Wednesday, July 29 2015
Contributor: Akin Akande
Thriving in the midst of famine was the subject that we treated last week. We saw that God does not just want us to survive during famine but to prosper, succeed and grow vigorously. This was the experience of Isaac and since we are also part of Abrahamic covenant we can enjoy the same privilege. Additionally, we must pay attention to the steps that Isaac took for him to thrive during famine. He obeyed God, sowed seeds, paid tithes and walked by faith. We also need to do same to enjoy such privilege.
This week, we will continue in the same spirit by looking at The Blessing, the basis for our access to The Blessing and what our relationship should be towards money. May the Lord open our eyes to this aspect of the redemptive package in Jesus’ name (Amen).
Review of the Blessing
The Blessing is loaded in the very first words heard by a human ear, setting the course and precedent for God’s perfect will for man. Essentially, man was empowered by The Blessing in order to: Be fruitful; multiply; replenish the earth; subdue the earth; Have dominion over the earth.
The Garden of Eden was a perfect demonstration of God’s plan for this planet. It was a prototype of what He wanted the planet to look like. Adam’s job was to exercise his God-given authority and expand that Garden until it encompassed the entire earth. That was what The Blessing was for.
It provided Adam with the power to carry on the work God began at Creation. It equipped him with the divine resources he needed to follow God’s example. He was to transform the uncultivated parts of this planet into a veritable Garden of Eden by speaking faith-filled words. The Blessing empowered Adam to be
The Blessing wherever he went. The Garden of Eden was literally inside Adam.
Adam lost The Blessing at the Fall. The last Adam in the person of Jesus Christ came to restore The Blessing that was lost. Jesus Christ is The Blessing! He is alive in us. We have been redeemed from the curse and now walk in The Blessing of Abraham.
Galatians 3:13-14 – Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that The Blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
Therefore, we have been redeemed from the curse to walk in The Blessing
To Redeem means to buy back, to buy out, and to clear by payment. To free a person from captivity by paying a ransom. We have been freed from the curse of poverty (Lack, Deficiency, Not enough, Shortage). Proverbs 10:22: “The Blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it.”
Fullness means the state of being filled to capacity; To fill to the top so that nothing is wanting; to fill to the brim so that nothing is lacking; overabundance, excessive amount, superabundance.
Components of The Blessing and walking in it
Useful ingredients to walking in The Blessing include faith – Gal. 3:14, careful observance to all of God’s commandment and diligent obedience to His voice – Deut. 28:1
The Components: Deut. 28:2 – 14 (Read it!)
God’s Blessings on Israel
• Cities and farms will be successful (28:3)
• They will produce many children (28:4)
• They will harvest large crops (28:4)
• Their livestock will have many young (28:4)
• They will have plenty to eat (28:5)
• Their daily work will succeed (28:6)
• They will be able to defeat their enemies (28:10)
• They will be God’s own special people (28:10)
• Rain will come at the right times (28:12)
• They will have plenty of money to lend to others (28:12)
• Their nation will be a leader among nations (28:13)
• Their nation will be wealthy and powerful (28:13)
Money is a component of The Blessing and so what should be our relationship with money?
Our Relationship to Money
The Role of Money in Our Lives: Money issues can be a source of stress and pressure in that they control lives, attitudes and emotions. Some are slaves to money i.e. driven to make it and keep it. As believers, we must straighten out our relationship with money.
Matthew 6:24-33—Settle This: I Serve God. Money Serves Me. Seed was designed by God to serve us (Genesis 1:29). Seed is also for the service of man (Psalm 104:14).
How, then, should we conduct ourselves with money? 1 Timothy 6:10, 17-19
The love of money is the root of all evil (vs 10), hence, we must not love money – we love God. Also we must not trust money (vs 17) – we trust God. In addition, we are to be givers of money (vs 18) – not only takers. Finally money should be seen as a tool to help others.
By virtue of our redemption through Christ Jesus, we have access to The Blessing by faith. The Blessing makes us rich with money and our attitudes to money must be different from those of the unbelievers. Money is our servant and not the other way round.
