THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT

PROGRAM AIR DATE – 12-7-14

LESSON TITLE: “THE DAYS OF PROSPERITY!”

WELCOME

TODAY WE ARE BLESSED WITH A WONDERFUL GIFT FROM GOD, THE BIBLE. THIS BOOK IS GOD'S LIVING WORD. IN ITS PAGES WE ARE TOLD “FOR THE WORD OF GOD IS LIVING AND POWERFUL AND SHARPER THAN ANY TWO-EDGED SWORD.” IT IS IN THIS BOOK OF BOOKS THAT WE FIND THE ANSWERS TO ALL OF MAN'S QUESTIONS AND NEEDS. THIS MORNING YOUR AREA CHURCHES OF CHRIST WELCOME YOU TO A PROGRAM COMMITTED TO THAT PERFECT LAW OF LIBERTY. AS WE PRESENT THE LIVING WORD. NOW HERE IS YOUR HOST RAY SULLINS.

HERE WE ARE TOGETHER AGAIN ON ANOTHER FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK - OUR LORD’S DAY! I AM SO GLAD YOU HAVE DECIDED TO JOIN US TODAY FOR ANOTHER TIME OF SERVICE TO OUR GOD. HOW BLESSED WE ARE THIS MORNING TO AGAIN COME BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD AND PARTICIPATE IN ACTS OF WORSHIP WHICH LAUD AND MAGNIFY HIS GREAT AND HOLY NAME. MY HOPE AND PRAYER IS THAT WE WILL EACH DO OUR PART TO MAKE THIS TIME ACCEPTABLE IN HIS SIGHT AND ACCORDING TO HIS WONDROUS AND PRECIOUS WILL. SO AS WE BEGIN THIS MORNING, LET’S START BY TALKING TO OUR CREATOR IN PRAYER, WILL YOU BOW WITH ME!

PRAYER: OUR GOD AND FATHER IN HEAVEN, WE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS DAY AND EVERY DAY OF LIFE. WE THANK YOU FOR ALL BLESSINGS OF LIFE INCLUDING THOSE THINGS OF A PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL NATURE. FOR FATHER, WE KNOW THAT ALL THINGS COME FROM YOU AND ARE ONLY BECAUSE OF YOUR GOODNESS AND YOUR GREATNESS. FATHER, WE THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY THAT WE HAVE TO KNOW YOUR WORD AND TO OBEY, TO BE FOUND PLEASING IN YOUR SIGHT THAT WE MIGHT BE RECIPIENTS OF YOUR GRACIOUS BLESSINGS AND REWARDS TODAY AND ETERNALLY. WITH THESE THINGS IN MIND FATHER, WE ARE THANKFUL FOR ALL THAT YOU DO AND WE THANK YOU FOR THAT OPPORTUNITY OF ETERNAL LIFE. IN JESUS NAME WE PRAY, AMEN.

OUR FIRST SONG OF THE MORNING HELPS US REMEMBER THAT AS LONG AS WE HAVE JESUS ON OUR SIDE WE ARE NEVER ALONE. WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT OUR GOD IS A TRUE FRIEND. SO WON’T YOU JOIN IN WITH THE CONGREGATION AT THIS TIME AS WE SING TOGETHER, “THERE’S NOT A FRIEND LIKE THE LOWLY JESUS!”

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHTS

EVERY TIME I READ THE BIBLE I AM ALWAYS REMINDED OF THE POWERFUL GOD WE SERVE. RECENTLY I READ FROM JEREMIAH 5:22, AND IT SEEMS THAT JEREMIAH KNEW THE POWER OF OUR GOD. THERE WE READ, “DO YOU NOT FEAR ME?' SAYS THE LORD. 'WILL YOU NOT TREMBLE AT MY PRESENCE, WHO HAVE PLACED THE SAND AS THE BOUND OF THE SEA, BY A PERPETUAL DECREE, THAT IT CANNOT PASS BEYOND IT? AND THOUGH ITS WAVES TOSS TO AND FRO, YET THEY CANNOT PREVAIL; THOUGH THEY ROAR, YET THEY CANNOT PASS OVER IT.” WOW, WHAT A GREAT REMINDER OF JUST HOW MIGHTY OUR GOD IS. EVERYTHING THAT WE SEE, KNOW AND EXPERIENCE IS BECAUSE OF HIS WONDER AND GREATNESS FOR HE IS THE CREATOR AND GIVER OF ALL.

