“You will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29
Do you feel that you have everything you need for this life? Are you satisfied? In the Bible Jesus talks about how God will supply your daily bread, the bread that he talks about is not made with flour but rather with the essence of God meeting your every need.
I want to talk to you today about the ABC’s. You learned the ABC’s in school. Yet, the ABC’s to personal prosperity are really important foundations for any life:
A – ABUNDANCE B – BREAKTHROUGH C – CELEBRATION
First of all, A – Abundance.
“When Spurgeon was riding home one evening after a heavy day’s work and feeling very wearied and depressed, the verse–“My grace is sufficient for thee.”- came to him.
He immediately compared himself to a little fish in the Thames, apprehensive lest drinking so many pints of water in the river each day; it might drink the Thames dry, and hearing Father Thames say to it, “Drink away little fish. My stream is sufficient unto thee.”
Then he thought of a little mouse in the granaries of Joseph in Egypt, afraid lest it might by daily consumption of the corn that it needed, exhaust the supplies and starve to death; when Joseph came along and, sensing its fear, said, “Cheer up, little mouse, my granaries are sufficient for thee.”
Or again, he thought of himself as a man climbing some high mountain to reach its lofty summit, and dreading lest he might exhaust all the oxygen in the atmosphere, when the Creator Himself said, “Breathe away, Oh man, and fill thy lungs: my atmosphere is sufficient unto thee.”
So, what does prosperity mean? In the dictionary it is described as: a condition of being successful and thriving. It means different things to different people. It doesn’t mean just one’s possessions; it is the knowledge and awareness of abundant supply and knowing that we have access to a “warehouse of Good that is never depleted.
There are never thoughts of lack or need in the Mind of God. And as such there is no place in our mind for fear or lack. We, as Christian souls, have the birthright to have our needs supplied. So, as one of faith, we embrace this birthright of prosperity, but each of us must cultivate a habit of abundance, seeing it everywhere. And this abundance is manifested in our spirituality, the only abundant thought we need. Jesus Christ proved that the earth, with its fullness, belongs to the Lord. God’s children are heirs to and in possession of these things.
The very foundation of spiritual prosperity is to remember our identity as children of God. When we remember exactly who we are, we become heirs of inexhaustible good; we are promised to be a part of the gifts of God. Remembering exactly who we are, we can call upon God at any time in the midst of our need for supply, and receive it just as surely and freely as we can receive the air that we are breathing in; we can receive healing or forgiveness or any other good in our life.
Many or, may I say, most of us, keep the idea of lack in our lives. In our very core is the awareness of lack. As long as our focus is on any type of lack, we are letting go of our idea of prosperity. Therefore, by our belief in lack, we are producing more of it every day in our lives. Some think that the supply that will meet our every need will be exhausted or is exhausted.
What we’re thinking today, we will produce tomorrow.
Jesus said to you directly that you CAN HAVE your daily bread. What do you need today? Turn to God and know that that He will supply. God is up to your problem; up to the solution, God can work through you, giving you the ideas you need to get through this temporary period of lack in your life.
“Dr. D. I. Vanderpool, general superintendent of the Nazarene Church, was in Samoa on a mission for his denomination when he was made the recipient of what is known as the “Fine Mat.” He was told that it would get him anything that he needed in that land. Manuma, the native chief and grandson of the Samoan ruler who years ago turned over the land of Samoa to the United States, made the presentation of the mat.
When he made this presentation, he said, “This will get you anything you need here in our country. If you have a house that was mortgaged for $30,000, give them this mat and it will pay off your mortgage. If you have a jail term ahead of you, give them this mat and it will release you from jail. If you are sentenced to die, give this mat, which is 174 years old, and it will set you free from the death sentence. It will meet any need that you have in this land.”
Dr. Vanderpool thought for a minute. He thought, “This is the greatest gift that I’ve ever received in my life.” Then he laughed and thought, “What am I thinking? I’ve had this gift all along from God.”
Consider, today, of having the awareness of the ‘Fine Mat’ to meet any problem that you’re, facing in your life. As the Apostle Paul put it, “According to the riches of God’s grace.” Ephesians 1:7
Thank God that he did not say, ‘out’ of his riches. That would be like a millionaire going to church and giving a dollar in the offering plate. No, he said ‘according to’. This means ‘in proportion to’. God’s proportionate provisions for you come without measure.
The textbooks on writing tell authors to avoid extreme adjectives like fabulous, magnificent, splendid, because they are usually overstating the case. Those of you who are writers know that one basis of writing is that you are supposed to avoid superlatives.
These striking superlatives are reserved only for occasions that actually merit their use.
Then they appear very seldom. But I want you to notice the next time you read the Bible how the writers talk directly to you about the blessings of God.
—God’s pardon is abundant. (Isaiah 55:7) –God’s love passes knowledge, (Ephesians 3:19) –God’s gift of salvation is unspeakable. (2 Corinthians 9:15) –God’s life is more abundant. (John 10:10)
Paul, writing to the discouraged Corinthians, said that through God we are “enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which cometh through us thanksgiving to God” (Second Corinthians 9:11).
Have you ever realized that supply is not something you get, but something you use?
You may think that supply comes to you from external sources – salary, saving, securities and so on – but the fact is that every good, every tangible evidence of supply, every material blessing has its beginning with you. Not outside of you.
Jesus’ parable of the talents is a perfect illustration of the idea that supply is not something we get, but something we use. When the man in Jesus’ parable called his three servants to him he gave to each “according to his ability” (Matthew 25:15). To one he gave five talents; to another, two talents; and to the third, one talent.