Most parts of this outline are culled from “40 DAYS OF PROSPERITY” by Pastor George Pearsons
I am walking in the fullness of The Blessing, fully furnished and liberally supplied.
Filled to the top – nothing wanting.
Filled to the brim – nothing lacking.
My ship is full and overflowing.
The Blessing has come to me.
The Blessing has overtaken me.
I am walking in the superabundant, exceeding excess, fullness of The Blessing – in Jesus’ Name (Amen)
I settle this issue right now.
I adjust my financial attitude.
I do not serve money. I am not a slave to money.
I serve God. Money serves me.
I do not work for money. Money works for me.
Money doesn’t control me – I control money. Money doesn’t rule me – I rule money. Money doesn’t dominate me – I dominate money.
I fearlessly tithe as I am told. I boldly give as I am led.
Money – you serve me. Money – you obey me.
Money – you multiply, increase and produce maximum harvest.
Wednesday, July 22 2015
Contributor: Leye Olayiwola
“Poverty is a curse. It’s a curse that stems (emanates) from disobedience. Being under the curse of poverty means one cannot be prosperous even if they worked hard. But Jesus Christ broke the curse of poverty according to Galatians 3:13”. It is hoped that the above statement, which is startling, is still fresh in our memory, after the awesome lesson titled The Laws of Poverty, which was examined in details last week. It is hoped that we have been very mindful of the laws that governs Poverty and we have been conscious in operating the superseding laws. We shall continue this week on the series of the teachings on Prosperity by considering the topic, Thriving In the Midst of Famine.
1. There Was a Famine in the Land [Genesis 26:1]
Famine is defined as severe shortage; extreme scarcity or serious economic downturn. The time of Famine is a Dark Time for those
• who do not know God (Daniel 11:32)
• Who do not know their covenant with God
• Who are filled with fear, panic, uncertainty and hopelessness (2 Timothy 1:7)
God’s promises for us during the time of famine abound.
• “In famine He shall redeem you from death……….You shall laugh at destruction and famine.” - Job 5:20,22 (NKJV).
• “Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine.” - Psalm 33:18-19
• “They will not be disgraced in hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough”- Psalm 37:19
As sons, daughters and friends of God, we don’t just survive in famine. WE THRIVE!
“The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.” – Proverbs 10:22. To thrive means to;
• To prosper, flourish, succeed, and advance.
• To grow vigorously.
• To increase in goods and estate.
2. Isaac Thrived In Famine
[a]. [Genesis 26:1-6] : Obey God and stay wherever He’s placed you.
Isaac obeyed God and stayed where God wanted him to stay. Egypt looked more like the Promised Land in the physical. It must have been a land flowing with milk and honey in those days. It must have been the favourite place of abode that majority may have been migrating to. But God told him explicitly “Do not go down to Egypt”. Isaac stayed in Gerar because;
• God needed him there.
• God needs us right here, right now (except you are very sure He’s asking you to move).
• “Among the other nations, Judah and Israel became symbols of a cursed nation. But no longer! Now I will rescue you and make you both a symbol and a source of blessing. So don’t be afraid. Be strong, and get on with rebuilding the Temple!”Zechariah 8:13 NLT
• We are a symbol and a source of THE BLESSING – “And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you [with abundant increase of favors] and make your name famous and distinguished, and you will be a blessing [dispensing good to others]. And I will bless those who bless you [who confer prosperity or happiness upon you] and curse him who curses or uses insolent language toward you; in you will all the families and kindred of the earth be blessed [and by you they will bless themselves”. Genesis 12:2-3 AMP
“For You make him to be blessed and a blessing forever……” Psalm 21:6 AMP.
[b]. [Genesis 26:12]: He sowed and received in the same year one hundred fold – and the Lord blessed him. If anyone had told Isaac he could sow and reap anything in the land of Gerar, he would have disbelief it. But obedience to God made the difference. Suffice it to say that his obedience to God made the so called futile ground become fertile. The following are true;
• Unusual yield - even in fertile regions, yields are usually not greater than twenty-five (25) to fiftyfold (50).
• "You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance. The grasslands of the wilderness become a lush pasture, and the hillsides blossom with joy. The meadows are clothed with flocks of sheep, and the valleys are carpeted with grain. They all shout and sing for joy!". Psalm 65:11-13 NLT. He reaped in the same year!
