Wednesday 1, October 2014
Bible Passage: 3 John 1 - 4
Memory Verse: \"Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. \" 3 John 2-3
According to Macmillan English Dictionary, to prosper means 'to be successful, especially by making a lot of money, or to grow and do well'. In essence, when you are very rich and successful, you are deemed to be prosperous.
The statement in the memory verse was made by Apostle John as an expression of his desire and prayer for Gaius; a Christian Elder in one of the churches in Asia Minor. In modern times, we have adopted this statement to demonstrate our desire and expectation to have a lot of money. But, if we take a deeper look at this prayer, we will realize that it transcends the mere possession of money. Though financial prosperity is included, it is not the total package. Apostle John desired and prayed that Gaius will prosper, be successful and extremely rich in all things as his soul is being enriched day by day. As a consequence, prosperity in all things that John prayed for includes being in good health, thriving and having all things working together for Gaiu's good. By this, his soul will prosper on a continuous basis. This implies then that, having financial prosperity and not being in good health is not prosperity! Also, not having peace in one's life and around ones borders is not prosperity.
Prosperity to my mind is a total package! This package is what our salvation is all about. Our salvation, derived through our Lord, Jesus Christ removed us from our fallen and lost state, and brought us into the company of those that have been approved by God. Our sins are forgiven and we have a new lease of life! Prosperity is what we experience when the kingdom of God comes into our lives at salvation. In the kingdom of God, there is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. It is a state of being, where physical situation, good or bad, does not affect our state of well being. We will continue to thrive and live a good and wholesome life, whatever the circumstances surrounding us.
Dwelling only on the money part of prosperity is fraught with a lot of dangers, because it will become our major focus and take all our attention. Then it will become our idol! Earlier, in his letter to Timothy in 1 Timothy chapter 6 verses 9, Apostle Paul warned him that: 'People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.' This is the bane of modern day Pentecostalism! Many are preoccupied with the prosperity of the belly, aka having a lot of money, that we can do anything for it, and in the process, our lives become fixated on it. It becomes our item of worship, relegating the place of God, the giver of all things to the background in our lives. We now pay lip service to holy and righteous living! No wonder the state of our nation and the world today! Many Christians have lost focus and now worship at the altar of money! But, 1 Timothy 6:10, warns us: 'For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.'
I enjoin us this month that we should go back to our first love and our experience at the foot of the cross, where our Lord Jesus Christ found us and called us into the company of His beloved. Let us eschew all greed, from our pulpit right down to the midst of the congregation. Men of God, let's stop the drive for empire building and build Gods people to conform to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ. Remember 'we brought nothing into the world and we will not take anything from it'. In Matthew 6: 33, Jesus enjoined us: ''But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well'' The Lord will help us all. Amen.
The Lord bless and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace, now and forevermore, Amen. Have a really splendid month in Jesus name.
1. Thank the Lord for your life an how far He has helped you in your walk with Him.
2. Examine your life and see if you have not replaced the love for God with the love for money and the ephemeral things of life. Come to the cross, confessing your sins, ask for mercy and forgiveness.
3. Pray that the Lord will grant you the grace and ability to forsake lust for money that have made you to stray from the faith and become greedy.
4. Declare and ask the Lord to deliver you from the many sorrows with which you might have pierced yourself due to your fixation on money.
5. Pray that the Lord will make you to prosper indeed and be in good health, enjoying the total package of salvation, which is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.
6. Pray for your nation and our world that He will save us all from our sins and bring back our peace.
7. Pray that Lord will push back and totally bring to a halt the scourge of terrorism in our lands and our world. That He will give governments all over the world the wisdom to bring this evil, that is daily being perpetrated in the name of religion in our world, to a total and complete halt. Pray that the Lord will save our world!