Sun, Dec 09, 2007

PRINCIPLES FOR PROSPERITY GENESIS 30:25-43

Hits: 25
Ministry of Pastor Joe Guglielmo teachings through the Bible, verse by verse for a better understanding of Gods Word.
Text Print read

 

PRINCIPLES FOR PROSPERITY
GENESIS 30:25-43

            Please turn in your Bibles this morning to Genesis chapter 30 as we look at a subject I call Principles For Prosperity! Now don’t be afraid, I hope I am not scaring you. I am not going to tell you to sow your seed faith gift or your precious seed faith gift so the work of God can continue on.  As far as I can tell, God is not broke! I am not going to say, “Brothers and sisters, you need to give to God so reach deep, and I mean deep down into the pockets of the person in front of you and give till it hurts them!”

            No, that kind of behavior, that kind of manipulation to get people to give is not of God or maybe it is, that is, the god of greed but not the God we serve! Our focus this morning will be more of living out your faith or working out your faith, putting into practice that which you say you believe! And as you do that I believe that God will bless you, He will bless the work you are doing for Him.  Now please understand that prosperity is not wrong unless it is the focus of your life.

            Paul put it into perspective for us when he wrote to Timothy in I Timothy 6:6-12,Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

            In other words, work hard and be content in what God has given to you or you will do ungodly things to gain material possessions. Again, just look at the Televangelists who are being investigated on how they spend the money people are giving to them for ministry, the tax-exempt money! One female televangelist spent some $20,000 on a toilet.  Folks, if you have that much bowel trouble, I don’t think a $20,000 toilet is going to help!  But again, they fleece the flock of God for their own gain instead of shepherding the flock that God has entrusted to them.

            Now before we get to our text this morning let me share this story with you of a frustrated man and why he was so frustrated and so tired. We are told:

            Yes, I’m tired. For several years I’ve been blaming it on middle age, iron poor blood, lack of vitamins, air pollution, water pollution, saccharin, obesity, dieting, underarm order, yellow wax buildup, and a dozen other maladies that make you wonder if life is really worth living.

            But now I find out, tain’t that.

            I’m tired because I’m overworked.

            The population of this country is over 200 million.  Eighty-four million are retired. That leaves 116 million to do the work. There are 75 million in school, which leaves 41 million to do the work. Of this total, there are 22 million employed by the government.

            That leaves 19 million to do the work. Four million are in the armed forces, which leaves 15 million to do the work.  Take from that total the 14,800,000 people who work for the state and city governments and that leaves 200,000 to do the work. There are 188,000 in hospitals, so that leaves 12,000 to do the work. Now there are 11,998 people in prisons. That leaves just 2 people to do the work.  You and me. And you’re standing there and reading this. No wonder I’m tired.

- Anonymous

            As Christians we are all servants of God, we should be actively involved in the work of God. Yes, we will enter that rest one day when we go to be with the Lord, but for now, we are bondslaves for Christ and our rest is found in Him as we serve Him.  With that as our background, let’s begin reading in Genesis chapter 30, starting in verse 25 and lets see what the Lord has for us as we look at Principles For Prosperity.

GENESIS 30:25-43

            As I read through these verses I saw five main points that we will be focusing on this morning in regards to Principles For Prosperity. They are: DON’T MAKE WEALTH YOUR GOAL – GENESIS 30:25-26.  DON’T BE AFRAID TO WORK FOR OTHERS AND TRY TO INCREASE THEIR WEALTH BEFORE OR AS YOU WORK TO INCREASE YOUR OWN WEALTH – GENESIS 30:27-30.  TRUST GOD – GENESIS 30:31-33.  WORK HARD AS YOU DEDICATE YOURSELF TO YOUR EMPLOYER’S SUCCESS – GENESIS 30:26, 38-42.  And, GOD BLESSES EXCEEDINGLY – GENESIS 30:43.  So with the remainder of our time this morning we are going to look at these five points and see what we can glean from them.

