DO YOU WANT TO BE PROSPEROUS?
If you have lived on this earth for say 40-50 years, you will be very aware of how words in a single generation can change their meaning. Sadly many words that I considered (and still do) swear words and cursing for example have so changed their meaning. Personally I recommend to you that if there are words like that you choose NOT to use them. Paul tells us in Eph. 5:29 AMP Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome or worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God’s favor) to those who hear it. The MESSAGE says. Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. This again is where a Mentor can be so helpful, listen when he challenges you about your speech, you may not even be slightly convicted by your language, Lord help us that our speech is pure.
Not only do words change their meaning but can actually mean something quite different when it is translated from another language into ours.
In Western preaching today we get a lot of PROSPERITY PREACHING (and a whole new doctrine has developed called the PROSPERITY GOSPEL)saying things like if you come to Jesus you can live a successful rich life, this teaching does NOT line up with the whole tenor of Scripture. there is no doubt that in the last couple of generations the standard of living for the majority, particularly in the Western world has increased dramatically, but that is a different situation.
SO WHAT IS BIBLICAL PROSPERITY? Let us look at the word of God.
Joshua 1:8 NKJV This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. The NLT says this: Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
Biblical prosperity, is being a man or a woman of the Word, and living constantly according to the instructions found therein.
Proverbs 3:9-10 NKJV Honor the Lord with your possessions,
And with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats overflowing with new wine.
Biblical prosperity is being a GOOD STEWARD of all our possessions, recognising that God is the source of all that we own, and by putting Him first in everything, we will know and drink and experience the new wine of the Holy Spirit working in our lives.
3 John 2 NKJV Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth.
Biblical prosperity is WALKING in the truth of God’s Word, , and people can see the blessing of God resting on your life.
In Missiology we teach about REDEMPTION LIFT, that when a person comes to Christ not only is his life changed but so will his lifestyle change. before a person comes to Christ often much money is spent on purchasing and consuming alcohol, and cigarettes and gambling and other sinful pursuits. so now when these habits are broken there is more cash available each week, and therefore one’s standard of living increases, as we read in Isaiah 48:15, and in Malachi 3:10-12 NKJV echos the same truth when a Believer starts to invest in the kingdom of God. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,”
Says the Lord of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.
“And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes,
So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground,
Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,”
Says the Lord of hosts;
“And all nations will call you blessed,
For you will be a delightful land,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
So God does want His people to experience prosperity, but not to simply pour it out on ourselves, but to be a blessing to the nations. Lets seek to keep our lives and lifestyle simple, so we can always Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matt. 6:33 NKJV