Summary: This ninth and last in the series deals with ideas of integrity and principle in everyday living.

Fresh Start

12 Secrets for Abundant Living

Ok - Ok so I am finally going to wrap up this series today. I hope that it has been helpful to you. It has been one of my favorite sermon series of all time. I have learned something new each week and I hope you have too. Remember that this whole series is based on 3 very important principles.

1. God has a plan for your life - Jeremiah 29:11 says “I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”

2. There is a battle engaged for your life - Jesus said in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

Too many of God’s people are losing the battle - Marriages, children, finances, life.

Over the last 8 weeks we have looked together at our first eleven secrets.

• 4 Questions - Who are you? What are you ? Where are you? What do you really want?

• Own It! Take responsibility for and control of your life. Stop blaming and start being.

• Embrace Positive Change! Not all change is positive - embrace positive change.

• Make a Plan! Develop a strategy that works.

• Work your Plan! Do it! Stop talking about getting better and do it.

• Start with the spiritual- Everything good starts with God!

• Do life God’s way - You can’t cheat and win. You only win if you play by the rules!

• Don’t quit - Don’t give up - keep fighting till you get there.

• Redefine success - Not money and cars - it’s peace and hope!

• Live in Community - Christianity is designed to be lived in community.

• Do Your Homework - Get it right in your relationships - spouse, children, friends

Today I want to wrap up this series with one last simple admonition to you from scripture.

Live a Legacy - What I have found is that abundance is not nearly so much about what we have today as it is about what we leave for tomorrow. In the end I never hear people boasting about how much money they had in life, how big a house they lived in, or what a nice car they were driving. What I hear them talk about is the legacy they are leaving behind - in children, friends, accomplishments, and lasting value that was added to the world around them. I think we get our wires crossed today and only the view of impending death begins to right our priorities. If you want to live in abundance - the kind of abundance that Christ offers - let me leave you with a few last hints.

1) Live with Integrity - Proverbs 22:1 says “A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, Favor is better than silver and gold.” No amount of money can buy you a good name. No amount of power can fix a reputation. Bill Clinton will forever be the man “who never had sex with that woman.” And Richard Nixon will always be the man “who was not a crook.” They might for a time have been the most powerful leaders in the world but their legacy will always be tainted by their inability to live with integrity. If you want to live with abundance live a life that lets you be proud of the man in the mirror. My father who may be flawed as all of us are is a man of unimpeachable integrity. Most of what I have learned about telling the truth, living by principles, and keeping my promises come from him. When I was growing up he always kept a poem tucked in the mirror of his bedroom. It went like this. “Guy in the Glass” by Dale Wimbrow. (Included at the end of this message) The meaning of the poem is clear - you may be able to fool everyone else about who you are - but you will always know who you are. Let integrity not failure define your life. Abundance is found in being able to look yourself in the mirror and look God in the heart.

2) Live by Principle - The Apostle Paul says “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,”. Abundance is found in not trying to make everyone happy. One of the principles I have had to embrace in ministry is that “every night when I go to bed I know I have disappointed someone, and that’s ok.” Why is it ok? - Because I can’t make everyone happy. There is always someone in your life who wants you to do something else or do it some other way. Be guided by principle not by popularity - and even more crucial is to let God and His Word guide your principles. Your principles are not often going to be popular because Godly principles cut against the grain of today’s me society. Living a legacy means providing a steady hand at the wheel of life - one that guides us through the storms and through the gentle waters.

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