Summary: That’s the world view of the good life… but it is as empty and unsatisfying as that huge chocolate bunny you get your kids at Easter. I mean it looks fabulous… but it’s hollow and it tastes like flavored wax.
The Unsatisfying Easter Bunny
For most of people the word “prosperity” connects with the idea of being successful financially and living the “good” life. But in God’s economy prosperity is so much more than a thick roll of money in your pocket, two SUV’s in the driveway, a 3D Television in the theater room, a freezer full of steaks, and a net worth of 7 figures – that’s 7 digits before the decimal point.
That’s the world view of the good life… but it is as empty and unsatisfying as that huge chocolate bunny you get your kids at Easter. I mean it looks fabulous… but it’s hollow and it tastes like flavored wax.
For the past month I’ve been exploring with you what the Bible says about living a satisfying life.
A Satisfying Life
Week 1: Giving is the only way to a Satisfying Life
In week 1 we discovered that God created us to be in his image and to follow in his ways. The satisfied life comes from giving, not getting, keeping, spending, borrowing, saving, begging, or gambling.
Week 2: Debt is the biggest obstacle to Giving
In week 2 we looked at what the Bible says about borrowing money and debt. What we learned is that debt is the biggest obstacle to giving in most people’s lives. We want to give but because we’ve spent money we don’t have to get stuff that doesn’t satisfy we can’t be generous and give to God’s work or help those who need our help. And that’s just wrong. A good first step to becoming a generous giver is to get out of debt as fast as you can.
Week 3: Tithing and Offering Giving results in God’s favor
In week 3 I spent some time exploring the blessings that come from God when you return the tithe to God and when you give offerings to worship and honor him. The blessings are amazing and cover not only all our needs but also extend through us to those around us. It’s exciting to learn what God wants to do through us if we let him.
Week 3: Obedience is the Evidence of Faith in God
Last week we learned that eventually it all comes back to obedience. Following God is takes more than just being one of his fans! Saying you have faith in God is one thing but the evidence of that faith is always obedience even when and especially when we don’t understand.
Week 5: Prosperity is a rich, full, and satisfying life.
Today I am going to close this study by spending some time on a popular and controversial topic – prosperity. It’s popular because everyone wants it. It’s controversial because everyone has their own definition and their own means of achieving it.
Today we’re going to look at what the Apostle Paul says about it in his letter to the Christians in Corinth two thousand years ago. That’s a long time but the principles he taught are valid today just as they were then.
1 Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! 2 You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.
The phrase “it shall be well with you” is translated from the Hebrew word “towb.” Literally it means to be pleasant or delightful.
Prosperity is a life that is rich, full and satisfying. This is God’s plan for you. He wants you to have a rich and full life but you won’t find it by chasing the things of this world.
You will find it in the Kingdom of God… not just someday but here and now within His church. And you won’t find it by going to church but by being the church.
In fact in God’s economy the church family is the means through which you will experience prosperity in life. If you seek a satisfied life – look to God’s Kingdom, the church, because this is where you will find it.
But be careful. Not all churches are faithful to their King. Look for example at the church in Laodicea that the Apostle John speaks of in the book of Revelation.
LCC: Laodicea Christian Church
17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
The church at Laodicea was one of the seven churches addressed by Jesus in Revelation. It was the church that was condemned as lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – and worthy only of being spit out of the saviors mouth.
There is so much here to take to heart. I fear that much of the American church today is exactly like the church in Laodicea. They had so much and at the same time they had so little. Many of us today are just like that because we have so much and we’ve forgotten why God gave it to us.