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Measuring Prosperity and Success- STS eBook Chapter 2 PLEASING GOD (con’t)

God views prosperity and success from a spiritual perspective, not in the way we think of the accumulating of wealth, material possessions, status and reputation.  Neither are the latter a measure of success, but success in God’s eyes is about whether or not things are working out in our lives, whether or not we are experiencing His blessings as a result of how we live our lives in obedience to His Word.

The soul of man is much more valued by God than all the riches in the world :

“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his life [in the eternal kingdom of God]?”  Mark 8:36 AMPLIFIED BIBLE

To be rich in faith is a far better position to be in than to be living in spiritual poverty.  James 2:5 states:

 “Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?”

Where are you laying up your treasures?

Mt 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

Mt 6:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:

Mt 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

(Review ‘PLEASING GOD AND GOOD SUCCESS’ in the earlier part of Chapter 2)

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Prosperity and Success  (Conclusion of Chapter 2 PLEASING GOD-LOVE GOD, LOVE HIS WORD AND OBEY HIM)

In 3John 2 it says,

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

John was encouraging persecuted Christians, but today we have many Christians in America who suffer with hard times and deprivation! Don’t listen to any ‘Prosperity Preachers’ who are wolves in sheep clothing! They wrongfully use 3John 2 to equate prosperity and success with material gain and status, bilking people out of their money to make only themselves rich!

Throughout the Bible the word ‘prosper’ means a state of well being, of doing okay despite one’s circumstances, being wise in making right decisions; it has to do with having good emotional and spiritual well being, being at peace with one’s life and relationships with God and others, knowing that you are in God’s will.

To prosper and be successful we need to:

do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord: that IT MAY BE WELL WITH THEE, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers”,…

The last part about possessing the good land is about receiving the blessings God has in store for those who love and obey Him. (Deut 6:18)

Being Blessed                  

We began In Deut 6:18:

“And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers”...

Here is the clincher in vs 19,

…”To cast out all thine enemies from before thee, as the Lord hath spoken.

The blessings of God are conditional, i.e. they are not forthcoming unless certain requirements are fulfilled. For the Israelites, it meant they had to destroy everyone in the heathen lands they invaded. The obvious reason was that they were idolaters and would contaminate God’s people (which they eventually did!).

The lesson for us is that we must IDENTIFY AND GET RID OF things or obstacles in our lives that hinder God’s blessings from us, that keep His love, joy, and peace from permeating our lives, our children’s lives, our home, our jobs, etc. It could be something within our character and behavior that we need to change, or the way we sometimes treat one another in unloving ways; it could be things we do that are not pleasing to God, for some maybe it’s what we’re listening to, reading, the movies or You Tube videos we watch, how we spend our time, who we spend it with that is grievous to God, etc.  Only when we “do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord” will the blessings of God be released upon us!

Let us pray as David did in Psalm 51; he confessed his sins and asked God for mercy and forgiveness, that God would not withhold His blessings.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.  Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.  Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of they righteousness.”  Psam 51:10-14 

STS eBook- Chapter 2, Pleasing God

Welcome back to ‘Sounding the Shofar- Exhortations for the End Times’ eBook.   See Category on side bar, ‘From Journal and Shofar eBook’ for Introduction and Chapter 1.

We all want things to go well with us and the Bible holds the keys for this to be possible.

CHAPTER 2    PLEASING GOD 

Love God, Love His Word and Obey It                    

Read Deuteronomy 6:13-19. The key verse is Deut 6:18:

“…do that which is right and good in the sight of the Lord: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers; vs. 19 … To cast out all enemies from before thee, as the LORD hath spoken.”

We must please God so that things will go well for us (vs 18). The last verse of the previous chapter (vs 5:33) tells us WHY we must obey God:

  1. that we may LIVE, 
  2. that things will go WELL in our life, 
  3. so that we will have a LONG life! 

How many people have had their lives cut short prematurely by their choices, by the way they treat others, and by the way they live their lives.