LET’S NOTICE A FEW THINGS ABOUT THE TEXT WE JUST READ. FIRST GOD DOES NOT WANT US BE AFRAID OF HIM, SO THAT WE ARE UNABLE TO FOLLOW AND OBEY HIM. THIS WOULD BE AN UNCONTROLLABLE FEAR OR TERROR AT THE THOUGHT OF GOD. HOWEVER, THEN THE VERSE TURNS AROUND AND SAYS WE WILL TREMBLE AT THE THOUGHT OF HIS POWER AND GREATNESS. THIS FEAR IS OUT OF RESPECT, HONOR AND REVERENCE TO SUCH AN AWESOME GOD. HOW COULD WE HELP BUT TREMBLE AT THE KNOWLEDGE OF HIS POWER, MIGHT AND GLORY?

FINALLY, LET’S CONSIDER WHAT THIS VERSE SAYS GOD CAN DO? IN A WORD - ANYTHING! BUT LET ME GO A STEP FURTHER, NOT ONLY CAN OUR GOD DO ANYTHING, OUR MAGNIFICENT GOD HAS DONE AND CAN DO EVERYTHING HE DESIRES ACCORDING TO HIS WILL

SO WHAT ABOUT US, ARE WE HUMBLED IN THE PRESENCE OF SUCH A WONDROUS GOD? HAVE WE HUMBLED OURSELVES TO THE POINT OF OBEDIENCE TO HIS WILL? IF NOT, CHOSE TODAY TO SUBMIT TO THE CREATOR BY DOING WHAT HE HAS COMMANDED ACCORDING TO HIS WORD!

IN JUST A FEW MINUTES IT WILL BE TIME TO BEGIN OUR MAIN STUDY OF THE DAY. AS FAR AS OUR LESSON OF THE MORNING, TODAY WE WILL BE CONTINUING TO TALK ABOUT OUR SERIES ENTITLED, “THE GREAT DAY OF THE LORD IS NEAR…!” THE SPECIFIC TALK OF THE DAY WILL DEAL WITH, “THE DAYS OF PROSPERITY!” SO PLEASE STAY WITH US AND AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME I WILL BE LEADING US IN THE LESSON THOUGHTS OF THE MORNING. NOW LET’S JOIN TOGETHER IN OUR SECOND SONG OF THE DAY. THE NAME OF THIS HYMN, “TO GOD BE THE GLORY.”

LESSON

BY RAY SULLINS

THIS MORNING WE BEGAN IN ECCLESIASTES 7:14. THE BIBLE SAYS, “IN THE DAY OF PROSPERITY BE JOYFUL.” WE BEGIN THERE TODAY BECAUSE THAT IS WHERE OUR THOUGHTS WILL CONTINUE THROUGHOUT OUR MAIN LESSON AS WE CONSIDER AGAIN THE GREAT DAYS WHICH GOD HAS GIVEN US. AND WE HAVE LOOKED AT TOGETHER MANY DIFFERENT IDEAS OF THOSE DAYS THAT ARE SIGNIFICANT IN RELATIONSHIP TO NOT ONLY WHAT IT IS THAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US, AND WHAT WILL BE IN RELATIONSHIP TO THE FINAL THINGS OF LIFE. BUT ALSO THOSE DAYS THAT ARE SIGNIFICANT FOR US AS CHRISTIANS; THAT WE ARE TO BE LIVING FAITHFULLY AND SEEN BY GOD AS ACTING IN SUCH WAYS THAT ARE ACCORDING TO HIS WILL. WELL TODAY WE WANT TO REALLY LOOK AT THE OUTCOME OF WHAT THESE IDEAS PRESENT - SUCH AS BEING ABLE TO BE THOSE WHO WORSHIP GOD ON THE PROPER DAY OF THE LORD, AND TO BE ABLE TO (AGAIN) CARRY OUT THE THINGS THAT GOD ASKS IN RELATIONSHIP TO EACH OF OUR DIFFERENT MAYBE BIBLICAL IDEOLOGIES OR CONCEPTS THAT ARE FOUND STRAIGHT FROM THE SCRIPTURE.

