In this 9-part series, Dr. Michael Youssef walks you through the life of Jacob—demonstrating how the grace of God overrules in the lives of His people. The Almighty God is able to bring His perfect will to bear, even in the midst of our mistakes and shortcomings. Therefore, to Him be all the glory, honor, and praise!
let not prosperity be your all consuming focus money and prosperity are not evil in themselves. They are very important to God. When God prosper individuals, it’s almost always for much higher purpose than just getting rich than happy. Today, I’m going to challenge you to rethink this whole concept of prosperity up next on leading the way. There are a variety of people, variety of pastors and preachers and teachers who prepare for in variety of ways. Self preparation is just as important to me personally as a preparation of the words that I will be speaking. I think self examination is just as important as making sure that you are expanding the word of God correctly and that you’re preaching the word of God with diligence. That is the great joy is that in his mercy and in his grace and in his wonderful love brought me to do this, which is the greatest privilege of my life. Whenever I mentioned the word prosperity, what is the first thing comes to your mind? Probably thought of prosperity, Gospel. Some of you probably thought well $10 million mansion, a Rolls Royce and a 50 million jet. Right. That’s that’s how we think about it. When we think prosperity. The problem with this modern interpretation of biblical prosperity is that it turns off a lot of people and for good reason and yet the word prosper or prosperity is a beautiful biblical word. It is a biblical concept. Now today I’m gonna challenge you. Probably like, I’ve never done before, I’m gonna challenge you to rethink this whole concept of prosperity. I want you to think of. Fresh because money and prosperity are not evil in themselves. Money and prosperity are very important to God. And the reason I say money is important to God, it is mentioned in the Bible 2085 times. In psalm 37 verse 25 Philippians 4 19, God promise to meet and bless his faithful Children. God committed himself to do that. And if you study biblical history, you’re gonna discover that there are certain periods of time in which God blessed his people and he blessed him abundantly made them exceedingly prosperous. Always for a reason, always for a reason Genesis 30 43, it makes it very clear every time in history when God prosper one of his Children or a group of his Children, it is always for a purpose, his purpose a higher purpose genesis Chapter 30 You have to agree that Jacob had an absolutely lousy boss, am I right? I mean though he was his uncle slash father in law. Laybourne was selfish, devious, money grabbing, deceitful, dishonest man. And you think you’ve got a bad boss. Hello, read the chapter when you go home and you’re gonna give thanks to God for your boss. The secret of Jacob’s prosperity and I’m gonna prove it to you in a minute it was that he did not think he was working for his uncle Laban. He was working for God, Regardless of who your earthly bosses, regardless of who your earthly authority is. You must realize that all the work you do, regardless of what profession you’re in. You are working for God. And you know that God is the one who’s watching you 24\/7 and God is the one who will reward your faithfulness. And when you realize that you have nothing to worry about good boss bad, but doesn’t matter. Listen to what Ephesians 67 and eight said work wholeheartedly as if you are serving the Lord and you know that the Lord will reward everyone according to their faithfulness. You received salvation by grace. You didn’t have to work for it. You didn’t have anything for it. It was pure grace of God through faith. But faithfulness after you come to christ as paul said again to the Ephesians that you have been predestined unto good works, faithfulness is required after you come to christ And here in Genesis chapter 30 you’ll see that God is the one who prospered Jacob a couple of messages ago he said, if you protect me and you give me enough food to eat and close to where and stopped. He didn’t ask for anything else. Only the necessities of life instead of these near necessities of life, God blessed Jacob out of his socks. Solomon could have asked for anything, he said. Lord I only want wisdom and God said because you asked for wisdom, I’m gonna give you the others as well. Chapter 30 verse 43 genesis. In this way the man. Jacob grew exceedingly prosperous. Here are several principles about prosperity. God’s way I want to share with you. And if you’re not taking notes, I hope you have a good memory. I don’t want you to ever forget those three things I want to share with those three biblical principles about prosperity. God’s way. First of all, let not prosperity be your all consuming focus. Secondly, let hard work be your all enduring quality. And thirdly, let your trust in God’s faithful provision, be your all abiding comfort and confidence. Look at the first one. Let not say that with me. Let not prosperity in itself be your consuming purpose or focus. Jacob’s attitude was not. I wanna get all I can. Can all I get