Spiritual Prosperity - Part 2
Spiritual Prosperity – Part 2
By Tom Moore
A. As far as I can recall, I’ve never heard of anyone going in to the boss and asking, “I really need a pay cut. Can you decrease my wages?”
1. Instead, most people recognize that their personal prosperity is a good thing, when used properly.
2. 3 John 2
B. But how does your soul prosper?
1. Is it the same as physical prosperity?
a. Are there spiritual coins to be placed in a spiritual pocket?
b. Do we trade in a spiritual marketplace and stockpile righteousness like money in the bank?
2. Not exactly. You can’t count spiritual assets like so many nickels and dimes in the palm of your hand.
a. And they aren’t transferable … I can’t beg, borrow, or steal your spiritual assets and put them in my heavenly bank account.
b. Note what Jesus said, Matthew 6:19-20
c. “Lay up for yourselves…” — Yes, spiritual prosperity requires personal spiritual accounting, and when realized it is 100% secure.
C. But there are some similarities between physical prosperity and spiritual prosperity.
1. In the physical world, good and moral prosperity is the result of certain disciplines practiced consistently and according to economic laws established by God.
2. Likewise, spiritual prosperity is also the result of consistently molding your life to match divinely ordained laws.
D. So if you were making a list, what would you say would be the most important ideas that promote spiritual prosperity?
1. Many might come up with different ideas about that.
2. Let me suggest to you 8 key concepts — 8 stepping stones — that will help lead you to spiritual prosperity.
E. COMPASSION FOR OTHERS
1. Have you ever known someone who seems to be spiritually knowledgeable? I mean, they can quote verse after verse from the Bible (or at least cite lots of references), but then they demonstrate very little tolerance or compassion for others especially those who are just starting on the path toward spiritual maturity.
2. Compassion for others is the next step. Don’t skip it.
a. Mercy and heartfelt compassion for others is essential to getting beyond the basics.
b. Because love demonstrated constantly reminds us of where we were and where we are spiritually.
3. Fostering compassion for others helps us to not think of ourselves more highly than we ought.
a. Romans 12:3
b. 1 John 3:17
c. A sense of compassion for others helps us to go back and relive step 1 (accurate thinking), but on a more active level.
d. Why do some folks hold grudges? Why do some constantly jockey for position seeking the chief seats?
e. Such behaviors only demonstrate that a person is bogged down and stuck in a spiritual ditch rather than truly maturing in Christian virtue.
4. Here’s a self-check quiz: Do you actively think to yourself, “How can I demonstrate compassion to ______,” and think those thoughts about every person you meet?
a. It’s not easy, quite frankly, for some people are not so lovable.
b. But if we put our personal agendas aside and learn to really show compassion, not just with lip service but in action, then we are well on our way to getting the next step in focus.
F. ELIMINATE THE DROSS
1. So how do we become a more compassionate people?
a. Like a refiner of gold, we must get rid of the dross — the worthless impurities that devalue the treasure.
b. Eliminating ALL other motives other than serving God and helping others is the key to this step.
2. But words are cheap. It’s much easier to say, “I love God,” than it is to PROVE it by demonstration.
a. In fact, the person who truly masters this step has little need to TELL anyone how much they love God — for it is easily seen
b. So here’s a tip. Behavior proves your motives. In other words as the old saying goes actions speak louder than words.
c. Matthew 7:21
d. Luke 6:46
3. In other words, the fruit that you bear is evidence of what kind of tree you are…
G. HELP TRANSFORM OTHER PEOPLE … EVEN YOUR ENEMIES.
1. If you have followed all these steps thus far accurate thinking with self-analysis, emotional focus, self-discipline, getting addicted to God’s word, compassion for others, purifying your motives…
a. When you understand and put these steps into action, then you will be prepared to be transformed into something different.
b. And most importantly, you will be ready to deal with the most difficult people in your life on a whole new level.
c. Romans 12:1-2
2. Imagine turning the biggest pain in your neck, the person in your life who causes you the greatest amount of grief, into a personal friend and spiritual partner.
3. You may be thinking: “Tom, have you been talking to fairies in the woods?”
a. “If you knew Mr. _______, you would know my pain.
b. What you are talking about is mission impossible.”
4. The fact is that you will never know if your enemy could become a friend unless you TRY with your best effort to become what Christ called a “peace-MAKER.”
a. Matthew 5:9
b. When you have the righteous confidence that only comes with spiritual maturity and compassion for others,
c. When you realize that you cannot lose by making peace rather than engaging in mortal combat with others — peace is possible
5. We are not talking about compromising truth for peace.
a. Proverbs 23:23
b. We are talking about working for peace and harmony with your enemies — those who would do you harm — using God’s word as our guide
6. And now you are ready to move to the final step…
H. TOTAL, ABSOLUTE, UNCONDITIONAL COMMITMENT
1. This last step is so simple and so obvious to explain but not so easy to do. That part will be up to you.
2. When President Truman was negotiating the terms of surrender in World War II, these were his conditions: There were NO conditions. The only thing he would accept is complete and total unconditional surrender.
3. In the spiritual journey we’ve been discussing, we are the enemy. Christ is the victor. He is inviting us to join Him as friend and brother.
a. But here are His terms: Total and unconditional surrender. Total commitment to Him no matter what the cost… Mark 12:30
b. And there is a cost. You may be abused by enemies who will never soften despite your best efforts at peacemaking — it may cost you relationships with family — it may cost you a job
c. Matthew 10:34-39
d. Spiritual maturity WILL cost you something so here is the key…
4. Are you willing to sacrifice something NOW for something better LATER?
a. Jesus put it like this… Luke 9:62
b. To really develop spiritually, you’ve got to be 100% committed to making spiritual progress — NO MATTER WHAT.
5. Those are the 8 Steps that lead to spiritual prosperity.
a. Embrace Accurate Thinking
b. Be Emotionally Motivated
c. Exercise Self-control
d. Get Addicted to Righteousness
e. Practice and Demonstrate Compassion
f. Eliminate Impure Motives
g. Seek peace
h. Be Totally Committed
A. These 8 steps that lead toward spiritual prosperity are not merely steps they ARE spiritual prosperity.
B. In this case the journey really is the reward.
1. When you successfully incorporate these principles, ALL of them in your life, you will be a spiritually prosperous person — something to think about.
2. And ultimately these attitudes will lead you to the ultimate spiritual reward in heaven with your God.
C. Finally, I didn’t make up these steps. They are not my own creation. So I don’t take credit for some kind of super spiritual insight. I have merely brought these ideas to you as something that can really help you like they have helped me.
D. Where did I get these ideas? Read Matthew 5:3-13
*This sermon was developed from an article written by Jason Jackson