BUT NOW WHAT I WANT YOU TO NOTICE IS WHAT HE SAYS HERE AGAIN IN THIS VERSE. HE SAYS CLEARLY THAT THE DAY OF PROSPERITY IS SOMETHING THAT BRINGS GREAT JOY. YOU KNOW, YOU CAN'T HELP BUT KNOW GOD AND OBEY HIS WILL AND HAVE A CLEAR IDEA OF WHAT IT IS THAT GOD'S BLESSINGS ARE. YOU KNOW, WE ARE BLESSED RICHLY AS THOSE WHO LOVE GOD, AS THOSE WHO ARE CHILDREN OF GOD OBEDIENT TO HIS WILL. AND THEREFORE WE KNOW WHAT PROSPERITY IS ALL ABOUT AND THE FACT THAT GOD DOES PROVIDE FOR US ALL THAT WE HAVE NEED OF. AND IN FACT AS WE WELL KNOW, PERHAPS MANY TIMES THOSE THINGS THAT WE REALLY DON'T HAVE NEED OF - MANY OF THOSE WANTS OR EVEN THOSE THINGS THAT ARE JUST SIMPLY A DESIRE THAT WE HAVE A WANT OF. BUT AS WE LOOK HERE HE SAYS NOT ONLY IS THERE HAPPINESS AND PROSPERITY BUT THEN HE GIVES THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COIN. HE SAYS BUT IN THE DAY OF ADVERSITY, HE SAYS CONSIDER YOUR NEED TO KNOW THAT THERE IS A GOD. YOU SEE, THERE WILL BE GOOD DAYS - THE DAYS OF PROSPERITY WILL COME. BUT ALSO THE DAYS OF ADVERSITY OR TRIAL WILL AS WELL COME. HE GOES ON TO SAY THAT, “SURELY GOD HAS APPOINTED ONE AS WELL AS THE OTHER.” GOD HAS GIVEN THOSE GOOD DAYS BUT GOD HAS ALSO APPOINTED THOSE DAYS OF DIFFICULTY AND TRIAL.

BUT NO MATTER WHAT HE SAYS, REMEMBER GOD AND KNOW THAT MAN CAN DO NOTHING TO YOU WHEN GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE. NOT ONLY IS IT HERE TO THE GREAT WISE MAN SOLOMON THAT THESE THINGS ARE DECLARED BUT WE MIGHT ALSO TURN BACK TO THE BOOK OF JOB. AND THERE IN THE BOOK OF JOB 36 NOTICE WITH ME WHAT IT IS THAT GOD SPEAKS OF IN RELATIONSHIP TO THIS RIGHTEOUS MAN, THAT CERTAINLY WAS A FOLLOWER, AND A TRUE PROCLAIMER, AND OBEDIENT TO HIS WILL. A MAN WHO WAS VERY WEALTHY AND PROSPEROUS. IN FACT, IF WE WERE TO START IN JOB CHAPTER 1 WE KNOW THAT JOB HAD PLENTY OF THIS EARTH'S GOODS. IN FACT, HE WAS VERY WEALTHY - VERY RICH - IN THE PERSPECTIVE OF EVEN THE WORLD OF HIS DAY. AND THEN WE CAN GO TO THE VERY END OF THE BOOK AND WE AGAIN SEE THAT GOD, AFTER HE (JOB) PROVES HIS FAITHFULNESS, BLESSES HIM WITH EVEN MORE THAN HE HAD BEFORE. YOU SEE, JOB WAS A MAN WHO KNEW THE BLESSINGS OF GOD, THE WEALTH OF THIS WORLD, AND HOW THAT THOSE WHO PROVE THEMSELVES TO BE GOOD STEWARDS GOD BLESSES BECAUSE THEY'VE SHOWN THEMSELVES TO BE WORTHY OF SUCH AND THEY'VE ALSO SHOWN THEY'LL DO WHAT IS RIGHT WHEN THEY HAVE EVEN MORE FROM THEIR GOD.