[c]. [Genesis 26:13]: Isaac waxed great, went forward and became very great.
• "He became a very rich man, and his wealth continued to grow." Gen.26:13 NLT
• He was thriving - flourishing, succeeding, advancing, growing vigorously, increasing in goods, estates, bulk and stature.
• He became stronger and more powerful in wealth and influence.
[d]. [Genesis 26:14]: He had possessions of flocks of sheep, herds of cattle and a great store of servants. As a result of this fame;
• The Philistines were jealous of him and made efforts to stop him.
• Beware. Your godly prosperity will attract oppositions and resistance.
[e]. [Genesis 26:24]: He didn't give up - he wouldn't quit.
• Rehobeth (in Hebrew) means room, streets, a broad and spacious place, an enlargement.
• “At last the LORD has created enough space for us to prosper [thrive, flourish, succeed, advance and grow vigorously] in this land.” Gen.26:22b.
3. In Order to Thrive in Times of Famine, We must Keep Doing What Isaac Did
[a]. Keep Obeying God.
• Obedience is where THE BLESSING is. "If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;" Isaiah 1:19 AMP.
[b]. Keep Sowing seeds
• Everytime is a good time to sow into the kingdom of God. There's never a bad time. Seize every opportunity to sow into kingdom based projects and works. "He who observes the wind [and waits for all conditions to be favorable] will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap". Eccl.11:4 AMP.
[c]. Keep Tithing.
• Isaac tithed. How do we know?
• ".......And [Abram] gave him a tenth of all [he had taken].Gen.14:20b; "For I have known (chosen, acknowledged) him [as My own], so that he may teach and command his children and the sons of his house after him to keep the way of the Lord and to do what is just and righteous, so that the Lord may bring Abraham what He has promised him." Gen. 18:19 AMP.
[d]. Keep on walking by faith.
• Isaac did not quit standing in faith. Waiting back in Gerar, he must have seen the physically futile ground. There would have been neighbours and many others who were helpless because of the unbearable conditios in the land. Yet, Isaac persevered.
• "Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward." Hebrews 10:35 AMP;
• "And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint". Galatians 6:9 AMP
[e]. Keep attending church.
• Our future is secure in Him.
• The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the palm tree [be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful]; they shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon [majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible]. Planted in the house of the Lord, they shall flourish in the courts of our God. [Growing in grace] they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap [of spiritual vitality] and [rich in the] verdure [of trust, love, and contentment]. Psalm 92:12-14 AMP.
Living a life of consistent faith in God's promises in this modern world has never been more challenging. The good news, however, is that our God remains ever faithful. Hebrews 13:8 confirms this. He is the same yesterday, today and will be forever. We can have the same encounter like Isaac did many centuries ago in this challenging times. Thriving to the envy of others. Remember, in order to thrive in this modern times, we must keep obeying God, keep sowing seed, keep tithing, keep on walking by faith and in fellowship with one another. Finally, we must consistently confess our belief in order to appropriate God's promises regarding prosperity. Please say the following confessions;
"I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I hear.
I am going up higher. I am going to keep obeying. I am going to keep sowing.
I am going to keep believing. I am going to keep receiving. I am going to keep on walking by faith. In a time of famine, we are thriving. We are prospering.
We are flourishing. We are succeeding. We are advancing. We are growing vigorously. We are increasing." In Jesus Name. Amen.
Culled from the Book: 40 Days of Prosperity by Pastor George Pearsons
Thursday, July 16 2015
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
During last week's study we learnt that there were laws governing every single thing in existence and that nothing happened by accident. We also talked about laws and opposing laws; we learnt that one must know about one law in order to counter it.
Poverty is a very serious phenomenon in the world today; its devastating effects can only point to the fact that there’s a spiritual force behind it. John 10:10 talks about the thief that comes to steal, kill and destroy. Poverty puts its victims in a bad place. It makes them vulnerable (Proverbs 18:23), they are shunned by friends (Proverbs 14:20), and makes them become servants to the rich (Proverbs 22:7). Poverty also brings sorrow (Proverbs 31:7) and can lead to crime (Proverbs 30:8-9). From these instances we know that poverty is not God’s intention for us; because He takes pleasure in the prosperity of his people. (Psalms 35:27).
