Summary: This fifth in the series deals with the temptation to make abundance about money not about spiritual things.
12 Secrets for Abundant Living
This week we are continuing in our series for the New Year - 12 secrets for abundant living. 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.”
3. Too many of God’s people are losing the battle - Marriages, children, finances, life.
Over the last 4 weeks we have looked together at our first seven 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.
• Embrace Positive Change!
• Make a Plan!
• Work your Plan!
• Start with the Spiritual
• Do it Gods way - you cannot cheat and win.
We are almost there - at least we’re headed down the home stretch. Today I want to share with you the next secret for abundant living.
John 10:7-15 - (Abundantly) Perissos in the Greek means both superabundant in quantity but also superior in quality.
Secret #8 - Redefine Abundance - What does it mean to live a life of abundance? When Jesus says to us that He came that we might have life and have that life abundantly - what does He mean? The world around us defines abundance in fortune and fame. In fact the church has even gotten into the act. Listen to the words off one popular website.
• “You were made wealthy and rich before you came into existence. You’ve been predestined to prosper financially.”
• “You have every right to live wealthy and possess material riches-clothes, jewelry, houses, cars and money-in abundance.”
• “Owning corporations is a part of your destiny as a believer.”
• “The Bible says that wealth is stored up for the righteous. However, it will remain stored up until you claim it. Therefore, claim it NOW! You possess the blessing to seize and command wealth and riches to come to you. Like God, you can speak spiritual blessings into existence.”
Everything in the world is crying out to us that abundance is found in financial and physical prosperity. Commercials, movies, news, newspapers, magazines, and now even the church is telling us that our abundance our “right” in Christ is clothes, jewelry, houses, cars and money - in abundance. But listen to what Jesus said (selectively from Luke 12:13-34) - “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”…“For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. “For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.”…“Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
So what is real abundance?
• Abundance is a Soul at Peace - “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? “For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” The devil can offer you the world - money, sex, influence, position, prosperity - but he cannot offer you peace. In tempting Jesus the devil took him up and in a moment in time showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and said, “I will give You all this domain and its glory,… if You worship before me..” Jesus reply, “You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.” Today’s temptation is the same. Look at all I can give you - look at all you can obtain - all you have to do is - lie a little, cheat a little, break the rules a little, look man if it feels good it can’t be bad right - so just follow me. Keep a little more for yourself - after all you only live once. Paul looked back over a lifetime of what the devil had given him and said “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish (skubalon) so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him…” His soul had finally found peace - peace with the God who made Him.