NOW NOTICE WITH ME WHAT HE SAYS IN CHAPTER 36 OF JOB. WE WANT TO READ SPECIFICALLY VERSE 11. IT SAYS THERE, “IF THEY OBEY AND SERVE HIM, THEY SHALL SPEND THEIR DAYS IN PROSPERITY, AND THEIR YEARS IN PLEASURE.” THERE IT IS AGAIN - THE DAYS OF PROSPERITY, THE DAYS OF PLEASURE. BUT WHAT I WANT YOU TO BEGIN TO NOTICE WITH ME HERE IS THAT IT IS WITHIN THOSE DAYS OF PROSPERITY AND PLEASURE THAT WE'RE AS WELL REMINDED OF THOSE WHO RECEIVE SUCH FROM GOD. WHAT DID HE PREFACE THAT WITH? HE SAYS THOSE WHO OBEY. THOSE WHO SERVE. YOU MIGHT SAY, I'VE NOT NOTICED A LOT OF BLESSINGS IN MY LIFE FROM GOD. I'VE NOT NOTICED A LOT OF ASSISTANCE OR HELP, WHETHER IT BE IN GOOD TIMES OR IN DIFFICULT TIMES. WELL, WHAT I WOULD SUGGEST IS FROM SCRIPTURES. WHAT YOU LEARN HERE IS THAT PERHAPS YOU ARE NOT ONE WHO IS OBEDIENT TO GOD. YOU'RE NOT ONE WHO IS TRULY SERVING GOD. HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED THAT? THAT PERHAPS THE PROBLEM IS WITH YOU AND NOT GOD? BECAUSE GOD BLESSES THE RIGHTEOUS. GOD BLESSES THE FAITHFUL. GOD IS PROSPERITY TO THEM AND ALTHOUGH THE GOOD DAYS AND BAD DAYS WILL COME, JUST WHAT WILL HAPPEN FOR THOSE WHO LOVE GOD? THEY'LL NEVER BE ALONE. GOD IS ALWAYS WITH THEM, GOD IS ALWAYS HELPING THEM.

LET'S MOVE OVER TO THE NEW TESTAMENT FOR A FEW MOMENTS THERE NEAR THE END OF THE NEW TESTAMENT IN THE BOOK OF FIRST PETER. IT'S SIGNIFICANT WHAT PETER HERE DEALS WITH IN PERHAPS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THOUGHTS IN CHAPTER 3 OF 1 PETER THAT HE DEALS WITH IN RELATIONSHIP TO THE LIFE THAT A CHRISTIAN LIVES. AND WHAT REALLY IS BEFORE US - WHETHER WE'RE TALKING ABOUT BEING THOSE WHO LIVE IN THE CHRISTIAN AGE - OR AS WE SEE EVEN IN THAT TEXT THOSE WHO LIVED IN THE DAYS OF DAVID. BECAUSE WHAT WE READ HERE IN CHAPTER 3 OF 1 PETER IS ACTUALLY A QUOTE TAKEN FROM GUESS WHAT? THE PSALMIST THERE AMONGST THE PSALMS AND IT'S PSALM 34. BUT NOTICE WHAT HE BEGINS TO SAY IN VERSE 10 OF 1 PETER 3. HE SAYS, “HE WHO WOULD LOVE LIFE AND SEE GOOD DAYS.” WELL, THERE YOU HAVE IT. THE ONE WHO REALLY LOVES LIFE AND CERTAINLY WE'VE BEEN GIVEN LIFE. AND THINK ABOUT ALL THE REASONS THAT YOU LOVE LIFE AND ALL THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT YOU HAVE THAT YOU LOVE LIFE ABOUT AND ALL THE EXCITING FUN THINGS OF LIFE THAT YOU ENJOY AND ALL THE PEOPLE WHO DO GOOD THINGS TO YOU AND WHO CARE FOR YOU AND LOVE YOU. AGAIN, SO MANY REASONS THAT IT MIGHT BE THAT WE - IT SAYS HERE - LOVE LIFE.

BUT ALSO WHAT ABOUT THE GOOD DAYS. WE SEE HOW MANY GOOD DAYS? SO MANY GOOD DAYS AS THOSE WHO ARE BLESSED BY GOD. WELL, WHAT IS THE ULTIMATE LESSON THAT HE IS TRYING TO PRESENT HERE? WHAT HE'S TRYING TO SAY IS THAT THOSE WHO ARE REAL LOVERS OF LIFE ARE REALLY THOSE WHO KNOW GOD. AND THOSE WHO REALLY SEE THE GOOD DAYS ARE THOSE WHO AGAIN LOVE GOD. NOW THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT THERE AREN'T GOING TO BE AGAIN THE DIFFICULT DAYS, THE DAYS OF ADVERSITY OR TRIAL. BUT THE REASON THAT WE LOVE LIFE IS BECAUSE IT IS SUCH A BLESSING FROM GOD. THE REASON THAT WE LOVE LIFE IS BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT WE ARE NEVER ALONE WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE.

