Introduction to Prosperity

I'd like to talk about prosperity, but from a perspective you may not have considered.

3 John 2:
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

Whose Word is this?  Is it just John talking to Gaius?  (If you're not absolutely sure, click here.)

Notice it says above all things.  The interlinear translates the word "above" as "concerning."  Prosper is the Greek word "ευοδοω," transliterated "euodoo," which comes from "ευ" (eu) meaning "well" and "`οδος" (hodos) meaning "road" or "progress."  And it means "help on the road," "succeed in reaching," or figuratively, "to succeed (in business affairs)."  So God wants us to have help on the road, succeed in reaching, succeed in business affairs, or prosper concerning all things, including finances.

Prosperity is not a bankroll; prosperity is a mindset − an attitude.  I do not mean that you should change your mind and think you're prosperous when you're still poor.  If you're struggling to pay the bills, you're not prosperous.  What I mean is that if you have the mindset, money will run to you and jump in your pocket.

Studies of those who've won large amounts of money have shown that, five to ten years after they won the money, they're worse off than before they won the money.  Why?  Because they didn't have the mindset of prosperity.  So the money ran away from them.

How do you get the mindset?  There are two ways.  I'm only going to consider the Word's way.

First you have to think of yourself what God thinks of you.  Look at Romans:

Romans 10:9-10:
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Notice it says with the heart man believes unto righteousness.  Righteousness is the ability to stand before God Almighty without any sense of sin, guilt, shame, or condemnation.  And it says man believes unto righteousness.  How do you get it?  You believe unto it.  Are you a good person?  Who knows?  But that won't help you get righteousness; you have to believe unto it.

Ephesians 1:2-7:
Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

God wants you to have peace.  He's not on your case!  Notice it says that God has, past tense, blessed us with all spiritual blessings.  It's a done deal!  God has chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world; we are holy and without blame before Him; He has made us accepted in the beloved; we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins; and look, it's according to the riches of His grace, not the poverty.

Now look at the next verse:

Ephesians 1:8:
Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

Notice it says that He has abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence.  You're not stupid; you're not foolish − no matter what your mother said, no matter what your father did, no matter how badly you thought you blew it.

Let's keep reading:

Ephesians 1:9:
Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

God has trusted you with His biggest secret!  He doesn't just love you; He called you into His inner circle!  He didn't just let you in when you knocked on the door; He called you in.  Notice it says that He made known unto you the mystery of His will.  You didn't ask Him; He made it known.  He let you in on His plans!  Has anybody ever told you you couldn't be trusted?  God trusts you!

Look at verse 11:

Ephesians 1:11:
In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Notice it says we have an inheritance.  Someone (God) loved us enough to give us His estate.

Ephesians 1:12-14:
That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

It says we're sealed with the holy spirit.  That means we can't lose the inheritance God has given us.

If someone hands you the pink slip to a new Mercedes, and it has your name on it and no lien holder, whose car is it?  Does it matter that you didn't earn it?  Are you going to say, "I'm not good enough to drive this?"  Would it make any difference if someone told you that the car isn't really yours?  "That car wasn't meant for you; it was meant for me.  So I'll just take it off your hands, ok?"

The holy spirit, which is the earnest of our inheritance, is like the pink slip to the Mercedes.  It means you own the inheritance, regardless of what anyone (yourself or the world) says!

Ephesians 1:15-16:
Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

Whose Word is this?  Who is it that's thankful for you?  If God told Paul by revelation to write that he's thankful for the faithful in Christ Jesus, wouldn't it follow that God, also, is thankful for you?

Ephesians 2:2:
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

What is the course of this world?  It's what you were taught by the world to believe.  (You're no good; you're no good; you're no good.  Baby you're no good!)  That's one of them.  The other one is, "You're the best; you're the greatest," when you know perfectly well that you're not.  It's that constant judging by the world and people in the world that keeps people from believing what God says about them.

Keep your finger here and turn to Romans:

Romans 14:4:
Who art thou that judgest another man's servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

Notice it says that God is able to make the servant stand − no matter what happens.  Well, whose servant are you?  Isn't God able to make you stand?  So why do you judge yourself − either good or bad?  Who are you to judge another man's servant?  You're God's servant; who are you to judge yourself?  God is able to make you stand.  After all, He made you righteous.

Romans 2:14-15:
For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

It says the gentiles are doing this.  You're not a gentile; you're a child of God, aren't you?  So don't accuse yourself; don't excuse yourself; just believe what God says about you.

Go back to Ephesians:

Ephesians 2:2-3:
Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Notice it says that we were by nature the children of wrath.  ("Conversation" is old English for "conduct.")

Ephesians 2:4-5:
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

"Quickened" is old English for "made alive."  Notice it says when you were dead in sins He made you alive.  When you're dead, you can't do anything, so God had to do it for you.  By His grace, He saved you without your help!  So now you have a new nature.

Ephesians 2:6:
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

Notice it says He raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenlies!  Why?

Ephesians 2:7:
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

Then shouldn't we be kind to ourselves?  If God thinks we're worthy of kindness, shouldn't we be kind to ourselves?

Romans 8:32:
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

He spared not His son when you were by nature a child of wrath!  Now that you're no longer a child of wrath do you think He's going to smack you upside the head every time you make a mistake?  No, He's going to freely give you all things.

Ephesians 2:8-9:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Notice it says that it's not of ourselves; it's the gift of God.  We need to remember that!  You cannot prosper with a haughty attitude that says, "Look at me!  I'm great!"  Neither can you prosper with the attitude that you're no good, or even that you're less than the best.  This is difficult for many people, but look at the next verse:

verse 10:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

It says we are His workmanship.  You are the best, but you're the best because you're God's workmanship.  That tells me that I deserve to prosper, but because of God's grace and because of what God did.

verses 11-13:
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;
That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

We're near to God, but we're near by the blood of Christ.

verse 14:
For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;

It says he is our peace.  Then you can be at peace with yourself, and you don't have to get on your case, or anyone else's.

Ephesians 3:8-9:
Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:*

* Six of the seven critical Greek texts omit the words, "by Jesus Christ."

Do you see the attitude?  Paul was worthy to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery.  He was worthy to receive that revelation, but he was less than the least of all saints.  He remembered that it was God Who made him what he was!

Ephesians 3:12:
In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

Notice it says we have boldness and access with confidence.

Ephesians 3:16-19:
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

Wow!  Filled with all the fullness of God!  Can you get any better than that?

Ephesians 4:1-3:
I Therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Look at that mindset, that attitude!  I'm filled with all the fullness of God; God has made me righteous; I'm His workmanship; He's given me an inheritance − therefore I walk with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another (and myself) in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  That's an attitude that will get you prosperity − not accusing or excusing − not judging, but believing what God says about you.   If you can trust God that far, you can trust God for your prosperity, which is a real key.

By Jeffrey Moore, Southern California