1.  DON’T MAKE WEALTH YOUR GOAL – GENESIS 30:25-26

            Look at our society today and how people want to get rich quick.  They do all kinds of things to make money and we even see television shows that feed on people’s greed, like Deal or No Deal!  Very few people are satisfied with $100,000, they want just a little bit more and they usually end up with a lot less, sometimes $5! And for those who believe money will make you happy, guess again. Listen carefully to some who have struck it rich and where it got them. We are told:

Lottery Nightmares & Curses

            William "Bud" Post won $16.2 million in the Pennsylvania lottery in 1988 but now lives on his $450.00 a month Social Security check after relatives, and an ex-girlfriend tormented him until he invested and shared his millions with them. 
            The 2002, $314.9 million dollar Powerball winner Jack Whittaker was sued by an Atlantic City casino in 2004 for allegedly writing bad checks from a closed bank account in West Virginia. 
            Evelyn Adams, who won the $5.4 million dollar New Jersey lottery not just once, but twice in 1985 and again in 1986 gambled most of it away, and is broke today. 
            1993 Missouri lottery winner Janite Lee won $18 million, but was overly generous by giving the money away to a variety of causes leading to her filing bankruptcy just eight years after her stroke of good fortune hit.

            Billie Bob Harrell Jr. hit the $37 million dollar Texas jackpot in 1997 only to end his own life less than two years later when he realized that all he wanted was his marriage more then the money, but that it was too late to fix the strained marriage. Why was it strained? His spending habits spiraled out of control, and his wife only wanted a normal life, which was anything but.

            Juan Rodriguez had been thrown out by his wife Iris prior to purchasing a winning New York lottery ticket worth $149 million. She reconciled with him for two weeks, then filed for a divorce taking half of his winnings with her. 

       - Winning the Lottery, Curse or a Blessing?, 2007 Associated Content

            You see, the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil and if that is your focus, you will never be happy, you will never be satisfied. Look at Jacob, his focus was not on money or possessions, but it was upon going home to the place God wanted him to be and to be with his family.  Folks, what a joy it truly is to be where God wants you to be and surrounded by family and not just blood relatives. You see, brothers and sisters in the Lord surround us.  Blood relatives you might say because they have been adopted into the family of God through Jesus Christ.

            People often ask me why I didn’t continue on with my education and become a doctor or get advanced nursing degrees so I can make more money. The reason is really very simple. That is not my goal in life, to make a lot of money. My goal in life is to be where the Lord has called me and to be with my family, and folks I am truly blessed! I hope you feel the same way because I guarantee you this, when you get to heaven you are not going to say, “I wish I worked more and made more money!” Spend your time wisely not serving the god of greed but the true and living God and you will be blessed!

2.  DON’T BE AFRAID TO WORK FOR OTHERS AND TRY TO INCREASE

     THEIR WEALTH BEFORE OR AS YOU WORK TO INCREASE YOUR OWN

     WEALTH – GENESIS 30:27-30

            I think we have lost this concept in our society. We work to get paid but that is not exactly correct. You see, when I work for my boss I work to make him look good, to bless him and the business, not to just get a paycheck and we will cover this more when we get to the fourth point.  Yes, getting paid is important but the reason I do get paid is because I am doing the work I am supposed to do and hopefully more than what I am supposed to do.

            Jacob knew the Lord was blessing Laban because of what he was doing.  That as Jacob worked hard God blessed his efforts even more.  Now understand that Jacob worked seven years for Laban to get his daughter Rachel’s hand in marriage and Laban deceived him and Jacob ended up marrying Leah, Laban’s oldest daughter. But Jacob loved Rachel and Laban made a deal with him. He said that he could marry Rachel, just fulfill the honeymoon period or 1 week with Leah and then he can marry Rachel, which he did.  But there is a catch. Laban said he had to work another seven years for Rachel.

            Think about that for a minute.  He is married to both Leah and Rachel now, and thus, these next seven years are meaningless. He doesn’t have to work hard, he can show up when he wants if he wants, he can take it easy because what can Laban do to him now.   Many may think like that but Jacob didn’t.  It did not stop Jacob from working hard as he had promised Laban.  He served Laban faithfully those seven years, even when Laban tried to cheat him from his wages.  Why did Jacob do this?  Because he told Laban he would and he was going to give glory to God by his efforts while the other way would dishonor God!

            Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.  Do we truly understand that our boss is the Lord; we are serving Him in all we do? We need to because He is our boss.  Paul put it like this in Colossians 3:17, And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. Whatever we do it needs to be done unto the Lord!

            Maybe you heard the story of the manager who said to the man who was looking for a job, “I’m sorry, I can’t hire you. You see, there just is not enough work to keep you busy.” And the man said back, “You’d be surprised how little it takes!”  Folks, that should not be our attitude and I do know it can be tough at times. It is during those times, but not only during those tough times, we need to look to the Lord to be the strength of our life.

            I think Paul picks up on this in Philippians 2:1-4 as he tells us, Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

            What does it mean to put on the mind of Christ? Paul tells us that when we do, when we fill ourselves up with the things of God then His nature will flow from our lives and touch those around us.  We need to be others-centered and not self-centered.  We need to look out for others and care for them, meet their needs as we care for ourselves!

            That truly was Jacob, he didn’t have to do these things but he did what was right and brought glory to God by his actions, by the things that he did. How about you?

3.  TRUST GOD – GENESIS 30:31-33

            Jacob found himself in a situation that was unfair. Laban was taking advantage of the situation and Jacob could have responded in a way that may have been right in his mind, but it would have negated what God was going to do.

            You see, instead of Jacob trying to take advantage, something he did early on in his life, he told Laban he would take all the sheep and goats that were born that had the recessive gene and Laban would take the sheep and goats that had the dominate gene. In a sense it was going to make Laban more prosperous in this deal but Jacob understood that God was in control. What is interesting is that Laban understands that God blesses Jacob and thus, he tells Jacob to watch his animals and Laban’s sons will watch Jacob’s. In other words, God will bless Jacob but it really will be Laban who makes out with the bigger flocks. Jacob didn’t fight about this, he just needed to trust the Lord and he did as he served Laban another 6 years before he was going to head home!

            Trust is a tough thing as this story points out for us. We are told:

            A few years ago my wife and I bought a catamaran. I had spent my youth sailing and was hankering to get back on the water. One day I took my elder brother and my wife for a sail. It was my landlubber brother's first time sailing, my wife was 6 months pregnant.

            I got the boat rigged and soon we were gliding across the waters of the Georges River. I decided we should sail down the river but to get there we needed to pass under a bridge. As we drew close to the bridge my wife said "Scott, I don’t think the boat’s going to make it underneath. The mast’s too tall." Now don’t you love it when novice’s tell you how to do something you’ve been doing for years? "Honey, I’ve sailed this river all my life. I’ve sailed boats under this bridge dozens of times before. There’s not going to be a problem."

            "But Scott, I really don’t think the bridge is high enough."

            "Honey, trust me. I know what I’m doing."

            "But we’re not gonna make it."

"We are gonna make it. But even if we don’t there’s no problem. All we need to do is capsize the boat and float under."

As we get closer to the bridge my wife becomes more insistent that we’re not going to make it, I become more irritated with her lack of faith in me, and my landlubber brother is in a state of acute anxiety. Closer and closer, I’m anticipating the pleasure of "I told you so."

Then we get to the bridge. There’s a terrible scraping sound as the mast hits the top of the bridge and starts bending backwards. That was enough for my wife. Six months pregnant and with visions of a mast crashing down on her she leaps over board. I swing into let’s capsize the boat mode, and my brother freezes. Meanwhile I’m yelling at him to move over to my side so we can capsize the boat, my wife's shark bait and people on the shore are laughing. Finally we capsize the boat, float under the bridge and get it upright again. As we clamber back on board it is Sandy who lets fly with the "I told you so's". Never again will she trust my judgment on the water.

I was reminded that day that if we want people to place their trust in us we must first prove ourselves to be trustworthy.

