Have you noticed how people who are going nowhere want you to go with them? People make the difference. That is where your spiritual prosperity is put to the test. Step out on faith and make some new Christian friends this week. Lastly and most certainly not least is prayer. The more time you can spend in prayer the faster and stronger you will find your soul prospering.

Because of time I am going to end with this good news. We all want to prosper  in one area of our life or another. God, who created us and the world we live in desires that we also prosper in all things. In fact we can see throughout the Old Testament how he gave us the Bible to guide us into prosperity. So lets right now, maybe for the first time, maybe for the thousandth time, get our priorities straight and start redeveloping our spiritual prosperity by having purpose, seeing the potential, organizing our priorities, putting a plan down on paper then persevering to keep it, surround ourselves with godly people and pray, pray, pray,