YOU SEE, THERE ARE SO MANY REASONS THAT WE ARE THOSE WHO LOVE LIFE AND WHO SEE GOOD DAYS. BUT THEN THERE IS ALSO A CHALLENGE FOR THOSE WHO LOVE LIFE AND SEE GOOD DAYS. AND WE WON'T TAKE A LOT OF TIME TO REALLY CONSIDER IT BUT I WANT YOU TO NOTICE THAT HE GOES ON TO SAY IS THAT ONE WHO REALLY LOVES LIFE AND WHO SEES THE GOOD DAYS, HE'S ONE WHO IS GOING TO CONTROL HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL, OR IN OTHER WORDS, HE'S NOT GOING TO SAY THINGS THAT ARE UNRIGHTEOUS OR NOT ACCORDING TO GOD. WHY? BECAUSE WHEN WE DO THAT WHICH IS UNRIGHTEOUS OR AGAINST GOD'S WILL, ARE WE GOING TO RECEIVE THAT PROSPERITY? ARE WE GOING TO RECEIVE THOSE BLESSINGS? WELL OBVIOUSLY THE ANSWER IS NO. HE ALSO SAYS HERE THE ONE ALSO NOT ONLY REFRAINS HIS TONGUE FROM EVIL BUT HIS LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT. HE THEN SAYS AND HE'S GOING TO TURN AWAY FROM EVERYTHING THAT IS EVIL IN ORDER TO DO WHAT? GOOD. AND THEN HE'S GOING TO ALSO (VERSE 11) SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT. YOU KNOW THE REALITY IS - THE ONE WHO SEEKS OUT GOD'S WILL AND OBEYS IT, WHO TRIES TO HAVE THE CHARACTER AND TO SPEAK THE THINGS AND TO DO THE THINGS THAT BRING GLORY TO GOD, THOSE ARE THE ONES WHO ARE PROSPEROUS BECAUSE OF GOD'S LOVE, THEREFORE THE LOVERS OF LIFE AND THOSE WHO SEE GOOD DAYS.

BUT NOW I WANT YOU TO ALSO NOTICE WHAT VERSE 12 THERE SAYS BECAUSE HE SAYS, “FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE ON THE RIGHTEOUS, AND HIS EARS ARE OPEN TO THEIR PRAYERS, BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL.” HE SEES WHAT WE DO, WHETHER IT'S GOOD OR EVIL. WHAT DOES THAT TELL US ABOUT GOD? GOD KNOWS EVERYTHING. GOD IS EVERYWHERE. GOD HEARS ALL THINGS NO MATTER WHERE WE SAY THEM, OR TO WHOM, OR NO MATTER WHO IS AROUND - GOD HEARS. YOU SEE, GOD IS AN ALL-KNOWING AND AND ALL-HEARING GOD. A GOD WHO IS AWARE OF NOT JUST WHO WE ARE ON THE OUTSIDE BUT HE'S AWARE OF OUR HEARTS. HE CAN SEE OUR HEARTS AND KNOWS WHAT WE FEEL IN OUR THOUGHTS AND THEREFORE, GOD CAN KNOW CLEAR AND WELL IF WE'RE DESERVING OF THE RIGHTEOUS BLESSINGS THAT ARE GIVEN TO THE FAITHFUL.

IF WE ARE DESERVING OF A LIFE THAT CERTAINLY SHOWS FORTH THAT WE ARE PROSPEROUS LIKE THOSE OF THE DAYS OF JOB. LIKE THE ISRAELITES - HOW GOD PROSPERED THEM WITH A LAND FLOWING WITH MILK AND HONEY. WE DON'T ONLY HAVE TO THINK ABOUT THE PATRIARCHS AND THE EARLY DAYS OF ISRAEL. BUT WHAT ABOUT DURING THE DAYS OF THE KINGS AND THE WEALTH? THE FAME OF GREAT KINGS LIKE SOLOMON NOT TO MENTION EVEN THE THINGS THAT HIS FATHER DAVID HAD. YOU SEE AGAIN THE PROSPERITY OF THE FAITHFUL? AND IT'S NOT CAUSE FAITHFUL ARE FOLLOWING GOD TO BE PROSPEROUS. IT'S BECAUSE THE FAITHFUL LOVE GOD FIRST AND FOREMOST THEREFORE, THEY WILL PROSPER, THEY WILL BE BLESSED, AND WHEN THEY ARE BLESSED WHAT WILL A FAITHFUL PERSON WANT TO DO? GIVE EVEN MORE TO GOD. SERVE THEIR GOD, EVEN WITH GREATER FOCUS.