- Scott Higgins

            What happens at times is we place our trust in man, which is shaky to say the least. And then when man fails us we tend to bring that over to God and feel He too will fail us. Folks, God is faithful, He will take care of us and if you doubt that because of the situation you are in right now, then think back on how God delivered you from a previous situation you were in and use that to give you encouragement for what you are facing now.  You see, God does not change, He is still on the throne and He will see you through it all, just trust in Him!

Psalm 42 gives us a picture of David during tough times and what he did to get through them, who he focused on. We are told, As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?  My tears have been my food day and night, While they continually say to me, ‘Where is your God?’ When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast. Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me; Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, And from the heights of Hermon, From the Hill Mizar. Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me. The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me — A prayer to the God of my life. . .

. . . I will say to God my Rock, ‘Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?’  As with a breaking of my bones, My enemies reproach me, While they say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’ Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”  Psalm 42:1-11.
            In Psalm 118:8-9 the Psalmist tells us, It is better to trust in the Lord Than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord Than to put confidence in princes. In other words, in the midst of trouble, who are you going to trust, man or the Lord?  The Psalmist said that it is better to trust in the Lord than in man for the Lord is faithful, He will do it and man is not!

            Also, in Psalm 125:1-2 we are told, Those who trust in the Lord Are like Mount Zion, Which cannot be moved, but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, So the Lord surrounds His people From this time forth and forever.  In other words, if we trust in the Lord then we will not be moved because our feet are placed upon the Rock!  We will not be shaken no mater what may come our way because we are resting in the One who surrounds us and protects us forever, the Lord!

            Jacob trusted in the Lord and thus, he could be placed in this very difficult, unfair situation and he truly expected to come out victorious, and he did!  How about you?

4.  WORK HARD AS YOU DEDICATE YOURSELF TO YOUR EMPLOYER’S

     SUCCESS – GENESIS 30:26, 38-42

            In the church today there is this mentality, “If it is work, then it is not of God!”  It is almost as if we are kings and queens and God is our servant, He must serve us!  That is  obviously wrong folks.  As you look at the men and women of faith in the Scriptures they worked hard in their service to the Lord and so should we.

            Jacob did exactly that and as I have said, Laban, his employer was blessed by his work ethics and God blessed Jacob for what he was doing.  Paul, in II Thessalonians 3:10-11 makes these very hard remarks, but true. He wrote, For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk among you in a disorderly manner, not working at all, but are busybodies.  In other words, you need to support your family, take care of them. Tragically, I use to know someone who thought that welfare was okay to support his family because he was in the ministry and it helped to support the ministry. First of all that is a terrible witness but what is even worse, he thought paying taxes was illegal and was not going to pay them. Think about that, he was getting welfare for doing nothing and where did he think that welfare money was coming from? It was coming from taxes!  And folks, you know why they call work, work?  Because it is WORK!  I know, it was pretty brilliant, but it is also true.

            Henry Ironside tells a story that happened in his life that truly illustrates how we are to work; it really drives home the point. Henry tells us:

            When I was a boy, I felt it was both a duty and a privilege to help my widowed mother make ends meet by finding employment in vacation time, on Saturdays and other times when I did not have to be in school. For quite a while I worked for a Scottish shoemaker, or "cobbler," as he preferred to be called, an Orkney man, named Dan Mackay. He was a forthright Christian and his little shop was a real testimony for Christ in the neighborhood. The walls were literally covered with Bible texts and pictures, generally taken from old-fashioned Scripture Sheet Almanacs, so that look where one would, he found the Word of God staring him in the face. There were John 3:16 and John 5:24, Romans 10:9, and many more.

On the little counter in front of the bench on which the owner of the shop sat, was a Bible, generally open, and a pile of gospel tracts. No package went out of that shop without a printed message wrapped inside. And whenever opportunity offered, the customers were spoken to kindly and tactfully about the importance of being born again and the blessedness of knowing that the soul is saved through faith in Christ. Many came back to ask for more literature or to inquire more particularly as to how they might find peace with God, with the blessed results that men and women were saved, frequently right in the shoe shop.