In today's study we shall be considering the laws that govern poverty (in other words, the causes of poverty) solely for the purpose of knowing how to supersede them with a corresponding higher law!
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Poverty is a curse. It's a curse that stems from disobedience. Deuteronomy 28:15 says: “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you. “Also read, Malachi 3:8-9
Being under the curse of poverty means one cannot be prosperous even if they worked hard! Because the curse will negate their efforts. But Jesus broke the curse of poverty. Gal. 3:13 says:
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”).”
This tells us that we are no longer under the curse but it however, doesn't automatically makes us prosperous. 2 Corinthians 8:9 says: "For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich." (Emphasis mine). He became poor for our sakes giving us the opportunity – making it possible that we can be rich; because now, the curse no longer has its effect on us!
THE LAWS THAT GOVERN POVERTY
The book of Proverbs gives visibility to the causes of poverty. Because of the book's instructive nature it does not only tell us the “Laws” it also tells us the “Superseding Laws”. So let us look at these causes:
1. LOVE OF SLEEP
Proverbs 24:33-34: “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.”
Proverbs 20:13: “Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.”
While this character should be up tilling his field and planting his vineyard, he is in his bed; and awaking, instead of rising, craves for and indulges himself in another little doze, and which he repeats again and again. Also it's important to know that sleep can also mean prayerlessness. The state of prayerlessness is spiritual slumber.
To supersede this Law of the Love of Sleep we need to turn to the higher Law – of Being Alert!
Prov. 23:34 says poverty will come like a robber – to steal, kill and destroy. That’s why 1 Peter 5:8 says we should “. . . be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”
Being in a rush especially when you have left something that needs to be done, undone. And then seeking for get-rich-quick schemes.
Proverbs 21:5: “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”
To supersede this Law of making haste we need to turn to the higher Law – of Careful Planning!
Proverbs 20:4 – “The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing.”
Proverbs 19: 15 – “Laziness casts one into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.”
Proverbs 10:4 – “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich.”
To supersede this Law of laziness, we need to turn to the higher Law – of Hard Work!
Proverbs 11:24 - “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.”
2 Corinthians 9:6
“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”
Another aspect of “scattering” is wisely investing in ventures that will bring increase. Eccl. 11:6 says: “In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhold your hand; for you do not know which will prosper, either this or that, or whether both alike will be good.”
To supersede this Law of stinginess we need to turn to the higher Law – of Generosity!
Failure or refusal to obey God’s rules or surrender to His authority.
Deuteronomy 28:15 says: “But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you.”
Jesus said if ye love me, keep my commandments. When we disobey God’s commandments, it shows that we don’t love Him. We also break the hedge and give room for the serpent to bite!
To supersede this Law of disobedience we need to turn to the higher Law – of Obedience!
A situation in which people do not control their behaviour or obey rules.
“Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards a rebuke will be honoured.”
To supersede this Law of Indiscipline we need to turn to the higher Law – of Taking Correction and not continuing headlong in error.
Not working or active; habitually doing nothing or avoiding work. To pass time doing nothing.
Proverbs 14:23 – “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.”
Proverbs 28:19 “He who tills his land will have plenty of bread, But he who follows frivolity will have poverty enough!
To supersede this Law of idleness we need to turn to the higher Law – of Diligent Work.
8. EXTRAVAGANCE (SELF-INDULGENCE)
Lack of restraint in spending money or using resources. Characterized by doing or tending to do exactly what one wants, especially when this involves pleasure or idleness.
Proverbs 21:17 – “He who loves pleasure will be a poor man; He who loves wine and oil will not be rich.”
Proverbs 23:20-21 – “Do not mix with winebibbers, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat; for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, and drowsiness will clothe a man with rags”
To supersede this Law of extravagance we need to turn to the higher Law – of Exercising Restraint!
