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Are You Living For Prosperity Or For Promise?

June 23, 2018

 

Matthew 6:19-24 King James Version (KJV)

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 No man 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. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

 

This month and for the next few months, the Adoration program will not have guests, but I will have time to speak to you directly about our topic, “Are You Living For Prosperity Or For Promise?” Today is considered an introductory message and we will slowly but confidently explore the meaning of this topic, using Matthew 6:19-24 as the foundation scripture.

 

Like many of the things that interest me about life and our interactions with Christ, I am approaching this introspectively. I don’t want anyone listening tonight to think I am coming from a perspective of me being above certain things and my listeners being lesser. No, I will come out publicly and set the record straight. I have failed many times in my walk with Christ and it is through these failures, that I am approaching this. How many times have I used my own privilege in being a believer to justify my failures and shortcomings. How many times have I been sincere in my prayers and desires? And how many times have I had a covert agenda and used scripture inaccurately or in ignorance, to get what I want. How many times have I been the one who used GOD like a slot machine; pulling the lever in hopes that I would hit the jackpot? How many times have I justified my sin, only to grovel back to the Lord for forgiveness. My Beloved listeners, during these messages my motivation is to expose some unbiblical things we do out of tradition and mind manipulation that have nothing to do with scripture. I aim to expose, that while we verbally say we have liberty in Christ Jesus, we are sometimes living lives that are riddled in bondage and seduced by our selfish desires and requirements; not understanding our liberty comes by way of things we are willing to release, as opposed to things we wish to acquire or hold on to. For example, how many times have you praised the Lord after receiving a desired gift, or promotion, monetary increase in salary or bonus, or other material acquisitions? Now don’t get me wrong, we ought to rejoice in these unexpected gifts…I am just wondering about what happens on the flip side; how many of us have the same attitude of gratitude when it seems things are going awry? Do we celebrate Christ during hardship? Do we identify with our Savior when it seems all resources are being diminished and deplenished? Do we walk in the Power and Authority of the Almighty when we are being falsely accused? Do we walk with a countenance that would inspire the unbeliever that we are in possession of something greater than the mind could ever conceive or comprehend? My Beloved listeners, nothing I share tonight and in the upcoming months are things I haven’t asked of myself. Let’s take some time to explore what we are doing, and if it benefits our Savior, if it benefits our followers (and yes we do have followers), and if it benefits ourselves.

 

I decided I would use Matthew 6 as the foundation for this message because it approaches the disparity between earthly and heavenly possessions. My wife and I talk about passages in the Bible often; in fact, she would tell you I should teach. However this is not really my gift although I have learned a great deal from people who truthfully “divide the Word of Truth.” I do believe, to understand scripture, one must go beyond the stated scriptures and consider the basic concepts of why it has being written, to whom it is being written for, where the circumstances are taking place, when were they taking place, how does one benefit from what has been written. So immediately my thoughts go to the writer of the text; in this case Matthew (Levi) has been established as the writer. So, we know in scripture Matthew was a tax collector whom Jesus recruited to be one of the disciples (Matt 9:9). We know that in scripture, Jesus did not think it unrighteous to meet Matthew and his friends where they live (Matt 9:10). We know that Matthew was a Jew and it would have been very important for him to establish the lineage of Jesus through the King David (Matt 1:1-17) We get an account of Jesus as the coming Messiah through the baptism by the prophet John the Baptist (Matt 11:17). We know it was important for Matthew to establish Christ as greater than the devil (Matt 4:1-12). We know that it was very important for Matthew to document as much of Jesus’ own words as possible to establish Him as the Messiah. We also know that Jesus speaks directly to us starting with the Beatitudes in Chapter 5 verse 3, all the way to Chapter 7 verse 27. We know it was crucial to show Jesus as a healer with the power to cast out demons. In Chapter 8 alone, we find Jesus healing the leper, healing the centurion’s servant, healing Peter’s mother-in-law, healing the multitude that followed Him, driving out the evil spirits to many in the crowd, driving out the evil spirits into the swine of the two coming out from the tombs, possessed with devils. Not to mention Jesus could command the wind and the waves to be still. We know it was important to establish Jesus as having more authority and heavenly wisdom than the religious leadership of His day (Matt 9:10-13; 15:1-9; 16:1-4; 21:23-45; 22:34-46). We know it was critical to recognize Jesus had power over death, even the death on the cross (Matt 9:18-25; Matt 28:1-7; Matt 27:50-53). Finally, we know Jesus rose, dwelt among them and ascended (Matt 28).

 

Granted there is so much I could just share out of the book of Matthew alone, but this us a good place to start because it was so important that Matthew’s gospel establish Christ as Messiah and King. This is so important as at the end of chapter 28, Jesus ends the chapter with a charge given to the remaining 11 disciples (and I believe to every believer) that with the same power given to Him in heaven and in the earth to go ye therefore and teach all nations; baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Today we might just encompass all this in Romans 6:3-14 which read as such:

 

3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

 

Beloved tonight we are simply laying the foundation to examine prosperity Christianity and Promise Christianity. There is a major difference and one that as we explore further, may answer a lot of your internal struggles or scriptural misapplications.

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