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Summary: Trust is a key principle in learning obedience as a steward of God’s resources. This message examines the essential element of our walk of trust in God’s ability to meet our needs.

THE FORWARD WALK – PART FIVE

THE WALK OF TRUST

PROVERBS 3:5-10; MALACHI 3:10

Dr. Larry L. Thompson (2003)

INTRODUCTION

This month we are focusing our attention on the purpose of our church: A Church that understands the importance of THE FORWARD WALK. The forward walk is essential if we are to adequately prepare our hearts for our FORWARD BY FAITH campaign and for our commitment Sunday on June 1st just one month from now. If we are going to be a church that is know for their FORWARD WALK, then it requires that each of us to understand the biblical principle of the “WALK OF TRUST.” By trust I am referring to being good stewards of the resources that God has entrusted to each of us. First Baptist is a generous church, especially when you consider an article written by Paul Foy of the Associated Press dated 4-28-03 entitled, “CHARITY STUDY PLUGS SALT LAKE CITY AS GIVERS – FORT LAUDERDALE IS CHEAP!”

“Salt Lake City residents gave nearly 15% of their income to religious or charitable organizations while Miami-Fort Lauderdale gave 4.7% of their income to charities.”

While it does take money for a church to WALK FORWARD BY FAITH. The purpose of this message is not to raise money, but to help DEVELOP, EQUIP, and add SPIRITUALLY MATURITY to your walk with Christ. My job is not raising money, my responsibility is to equip the saints and to insure that we have growing mature believers; stewardship is a very important part of that spiritual growth.

Some of you don’t like to hear sermons on stewardship because you may be struggling financially, and you don’t want to feel guilty because you aren’t giving. I’m not here to lay a guilt trip on you and hurt you–I’m here today to help you. Have you ever considered that your financial problems may be caused by the fact you aren’t honoring God with the resources He has entrusted to your care?

Some of you say, “You don’t understand, I’m flat broke.” Perhaps you’re not sure so I have prepared a Top Ten list to know if you’re broke.

(Fitz, let’s do a Letterman top ten list feel with this)

THE TOP TEN WAYS TO KNOW YOU’RE BROKE

10. American Express calls and says: “Please leave home without it!”

9. You go to the food bank and they tell you you’re overdrawn

8. Long distance companies never call you to switch.

7. You’ve started washing your paper plates.

6. You clean under your sofa only because you hope to find change.

5. You consider a lottery ticket as your best investment.

4. You offer to wash camels in exchange for a pageant ticket.

3. You rob Peter…then turn around and rob Paul

2. You focus on the things money can’t buy…like your unpaid bills.

1. At Communion, you always ask for seconds!

If you are to join us in the forward walk as our church moves FORWARD BY FAITH then you must understand that Jesus gives you more than YEARS to your life: He gives LIFE to your years. True prosperity is not living in luxury; it’s when all your needs are being met and you are content and enjoy life. By that definition, some of the richest people on this planet don’t have prosperity–they have wealth, but not prosperity. The key to learning how to live well and prosper is found in Proverbs 3:5-10: “THE WALK OF TRUST!”

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; [6] in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. [7] Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. [8] This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. [9] Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; [10] then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”

We will use the word T.R.U.S.T. as an acrostic to teach us how we can live well and prosper:

I. TAKE AN INVENTORY (3:5-6)

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; [6] in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

During January, many retailers shut their doors to customers and spend time taking inventory. In other words, they examine and make a record of their assets. For a few moments, I’d like to ask you to shut your mind to any outside distractions and look within to see what is really inside your heart. Look at verse 5 again: Do you really trust God? Do you trust Him with all your heart, or is it more of a half-hearted dependence? Do you live life according to what God says in His Word or do you depend upon your own understanding? In other words before you make a decision to go FORWARD BY FAITH, do you have to have it all figured out for yourself? Do you acknowledge God in everything you do?

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