and sit on the lid. Look at verses 25 and 26, he said to his father in law slash uncle, give me my wives and my Children so that I I go back home, I worked for them and that’s all I’m asking for. He was not asking for anything else. For 14 long years. He worked so hard, sweating blood and asked for nothing. Let’s face it had Jacob done something to feather his own nest. None of us would have blamed him right. I mean, after all, he’s got a large family to feed, right? No, he wanted to be faithful in the trust that was placed upon him because he believed with all his heart that he is working for the Lord. Listen, Jacob had lots of faults but not and faithfulness. So that was Jacob’s first priority. He’s going to rest upon the Lord. So don’t make prosperity to be your overriding focus. Remember what Jacob said to God. And Bethel remember a couple of messages ago when he saw this incredible vision of the ladder going up and down from heaven and angels coming up and down. And he saw as I told you, None, nothing less than the pre incarnate christ. God gave him a vision of what to come. Thousands of years later, the pre incarnate christ, you remember what Jacob said to him and this, by the way, I remind you again, 400 years before the law, He said to him, whatever you place in my hand, I’ll return 10%. Jacob trusted that God is the one who’s gonna bless him, not his uncle Laban Jacob consciously devoted himself to God. Jacob believed that he was serving God by serving labor. And don’t you ever forget that you are serving God in whatever company or whatever work you’re doing, you’re serving God first. Please don’t miss this by not making his own prosperity to be his all consuming focus and refusing to enrich himself. Only enrich his boss Jacob prospered, isn’t it? Amazing secondly, let hard work be your all enduring quality. If anyone had an excuse for not working hard, goofing off and taking it easy, it would be Jacob Right? No, no, sir. Not Jacob listen carefully with all of his faults. And we’ve seen some we’re gonna see some more, but with all of his faults, Jacob was a faithful man When it comes to faithfulness. He worked his heart out for 14 solid years. And so he tells Laban, look with me at verse 26 for you know how hard I worked for you, Laban who was idol worshiper, Lebron who was dabbling in new york. All Lebron who was a pagan in every way. Even he acknowledged That he was blessed because of Jacob’s faithfulness. Verse 27. Even the demons told Laban that God prospered him because of Jacob. Let not prosperity be your all consuming focus. Let hard work and faithfulness be you’re all enduring quality. 3rdly, let your trust in God’s promises be you’re all abiding comfort and confidence. Jacob trusted the Lord for his prosperity back then. They did not have Social security 401k. Profit sharing stock options. None of that. But Jacob had something superior to all of that. Jacob had the Lord. And let me tell you about the God of Jacob. Let me tell you about the father of our Lord, Jesus christ. Let me tell you about the character of our God. He does not repay us for our faithfulness with inflated dollars. Did you get that? He does not allow the money pool to dry up. God does not bless his faithful Children based on the dow jones industrial average. He does not bless his faithful Children based on the S. P. 500. He does not bless his faithful Children based on the stock market. He does not bless his faithful Children. Based on the state of the economy. No, sir, that’s not our God. Our God has his own criterion for prospering us. Amen. Amen, Give him glory, give him glory, Laban said to Jacob. He’s a use of translation. Don’t leave me name your price. What are your wages? And Jacob said I don’t want anything that I did not work for only my wives and Children, but labor insisted. No no no name your price. Name your price. I want. So Jacob I said I’ll keep the spotted and striped animals. I’m gonna summarize it for you because I’m sure some of your eyes kind of go sideways when you heard about the peeled branches and all that stuff and I’m gonna summarize it, make it easy for you. Okay, Laban had all the solid color animals. Jacob took the spotted and the striped animals. I wanted to watch for this. Watch it because you miss it if you’re not watching. Okay, everybody knows that the solid colors are the majority of the animals. That’s a fact. The rare words are the spotted or the striped then Jacob continued. But after I work with these animals. That I’ll keep, I will keep all the spotted and the striped ones and you keep the solid ones. I am convinced. If you read it carefully, Laban must have thought of this proposal for no more than a second, possibly two seconds. And he put his hand on there. That deal buddy. I’m sure in his mind he was saying you know I know this guy is my son in law and he’s my sister’s son, but he’s got to be as dumb as a doornail. Everybody knows that the solid color animals do not produce spotted or striped offsprings. Everybody knows that. Ah But Laban did not know God’s prosperity program for his faithful Children. So they separated the two sets by about 15 miles. What was Jacob doing? He was placing himself at a disadvantaged position, he placed himself