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God's Blessings and Prosperity Preaching

Good Morning everyone!

God bless you, what does that mean and who does God bless?

I'm pretty sure, we have all heard people say the phrase "God bless you."
And I'm also pretty sure, we have said those same words to others.

And God does want to bless those who love Him and are obedient to His Word.

“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
Luke 11:28

How quickly we can recall all the passages in Scripture
that speak about His blessings, and how quickly we forget the ones that call us to obedience!

If you are hearing or reading today, you have indeed been blessed!
It means God, has chosen YOU, to awaken another day.
Can I get a witness?

But, God's blessings and the God who blesses that is preached in many churches today, are something quite different.

So what does Scripture say and what kind of people does God bless? Let's take a look..

"For it is You who blesses the righteous man, O LORD, You surround him with favor as with a shield."
Psalms 5:12

"The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous."
Proverbs 3:33

"Blessings are on the head of the righteous, But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence."
Proverbs 10:6

Obeying the Word of God, even in small matters is an essential step in receiving God’s greatest blessings.

Many prosperity preachers, teach the Word of God, like He's a magic genie waiting to grant all of your wishes.. I won't name names, but I'm sure we've all heard them. 

Some, even eluding to the idea, the more money you give to their collection plate the more God will bless you!
This just isn't biblically correct!
There is no Scriptural reference to validate such claims.

The apostle Paul’s life experiences contradict the “prosperity gospel” preached in many of today's churches!

Paul had always wanted to go to Rome to preach the gospel.
Read Acts 19:21, Romans 1:15
However, Paul expected to go as a PREACHER, not a PRISONER!

Summary of Paul's story: An illegal arrest in the temple in Jerusalem; prisoner in Caesarea for two years; appealed to Caesar; shipwreck on way to Rome; three months of waiting on Island of Malta; under house arrest.

But Paul was not discouraged, because he knew that afflictions were part of the life of the Christian life.

"Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound."
2 Timothy 2:9

"That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know."
1 Thessalonians 3:3-4

"For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake."
Philippians 1:29

"That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death."
Philippians 3:10

Paul's life demonstrated, that sometimes we may feel like praising God, because of our circumstances, we should press through to offer Him a sacrifice of praise. It allows God to know that we trust Him to take us through every trial and situation, regardless how impossible our situations may seem.

In the self-centered, society of entitlement in which we live, today's prosperity preacher's are saying exactly what people want to hear.

God loves you, just the way you are. No need to change!
But Scripture doesn't support this teaching either.

God does indeed loves us! And He does met us wherever we are in our life's journey, accepting us, as we are, sinners and broken. But is that it? Now that we've accepted Christ, we're good, right? He expects us to allow His Word to transform our lives and then act upon those changes.

Scripture tells us that:
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17

What does that mean? It means our old ways die, and we live a new life in Christ. That we live in Christ, with the same zeal and passion we did as a sinner but in doing Christ's work. We're not to become passive Christians, sitting on the sofa, just reading Scripture. But proclaiming the gospel, witnessing and testifying to others, with the same passion we had when we went to the night clubs!

“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old."
Isaiah 43:18

"Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me."

Psalms 51:10

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
Romans 12:2

"That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind."
Ephesians 4:22

When we get out of our own way, and let God and His Word shine through the broken places in our lives, to penetrate through the cracks, we can be amazed at how loving, caring and passionate God is about blessing us.

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns”
Isaiah 52:7

                             
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