The Good News
Prosperity is Jesus
Prosperity is all we hear now days.  How we can have the good life, the easy street, the up hill ride made easy.  The get rich schemes that cover about every channel on our television.  And if that’s not bad then how about all the over time you work or the 2nd job so you can acquire wealth.

The world would have you believe that you need what your next door neighbor has, and have it better too (Exodus 20:17).  Why not be wealthy, it’s a better life, I can live a little easier.  Work a little less, enjoy my time with my family and friends, do the things I couldn’t do before.

Being prosper you can have by God, he never said you couldn’t be rich, he just said don’t let money rule your life. 

Prosperity is more than wealth, more than stuff, it’s asking God for our needs, even then we don’t know how to ask God for prosperity but don’t let needs replace the word wants they are different words to God and He knows the differences.  You cannot play with God, He cannot be mocked.  “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked.  For whatever a man sows, that he also will reap. (Gal 6:7)

Clark Whitten wrote:
As we ask God to meet our needs, we grapple with how to ask Him to prosperous us.  Our goal is not to accumulate wealth (riches) or renounce it (poverty), but to faithfully oversee our individual portion from God and remain undistracted in our love for Him.
3 John 2 says, “I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”  Prosperity is more than money.  It is a lifestyle that includes spiritual fullness, physical well-being, and mental well-being.  Prosperity is possessing and stewarding wisely all that God gives to you. Prosperity results from God’s grace and our faithfulness to follow biblical principles.  A prosperous person is one who is wealthy in all things that eternally matters. 

You see there’s more to being prosperous, I know that some preachers go overboard and others don’t explain, but it’s up to you to understand what the preacher is saying and then go home and research it yourselves.  You really can’t say “well the preacher said I can be rich.”  That’s false, you didn’t study what the preacher was explaining to you, you took his/her word for it, and Paul told you not to, he said  “Study earnestly to present yourself approved to God, a workman that does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. (2Ti 2:15) And  “Instead, test everything; Hold on to what is good. (1Th 5:21)    “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. “ (Ph 2:12) 

If you do acquirer lots of wealth, there is one question you should ask yourself who’s the master?  No one can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (Mat 6:24)

Mr. Clark Whitten writes:
The issue of money is mentioned frequently in the Bible because money can be a most insidious, beguiling, and pervasive temptation (1 timothy 6:10).  Here in Matthew 6:24, Jesus teaches that the problem with wealth or riches (“mammon”) is that we serve mammon instead of God.  The word to “serve” used here means “to be enslaved to.”  Our choice of masters is not solely an issue of advisability (a choice of priorities), nor is it a mere question of accountability (a moral choice).  Rather, it is a clear issue of impossibility (no choice.)  One simply must choose between serving God and serving mammon.  To serve God fully means to have money issues under control. 

In an interview by Paul Bradshaw Rick Warren said something that gets to the heart of this message here is part of this conversation he said, “ this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies it made me instantly very wealthy.  It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before.  I don’t think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.

So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9  and   Psalm 72. 

First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit.  We made no major purchases.

Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.

Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.

Forth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back.  It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.

We need to ask ourselves:  am I going to live for possessions?  Popularity?  Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God’s purposes (for my life)?

When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don’t get anything else done today, I want to know you more and love you better.  God didn’t put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list.  He’s more interested in what I am than what I do.”

This doesn’t sound like a man that let wealth go to his head; you see he went to the Lord for guidance and direction for all this wealth, notoriety and influence.  This is man that doesn’t change his life style just because great wealth and blessings come raining down on him.

This Is Simple, if you are groaned in the Word of God, well grounded, before you came into great wealth you will not bow down to it, for you will continue to serve God.  Nothing will change you, you will continue to live the same life style you have always had because God is first in your life, and you are a steward of all God has given you before and after.  You will ask God what he wants done with every dollar, and every blessing.

Jesus will always be first in our lives;  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  You can do, know/no wrong when you keep Jesus first in all things. (Pv 3:6)

Father in all your ways continue to direct our path that each person we meet will know we follow your ways as we enter into wealth, notoriety and influences, and knowledge or wisdom.  Only you can show us the way to prosper to further your kingdom.  Reach deep into us and touch the very core of our existence and soften our hearts that we may not turn from your ways.  Help us to become the men and women of God, to keep you first in all things. Lord let us not be influenced by the world, and its ways of being puffed up, and arrogant, flamboyant, and immature with the sudden increase of wealth. May our live be an image of you.   Amen