Deuteronomy 6:2-5 tells us how we can be blessed with long life and “that it may be well with thee”.  It is not by only hearing, but also by doing what God has commanded. This is only possible when we “love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might”.  This is also “the first and great commandment” in Matthew 22:37.

God said that David, king of Israel, was “a man after mine own heart” (Acts 13:22), whose heart was ‘perfect’ before Him (1Kings 11:4). In Psalms 119, the longest chapter of the longest book in the Bible, we can read about David’s intimate relationship with God, and the importance of God’s Word in his life. Of 176 verses, all except for 3 are about the Word of God, grouped by each of the Hebrew alphabet and mentioned by these names: Law, Commandments, Testimony, Precepts, Statutes, Ordinances, Judgments, Ways, Word, and Truth.

Psalm 119 is called the Psalm of the Word of God.

Here are some verses about God’s Word:

  • “Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven” (verse 89);
  • “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (verse 105);
  • “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (verse 165).

Meditate on these scriptures today and keep them in your heart.

WWJD and Doing Our Best

Paul in Colossians 3:17,23 instructs us how to please God and receive His blessings of Deut 6:18 and 5:33 (to have a good and long life):

“Whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus… And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men…” 

WWJD, What Would Jesus Do? He did everything the Father told him to do.  Jesus said in John 5:19,

“…The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do:  for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”

And we know that everything God does, He does well.

When I taught school, the only reports I accepted from my students were their BEST work. I asked them, “Is this your best? Can you do better? What can you do to improve this?” I also expected their best handwriting and many a child got spelling words marked wrong for illegibility. A major mindset in the work force today is to expect maximum pay and benefits for minimum output. Look at what is going on with state and union labor negotiations. Take a good look at every strata of institutions in our society today. Only when there are attitudes of pride in work excellence and productivity, you will likely find successful individuals and companies. Only God can motivate us as individuals to do our BEST in EVERYTHING we do. Not only that, but He will help us and reward us when we strive TO DO OUR BEST in everything we put our minds and hands to do. Christians should be the ones who are recognized as outstanding in everything they do!

Pleasing God and Good Success

“…whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as unto the Lord, and not unto men…”  (Colossians 3:23)

If pleasing God is uppermost in our lives He will bless us and enable us to be successful. He will be with us and not fail us, nor forsake us. He is the road map to our destination; He is the rudder on our ship through troubled waters; He will lead us by His eye. God does this through His Word, and the more we understand His Word, the greater will be our success! We can have GOOD SUCCESS!  God told Joshua,

“trust me, don’t be afraid; do what I tell you, don’t go your own way by turning to the right or to the left.” Joshua 1:7 (paraphrased)

Verse 8 says,

“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt MEDITATE therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to DO according to all that is written therein: for THEN thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and THEN thou shalt have GOOD SUCCESS.”  (Caps are mine)

Everything we do, we do to PLEASE GOD (Colossians 3:17, 23) which is through FAITH in Him and believing His Word. We get our faith by meditating on His Word (Joshua 1:8).

As Hebrews ll:6 says,

“...without faith it is impossible to please God, for he that comes to God must BELIEVE that He is (God)  a Rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

As professed believers in Jesus, Paul tells us,

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  (Hebrews 4:16)

This means that we must know that God is our Father and we are His children, that

God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him (Jesus) should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

There you have it, when we are in a relationship with God and we know He is our Father, we can approach Him any time!  His phone number is Jeremiah 33:3,

Call unto me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” 

Matthew 19:36 states,

...”With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.” 

And another faith builder is Isaiah 59:1,

“Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear”...

Question is, have you made Jesus your Lord and Savior?  If so, then God is your Father and Jesus is your Savior and your Brother!

(To be continued- Prosperity and Success, Being Blessed)

A GOOD POST TO READ:

Here  is a link to a very nice blog by two sisters who share their faith in God.  Read “Would you really like to know how to get to heaven?”  

http://wp.me/P2p49X-2