Two of the servants used their talents and doubled them. The third, who had been given one talent, was afraid of losing it, afraid of his master’s anger and disapproval, so he dug a hole in the ground and buried his talent.
The two servants who had used and increased their talents were praised by their master and told that because they had been faithful over a few things they would be set over many. But the servant who had been afraid to use his talent, who had buried it, lost even the one talent.
And then, Jesus says, that the master made this statement (which has troubled and puzzled many people) – For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. (Matthew 25:29). This sounds unfair and unjust unless we understand what it means in our lives.
What do we have in our lives that guarantees abundance? It must be the faith to use our God-given abilities and talents. Without faith in God and faith in ourselves, we’re powerless to act at any time. We are like the fearful servant who thought that if he just buried his talent he would avoid getting into trouble.
How many times have we done this? How many times have we put a light under a bushel instead of letting the light of God shine through us? We must not any more. We must get our talents to the surface and use them. More will be given, for your talents are gifts from God.
It’s like a channel of God. More will flow through. No longer will you be a stagnant pool of lack. You’ll be a flowing river with rapids of abundance. It will happen to you the minute you consent to the endless flow of God’s activity.
Let’s go to B – Breakthrough.
In the play, “The Barretts of Wimpole Street,” Elizabeth asked her husband Robert, “Oh Robert, how can you love me when you are so strong and I am so weak?”
He replied, “Elizabeth, my strength needs your weakness just as much as your weakness needs my strength.”
In Second Corinthians 12:9 it says, “And he said unto me. ‘My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’”
We’re talking about prosperity. We’re talking about abundance. We’re talking about not living in lack any more. You say, “Yes, that’s fine, but I’m just broke. I’ve been in lack for so long that I don’t know how I can rise up to the God standard. ”
You simply have to consent to God’s rising up in you. And God will. The Holy Spirit will move inside of you.
Listen to what a famous evangelist once said: “The only way to keep a broken vessel full is to always keep it under the tap.” Keep yourself under the ‘tap’ of God. Jesus referred to the ‘tap of God’ as that never-ending spring inside of you ever-coming, never-stopping.
Dr. Emmett Fox said in 1945, “Nothing is more important and practical in life than getting nearer to God. As we get nearer to God, everything improves. We feel better; our work goes better; we are better neighbors and better citizens.”
When Jesus said, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well,” Matthew 8:33. He meant just that.
Prayer is the way to get nearer to God and is the only TRUE action in life. When we don’t pray, we simply act in accordance with our lower human natures. We remain as we are. If we neglect prayer for 24 hours, we are the same at the end of that time as we were at its beginning.
If we pray, we change for the better.
If we pray a little, we change a little. If we pray a lot, with understanding, we change a lot.
We think, speak and act in a different and better way. And this, we believe, is part of what Jesus meant when He said, “You must be born anew.” John 3:7
Consent to God and you’ll have a breakthrough in your life. You’ll have the touch of the Master’s hand.
Without faith in God’s greater power, it would be difficult for anyone not to become discouraged and downhearted when circumstance seems to remove all means of support. But remember that God is with you. God can take that broken vessel of your life and turn it around, right now.
God doesn’t need outer ways and means, because what is with you and within you now, is 100 million times more powerful than anything in the outer; more powerful than anything you can do as a human.
Author Paula McClellan wrote , “It’s more than just human self-improvement on the human – you. You need a miracle of the touch of the Masters hand. A caterpillar who goes through self-improvement becomes just a caterpillar – with wings.
But if the touch of the Master’s hand comes in, it becomes a butterfly.”
Author Myrtle Fillmore once said, “The only way to become permanently prosperous and successful is through the quickening, awakening, and using rightly all the indwelling resources of God working inside of you. When you develop your soul and express its talents and abilities in loving service to God and all humanity, all your temporal needs will be supplied in bountiful measure.”
You have access to a realm of rich ideas, right now from God.
“John Brentz, a friend of Martin Luther, and one of the supporters of the Reformation, incurred the hatred of Charles V who made many attempts to kill the minister. Hearing that troops of Spanish cavalry were on the way to arrest him, he cast himself upon God in prayer. At once guidance came: “Take a loaf of bread and go into the upper town. Where thou findest a door open, enter and hide thyself under the roof.”
He acted accordingly. He found the only open door and hid himself in the loft. For fourteen days he lay there while the search continued. The one loaf of bread would have been insufficient, but day by day, a hen came up to the garret and laid an egg without cackling. The fifteenth day it did not come, but John Brentz heard the people in the street say, “They are gone at last,” and he came out.”
God is up to fulfilling your needs. Whatever you need is in your life, God will supply your daily bread, if you believe, if you turn away from the human problem and turn to God. It will never cease to amaze you with its miraculous power. When we live with that awareness, we live in a celebration. Life should be enjoyed more this moment – than the last.
Living life with God becomes a joyous celebration of faith. It is a wonderful experience when you marvel at everything around you that God has created through the Divine and others allowing God to use them.
This is the way that life is supposed to be lived. Expect your good and know that unexpected good is coming.
Life is an investment.
Never invest a day of your life without realizing that God is in it.
Never invest a day of your life without realizing that celebration is in that day.
Never stop realizing that as God takes care of a small fly; God takes care of you.
Never stop realizing that:
A – You can have ABUNDANCE.
B – No matter how your life has been, or how deep in the pit of lack you are in, you can have a BREAKTHROUGH. God doesn’t care where you are. God comes through you.
God is no respecter of persons.
C – You can CELEBRATE today, right where you are, because your help is at hand.
Your daily bread is given. You can spread those wings; you are, with God, the butterfly.
God Bless You
(a continuing thank you to Mr. Chenoweth for his assistance with many resources)