Poverty is a curse. It's a curse that stems from Disobedience. Poverty is a very serious phenomenon in the world today; its devastating effects can only point to the fact that there’s a force behind it. John 10:10. It is not God’s intention for us that’s why Jesus broke the curse of poverty as we see in Gal. 3:13. Meaning that we are no longer contending with the curse ourselves. However, breaking this curse doesn't automatically make us prosperous. Because if we allow the devil to use the tool of ignorance against us he will succeed in keeping us impoverished. Now that we know the laws of poverty, it is up to us to use the higher laws given by God in His words to supersede them!
Wednesday, July 08 2015
Contributor: Alex Alajiki
“And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” Duet. 8:18
“If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures” Job 36:11
“Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant.” Psalm 35:27
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Phil.4:19
“Beloved, I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers.” 3 John 2
Prosperity is part of the redemptive package that Jesus delivered to us when were born again. Col.1:12 -14 “giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.”
The same way that we were redeemed from sin and sickness, we were also redeemed from poverty and every work of the devil or darkness. We use the word of God to implement total redemption in our spirit, soul and body. God has a covenant determination to prosper us. Our responsibility is to believe it and receive it by faith.
What is True Prosperity?
True prosperity is the ability to use God’s power to meet the needs of mankind in every realm of life—spirit, soul, body, financially, emotionally, etc.
Spiritual and Physical Law: Rom.8:29
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
We must understand that there are laws governing every single thing in existence. Nothing is by accident. There are laws of the world of the spirit, and there are laws of the world of the natural. The laws of the world of the natural govern our activities in this natural, physical world. We don’t float; we walk. If the law of gravity were not in action, we would float. These physical laws can be manipulated. For instance, the law of gravity is used when flying an airplane, but it is superseded by another physical law, the law of lift. When you put the law of lift into operation, you can fly, but you must know something about the law of gravity in order to use the law of lift. You don’t do away with the law of gravity; you just supersede it with a higher law. These are natural, physical laws, and they govern this natural, physical world.
Spiritual law gave birth to physical law. The world and the physical forces governing it were created by the power of faith—a spiritual force. God, a Spirit, created all matter, and He created it with the force of faith. Hebrews 11:3 says, “…the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” The law of gravity would be meaningless if gravity were not a real force. Faith is a spiritual force, a spiritual energy, a spiritual power. It is this force of faith which makes the laws of the spirit world function. When the force of faith is put to work, these laws of the spirit function according to the way God says they will.
The Law of Sin and Death & the Spirit of Life;
There are two functional laws in the world of the spirit. One, the law of sin and death, was put into operation by Adam when he disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. The other, the law of the Spirit of life, was put into operation by Jesus Christ at His Resurrection 1 Cor15:21 “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead”. The law of the Spirit of life is the master law under which we operate as children of God. It supersedes the law of sin and death and faith causes it to function. There are certain elements which, when combined, will bring forth the result God intends. Salvation is available to every human being on the face of the earth because the Word says anyone who calls upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved (Joel 2:32, Romans 10:13). This higher spiritual law of life is here in the earth, but every day people die and go to hell. Why? Because the law of salvation hasn’t been put to work in their particular lives. It will work only when it is put to work.
This same rule is true in prosperity. There are certain laws governing prosperity revealed in God’s Word. Faith causes them to function. They will work when they are put to work, and they will stop working when the force of faith is stopped. The laws of prosperity work the same as the laws of salvation, healing and so forth. A farmer can intend to have a good crop, but if he never plants the seed, how can he possibly produce a harvest? These laws, both spiritual and physical, must be followed if you expect to get results.
We Are Not Subject to the Times; Ps.27:5
“For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.”
We are not subject to, and do not live under, the dominion, rule, control or influence of whichever way the economy and world system is going at the moment. The times are subject to the authority of the Word, the blood and the Name of Jesus spoken and acted upon by the believer. The times are subject to us. We are subject to and governed by another economy and another system—the kingdom of God. We live in the secret place of the Most High Ps.91:1.
We must settle it in our hearts that God’s will for us is all round prosperity. There are active spiritual laws that govern the physical and spiritual realms. It is our responsibility to put the laws of prosperity to work in every area of our lives. We are not here to survive; barely get by and merely exist, we are to thrive; flourish, succeed, advance and prosper.