NOW I WANT TO APPLY THESE IDEAS IN RELATIONSHIP TO SPECIFICALLY HOW WE PROSPER. AND THERE ARE TWO AREAS OR REALMS THAT I WOULD LIKE TO FOCUS ON ALTHOUGH THERE MIGHT BE MANY THAT WE COULD LOOK AT THIS DAY. THE FIRST BEING THAT OF THE SPIRITUAL REALM. AND I'LL ASK YOU TO GO WITH ME TO SOMETHING THAT PAUL TOLD THE EPHESIAN CHURCH IN EPHESIANS CHAPTER 1. I WANT YOU TO NOTICE WHAT KIND OF BLESSINGS THAT WE HAVE FROM GOD THAT ARE MENTIONED HERE. HE FIRST MENTIONS THE IDEA THAT GOD BE BLESSED. BUT THEN HE SAYS THAT WE ALSO ARE THOSE WHO ARE BLESSED BY GOD - HERE IT IS - WITH EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES IN CHRIST. NOW, WHAT DOES IT SAY HERE THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US? SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS. BUT NOT JUST SOME SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS. IT SAYS EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING. OUR GOD HAS GIVEN US EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING, NO MATTER WHERE WE ARE AND THAT'S WHY I LIKE THERE THE IDEA AS IS PRESENTED IN A HEAVENLY REALM OR IN HEAVENLY PLACES. WHAT DOES THAT SAY TO ME? WELL, IT SAYS THAT WHETHER I'M AT HOME, WHETHER I'M AT WORK, WHETHER I'M ON VACATION, WHETHER I'M TRAVELING ALL AROUND THE WORLD, WHETHER I WERE TO GO OUT INTO SPACE, GUESS WHAT? GOD'S SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THOSE WHO SEEK AND DESIRE TO KNOW HIS WILL AND OBEY IT. YOU SEE, GOD'S GOING TO BLESS, AND BLESS, AND BLESS. WHY? BECAUSE HE LOVES US. AND SO I THINK IT'S OBVIOUS THAT GOD HAS PROVIDED US EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING AND THAT BEGAN IN HIS LOVE FOR US; TO CREATE US, TO AGAIN REVEAL HIS WILL TO US IN HIS WORD, AND THEN TO ACCOMPLISH HIS WILL ACCORDING TO HIS ETERNAL PURPOSE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST HIS SON - WHO CAME AND DIED FOR OUR SAKES AND SHED HIS BLOOD THAT WE MIGHT HAVE HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE.

BUT NOT ONLY THESE SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS BUT PHYSICAL BLESSINGS. LET'S FACE IT, WE CAN GO TO MANY PASSAGES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT BUT ONE THAT ALWAYS JUMPS OUT TO ME IS MATTHEW CHAPTER 6 THERE IN THE GREAT SERMON ON THE MOUNT. WHERE HE TALKS ABOUT HOW THAT CERTAINLY GOD BLESSES THAT WHICH IS HIS CREATION, INCLUDING THE LILIES OF THE FIELD, INCLUDING THE BIRDS OF THE AIR....BUT THEN HE GOES ON TO SPEAK ABOUT THE IDEA THAT IF GOD SO CARES FOR HIS PHYSICAL CREATION THAT DOES NOT HAVE A SOUL OR DOES NOT HAVE THE HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE, HOW MUCH MORE DOES HE CARE FOR US? HOW MUCH MORE AS A FATHER DOES HE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE A PLACE TO LAY OUR HEAD. THAT WE HAVE FOOD TO PUT INTO OUR STOMACH. THAT WE HAVE CLOTHING TO WEAR. WOULDN'T AN EARTHLY FATHER EVEN CARE FOR SUCH THINGS FOR HIS OWN FAMILY? WOULDN'T AN EARTHLY FATHER MAKE SACRIFICES FOR HIS FAMILY OF THE EARTH THAT THEY WOULD HAVE ALL THAT THEY NEED? AND SOMETIMES EVEN MORE? CERTAINLY. WELL, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT GOD. HOW MUCH MORE WOULD GOD - AN ALL-POWERFUL CREATOR OF ALL THINGS - WANT US TO HAVE THOSE THINGS THAT WE HAVE NEED OF? WELL, CERTAINLY OUR FATHER - OUR GOD, IS A GOD WHO WANTS US TO HAVE SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS, TO PROVIDE FOR US ALL THAT WE HAVE NEED OF, THAT WE AGAIN MIGHT BE HIS CHILDREN AND THOSE CHILDREN WHO ARE ABLE TO DO HIS WILL BECAUSE WE DO HAVE WHAT WE NEED AND WE'RE NOT HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT REALLY WHETHER WE'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO EAT OR WHETHER WE'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO SLEEP OR HAVE A PLACE TO LAY OUR HEAD.

