INTRO: Today is "Prove the Lord" Sunday. Today is the beginning of a year of financial miracles for your life! I pray that in 1998 four things will happen in your life:
1. You will receive an increase in monthly income.
2. You will decrease your monthly expenses through wise spending habits.
3. You will begin paying off all revolving debt, including high-interest credit cards.
4. You will begin and/or maintain systematic savings plan.
How will these things happen? By the decisions you make beginning today. No, God will not cause your pine trees to quit growing pinecones and start growing $100 bills! You will probably not win the Publisher's ClearingHouse Sweepstakes, and NO, you will not win the lottery, because we don't play the lottery. The world is looking for a quick fix, and that is why the majority of those in the world are in debt up to their eyeballs. And, sadly, some in the church are experiencing the burden and pressure of unmanageable debt. But, I have good news for you today. What God is offering you from His Word, is not a quick fix. It took some time for you to run up the debt you are faced with, and it's going to take some time for you to get out of debt. But, what you do today, will determine whether you begin to turn the tide from financial disaster to financial abundance!
At the end of today's service, we are all going to have the opportunity to obey Malachi 3:10 which reads….
We are going to "PROVE THE LORD" which means, "try Me", or "see is what I'm saying is true!" It all begins by the way you and I answer two important questions….
I. Question #1 "CAN YOU TRUST GOD?" Read Proverbs 3:1-11
A. For your SALVATION?
1. I have because Jesus said in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
2. Jesus said in John 10:28-29, "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand."
3. Paul trusted God for his salvation and said, "I KNOW whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to KEEP that which I've committed unto Him against that day!"
4. YES, SIR YOU CAN TRUST GOD FOR YOUR SALVATION!
B. For your MIRACLE?
1. Jeremiah did! Jeremiah prayed in chapter 32: "Ah Lord God! Behold thou has made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee!" Then, the Lord answered Jeremiah's prayer in verse 26, "Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah, saying, "Behold I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?"
2. Dee Sapp did! (Evangel article)
C. For your FINANCES?
1. Joshua did! For the Lord told him in 1:8, "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way PROSPEROUS, and then thou shalt have good success!"
2. The wisest man who ever lived did! Prov. 10:22 says, "The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it!"
3. Paul did, for he said in Phil. 4:19, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
II. Question #2 "CAN GOD TRUST YOU?"
A. With your SALVATION?
1. The writer of Hebrews said in 2:3, "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation…", and in 12:14, "without holiness, no man shall see the Lord."
2. Paul said in Phil. 2:12 "…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling"
3. Jesus said in Matthew 24, "He that endureth to the end shall be saved."
4. Paul said, "Walk worthy of the vocation wherein you were called."
B. With your MIRACLE?
1. Are you willing to believe?
2. Are you willing to obey?
3. Are you willing to receive?
C. With your FINANCES? Read Luke 16:1-13
1. God is the Owner of everything we possess.
2. We are His stewards of managers.
3. We will give an account for our stewardship. (Story of man with two hogs).
4. If we are unfaithful in a little (10%), we will be unfaithful to the Lord in greater areas of responsibility.
5. If God cannot trust us with money, He cannot trust us with eternity.