It was my chief responsibility to pound leather for shoe soles. A piece of cowhide would be cut to suite, then soaked in water. I had a flat piece of iron over my knees and, with a flat-headed hammer, I pounded these soles until they were hard and dry. It seemed an endless operation to me, and I wearied of it many times.

What made my task worse was the fact that, a block away, there was another shop that I passed going and coming to or from my home, and in it sat a jolly, godless cobbler who gathered the boys of the neighborhood about him and regaled them with lewd tales that made him dreaded by respectable parents as a menace to the community. Yet, somehow, he seemed to thrive and that perhaps to a greater extent than my employer, Mackay. As I looked in his window, I often noticed that he never pounded the soles at all, but took them from the water, nailed them on, damp as they were, and with the water splashing from them as he drove each nail in.

One day I ventured inside, something I had been warned never to do. Timidly, I said, "I notice you put the soles on while still wet. Are they just as good as if they were pounded?" He gave me a wicked leer as he answered, "They come back all the quicker this way, my boy!"

"Feeling I had learned something, I related the instance to my boss and suggested that I was perhaps wasting time in drying out the leather so carefully. Mr. Mackay stopped his work and opened his Bible to the passage that reads, "Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of god."

"Harry," he said, "I do not cobble shoes just for the four bits and six bits (50c or 75c) that I get from my customers. I am doing this for the glory of God. I expect to see every shoe I have ever repaired in a big pile at the judgment seat of Christ, and I do not want the Lord to say to me in that day, 'Dan, this was a poor job. You did not do your best here.' I want Him to be able to say, 'Well done, good and faithful servant.'"

Then he went on to explain that just as some men are called to preach, so he was called to fix shoes, and that only as he did this well would his testimony count for God. It was a lesson I have never been able to forget. Often when I have been tempted to carelessness, and to slipshod effort, I have thought of dear, devoted Dan Mackay, and it has stirred me up to seek to do all as for Him who died to redeem me.

           - H. A. Ironside, Illustrations of Bible Truth, Moody Press, 1945, pp. 37-39

            To me that story is a powerful lesson to learn and apply to our lives.  You see, the work we do is done unto the Lord and it does bless others and it should bless our boss. Do you see the domino affect that takes place as we do these things – the blessings that are given to people by our good work!  Now, if we don’t do good work there is also a domino affect, dishonoring God and not blessing others but in a sense you are cursing them!

            Listen to how Paul speaks of a man who gave his all in serving the Lord. In Philippians 2:25-30 we are told, Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need; since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.

            This man almost died in his service for the Lord and yet his main concern was about serving the Lord and blessing people!  Talk about others-centered, willing to lay down his life for others.  That truly is my heart folk’s. Not that I have this death wish but that I would serve the Lord to the fullest and bless others!  That is what God desires of us.

5.  GOD BLESSES EXCEEDINGLY – GENESIS 30:43

            And lastly, God did bless Jacob exceedingly. That phrase, Thus the man became exceedingly prosperous is translated in the ancient Hebrew, “The man burst out exceedingly exceedingly.” In other words, it is as Paul said in Ephesians 3:20-21, Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.  The Amplified Bible puts these verses like this,Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams] — To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).

            That is our God, He loves to bless us and when He does it is superabundantly!  God also blessed Jacob superabundantly and all God asked of Jacob and all He asks of us is to be faithful in our service to Him and there are blessings that are born from that.  If you doubt that God blesses us every single day of our lives then listen carefully to what the Psalmist said in Psalm 68:19, Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation!  Maybe you don’t see the blessings because you are not looking!

            You see, these are truly the Principles For ProsperityDON’T MAKE WEALTH YOUR GOAL, DON’T BE AFRAID TO WORK FOR OTHERS AND TRY TO INCREASE THEIR WEALTH BEFORE OR AS YOU WORK TO INCREASE YOUR OWN WEALTH, TRUST GOD, WORK HARD AS YOU DEDICATE YOURSELF TO YOUR EMPLOYER’S SUCCESS, and, GOD BLESSES EXCEEDINGLY.  May we serve the Lord with all our being and as we do we will bring glory to Him and we will bless others as Jacob did!

Audio download
Powered by: Preachitsuite