I THINK ABOUT THERE IN 2 CORINTHIANS CHAPTER 9 RIGHT AFTER WE ARE CHALLENGED THERE IN THAT TEXT TO BE THOSE WHO ARE GOOD GIVERS AND WHO GIVE ACCORDING TO HOW WE DESIRE TO PROSPER FROM GOD. AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THIS MORNING. NOTICE WHAT HE SAYS IN VERSE 8. HE SAYS, “AND GOD WHO IS ABLE TO MAKE ALL GRACE ABOUND TO YOU,” NOT SOME, BUT ALL GRACE ABOUND TO YOU – “THAT YOU ALWAYS IN ALL THINGS HAVING ALL SUFFICIENCY MAY HAVE AN ABUNDANCE FOR EVERY GOOD WORK.” WHAT'S GOD GOING TO BLESS YOU IN? WELL NOT JUST THE SPIRITUAL THINGS BUT WHATEVER IS NEEDED EVEN OF THIS LIFE TO BE ABLE TO DO WHAT? WHATEVER IT TAKES. WHATEVER IT TAKES. AND THERE IN THE SAME TEXT IN VERSE 10 HE GOES ON TO TALK ABOUT THE GOD WHO SUPPLIES EVEN THE SEED FOR THE SOWER AND WHATEVER THE RIGHTEOUS HAVE NEED OF.

ARE YOU RIGHTEOUS? IF YOU'RE A RIGHTEOUS CHILD OF GOD, IF YOU'RE A SERVANT OF GOD WHO IS STRIVING TO DO WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS TO PROVE YOUR LOVE TO HIM BY YOUR OBEDIENCE TO HIS COMMANDS, YOU WILL PROSPER. IT'S NOT THAT YOU MIGHT PROSPER. YOU WILL PROSPER AND GOD HAS PREPARED AND WILL GIVE YOU ALL SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS AND GOD WILL GIVE YOU ALL PHYSICAL BLESSINGS THAT YOU HAVE NEED OF. NOW, MAYBE NOT ALWAYS THOSE WANTS AND THOSE DESIRES, MAYBE NOT THOSE THINGS THAT WE REALLY DON'T NEED OR THOSE THINGS THAT WE THINK WE NEED OR WANT BUT REALLY AREN'T WHAT WE WANT BECAUSE WE CAN'T SEE THE BIG PICTURE. BUT GOD IS A GOD WHO LOVES US AND GOD IS A GOD WHO WANTS US AS HIS CHILDREN TO PROSPER. WHY NOT BE FAITHFUL TO GOD, THAT YOU MIGHT PROSPER TODAY AND HAVE THOSE THINGS THAT YOU NEED, BUT ULTIMATELY THAT YOU MIGHT PROSPER IN ALL THINGS AND RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE WHERE A MANSION HAS BEEN PREPARED FOR YOU.

CLOSING COMMENTS

MAY I AGAIN TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO THANK YOU FOR JOINING US TODAY. I HOPE OUR TIME TOGETHER HAS BEEN AN ENCOURAGEMENT AND THUS A BLESSING TO US ALL. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE INVITED BACK TO JOIN US EVERY FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, AT 7:30, AS WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO THIS TIME OF WORSHIP BEFORE GOD!

BUT FOR NOW, LET ME ASK IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT TODAY’S LESSON? MAYBE, YOU WOULD LIKE A FREE TRANSCRIPT OR A CASSETTE TAPE OF THIS PROGRAM? POSSIBLY, WE COULD ASSIST YOU WITH FREE BIBLE MATERIALS OR CORRESPONDENCE COURSES? NO MATTER WHAT YOUR NEED IS, PLEASE CONTACT US AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

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THANKS BE TO GOD THAT WE ARE SO BLESSED AS HIS CHILDREN. WE CERTAINLY HAVE A LOT TO BE THANKFUL FOR AS WE ARE SHOWERED WITH THE CONTINUOUS BLESSING OF GOD. OH, HOW LOVED WE ARE BY OUR CREATOR!