This morning we continue our series entitled “Leveling Up with the Word!” We have been looking at the parable of the sower. Let’s get back to it today.
Setting the stage:
(Mark 4:13-20 ERV)
“The farmer is like someone who plants God’s teaching in people. Sometimes the teaching falls on the path. That is like some people who hear the teaching of God. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the teaching that was planted in them.
Other people are like the seed planted on rocky ground. They hear the teaching, and they quickly and gladly accept it. But they don’t allow it to go deep into their lives. They keep it only for a short time. As soon as trouble or persecution comes because of the teaching they accepted, they give up.
Others are like the seed planted among the thorny weeds. They hear the teaching, but their lives become full of other things: the worries of this life, the love of money, and everything else they want. This keeps the teaching from growing, and it does not produce a crop in their lives.
And others are like the seed planted on the good ground. They hear the teaching and accept it. Then they grow and produce a good crop—sometimes 30 times more, sometimes 60 times more, and sometimes 100 times more.”
We have been focusing on the phrase “the love of money” for days. Today’s message will continue to flow in this vein.
Many Christians don’t like to talk about money. But the Bible actually says more about money than it does about heaven. We need to talk about it. Especially as it relates to the improper “love” people have towards it. Money, in and of itself, is not evil. I would venture to say that NOT having money is evil. The only way to think that money itself is evil is if you have never been poor. Money can and should be used for all sorts of good. It’s the “love” of money that is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10), not the money itself. Paul said, “The love of money causes all kinds of evil. Some people have turned away from what we believe because they want to get more and more money. But they have caused themselves a lot of pain and sorrow.” (1 Tim 6:10 ERV).
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. God is not against abundance and overflow.
God is not opposed to you having earthly possessions. I have seen Christians tear down other Christians for the earthly possessions they have accumulated. God is not opposed to you having “things.” God will even bless you with the things you desire. God is always looking at your heart (1 Sam 16:7). God only has a problem with you having things when things have you; when the items you possess have taken the wrong place in your heart.
God can give you wealth. God made Solomon wise and rich. He was an ultra-billionaire, by the grace of God, and this is what he said concerning earthly wealth and possessions: “I have seen what is best for people to do on earth: They should eat, drink, and enjoy the work they have during their short time here. God has given them these few days, and that is all they have. If God gives some people wealth, property, and the power to enjoy those things, they should enjoy them. They should accept the things they have and enjoy their work—that is a gift from God.” (Ecc 5:18-20).
The text makes it clear that the Lord can bless you with wealth, property, and the power to enjoy it. There is nothing wrong with enjoying all God places in your hands.
Solomon also said,
(Prov 10:22 NKJV)
The blessing of the LORD makes one rich, And He adds no sorrow with it.
— The Bible is full of people whom the Lord made rich. And since it was the Lord’s doing, the riches did not destroy their lives.
— Don’t criticize others for the wealth God has blessed them to attain. God is going to judge their hearts. If God tests their heart and finds that their heart is in the right place where money is concerned, He will bless them with more.
— Don’t allow envy to fill your heart and cause you to be upset with someone who has what you don’t. Allow God to judge their heart, and you search your own. God will give you all you need to accomplish your divine assignment, and He will even bless you richly to enjoy the life He has given you, but your heart needs to be in the right place where money is concerned.
2. God wants you to have and ENJOY life!
Let’s look at something Jesus said.
(John 10:10 New International Version)
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
(John 10:10 The Passion Translation)
A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow!
Now let’s look at something Paul said.
(1 Tim 6:17 ERV)
Give this command to those who are rich with the things of this world. Tell them not to be proud. Tell them to hope in God, not their money. Money cannot be trusted, but God takes care of us richly. He gives us everything to enjoy.
I will focus on the line “He gives us everything to enjoy.”
That line, in the J.B. Phillips Translation, reads, “…who generously gives us everything for our enjoyment.”
The Passion Translation reads, “…the one who lavishes upon us all good things, fulfilling our every need.”
— It is clear that God wants us to have and enjoy the life He gave us.
— Yes, God wants us to make it to heaven. But He also wants us to enjoy the ride.
— I know people who are saved but miserably saved. They hate life, and all they do is complain about how bad the world is. Their focus is on getting to heaven. Listen, if all God wanted you to do was to go heaven, and you are Born-Again, then you would be DEAD. The fact that you are still here is evidence that God has plans for you. Your assignment is not complete. And you won’t get it done by complaining all the time.
— God wants you to ENJOY life. He also wants you to enjoy the things He blesses you with. Just don’t develop an improper “love” for them. Remember, it is the “love” of money that becomes the root of all sorts of evil. (1 Tim 6:10).
— Thank God for your house, but don’t “love” for your house. Some “love” their house so much that it keeps them away from the God who blessed them with it.
— Thank God for your car, but don’t “love” your car. God wants you to enjoy the things He blesses you with, but if you start loving things instead of loving God, then the things God blessed you with actually become idols that keep you from Him.
3. When you combine faith, gratitude, and humility, you will wind up living an amazing life.
(Heb 10:35,36 Amplified Bible)
Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward. For you have need of steadfast patience and endurance, so that you may perform and fully accomplish the will of God, and thus receive and carry away [and enjoy to the full] what is promised.
I will attempt to tie together everything I shared thus far this morning in the last few statements:
— God wants you to “fully accomplish” His will before you die.
— God wants you to minister to others. In order to do this, He gives you overflow.
— You minister to others out of your abundance. You give out of your overflow.
— God gives you more than enough of _______ (you fill in the blank with peace, love, mercy, grace, power, influence, power, etc.), so you can use your overflow to BE a blessing to others and advance His Kingdom on this planet.
— While you are being used as a conduit of God’s blessing, there is nothing wrong with ENJOYING His blessing in the process!
— You can have things; just don’t ever get to the point where things have you.
— If you remain humble, you live to give, and you prove to God that you will honor HIm with whatever He places in your hands; there is nothing He will withhold from you.
— If you ever get to the point where the love of money has filled your heart and making your own name great is your focus, the Word will stop working in your life, God will pull back from you (exposing you to the enemy), and great will be your fall.
— Just keep your heart pure where money and the things of this world are concerned, and God will use you mightily! You will also get to live and enjoy an amazing life in the process.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, this is a season of LEVELING UP for me! I LEVEL UP by making You my #1 priority in every area, including my finances. I will never allow money to cause my heart to go astray. You can bless me with wealth Father because I will use the wealth You place in my hands for Your Kingdom plans and purposes. I don’t love my house; I am thankful I get to enjoy it. I don’t love my car, but I do enjoy it as I drive to and fro. I love You, and I am thankful for all the earthly possessions You trust me with. I am simply a steward of Kingdom resources. My heart is in the right place concerning money. Therefore, You trust me with more. I will never develop a love for money. Money is a tool, You are my Lord, and I will never confuse the two. Living this way, I continually LEVEL UP in every area of my life. GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.