in disadvantage. That’s what really was doing. I’m gonna give you something for me, you can take it or leave it, you can throw it out or keep it. But it is my personal conviction and I’m gonna prove it to you scripturally. Some people said um what Jacob dead by peeling the branches and make them all stripes or colors and a superstition. But this feeling of the branches to produce spotted and striped offspring, I personally believe wasn’t Jacob’s idea. Now the bible does not affirm it, yes or no. The bible does not commit. It. Just said he believed it. Jacob believed it and there’s another way God could have commanded Jacob to do it that way. And to see if Jacob gonna obey God or not. I’m gonna tell you another incident in the scripture to prove what I’m saying. Jacob could have said no, I Jacob, I’ve been around animal husbandry for a long time and things don’t work that way, This doesn’t make sense, but I’ll do it in obedience. Some 400 years later moses in the wilderness. The Israelites were bitten by deadly snakes and were dying one after the other. God said to moses go and make a bronze snake and lift it up high and every bitten dying person looks at that bronze snake will be healed and will live. Imagine somebody’s hearing moses giving this command said well this is crazy. Whoever said looking at the bronze snake can heal you and they didn’t do it and they died. Others brothers said well I don’t know but God said it, I’ll do it. They looked up and they got healed. Question were those who were healed were healed because of something magical in that bronze snake. God bless you. They were healed by their obedience beloved Obedience heals. Obedience Blesses Obedience answers prayer. In fact the next chapter we’re going to see Jacob had a dream about the speckled and spotted animals, was it Jacob Superstition, I don’t believe so personally, but don’t ever forget that he did not have a bible, We have 56 different translations of the bible in our houses where we have so many bible studies and home groups where we have a church on every corner. This man only heard God once in Bethel and so put him in context of his time. What he did he did in obedience question was the power to produce genetically altered offspring in the peeled branches. God bless you. The power was in Jacob’s obedience because he was in God’s supernatural program for prosperity and therefore God prospers his faithful obedient Children. Because Jacob trusted in God’s provision and God pra divided in the most unusual way. And there may be someone here today or somebody’s watching me around the world who is living in blatant disobedience and saying to themselves why God is not blessing me? Why is God not doing this? Why God is not answering my prayer, beloved listen to me. Our God feeds the birds of the air and he closes the flowers of the field. How much more valuable are his faithful Children? Jesus said, When you seek first, the kingdom of God and his righteousness, that is obedience and faithfulness. Then all of whatever it is you need is going to be given to you in abundance, beloved God’s grace saves you from sin. God’s grace redeemed you from the judgment God’s grace convict us and lead us to repentance. God’s grace overwhelms our past scars as we saw a few weeks ago God’s grace supplies all of your needs. It is the same grace that God can use to bless his obedient Children. Same grace. And he longs to do that. He longs to do that. But only when you don’t make prosperity to be your all consuming focus. When you let hard work be your all enduring quality. And when you trust in God’s provision become your all abiding comfort and confidence, If I’ve learned anything in 52 years of walking with the Lord is that he’s always on time, Always on time. He is never a minute earlier or a minute late. Oh that many times. I want him early. But that would have been a terrible mistake. As I look back. He’s always on time. He’s always on time. Even if it takes like in the case of Jacob 20 years from the time he made the promise in Bethel to the time it happened 20 years, God is faithful and he will keep his promises. God will always keep his promises. The question is, are you willing to wait? Well, are you ready to give up? It is the cry of my heart that everybody at the sound of my voice who said God, I trust you. I’m going to anchor my hope in your promises And I want to be obedient and faithful in everyone. Father, thank you for giving me the courage during these fearful times in my life to keep pressing on keep thanking the Lord, Jesus Christ my name is Lee Morris and I live here in Cincinnati about 22 years ago I had a real bad accident and I was totally paralyzed. It was really horrible time for me, Jesus just heard my prayers and he came to me, his name brought me ease. His name brought me the conference that I needed. After my transformation and my body began to heal, I began to listen to dr yussef. He gave me clear understanding about the presence of God. It gave me warmth that gave me the attention that my spirit needed to help me to understand my own life and it makes me want to know more. Good morning Dr yussef, my name is lee Morris. This one day I was listening to Dr Yousef and Dr Yousef message moved me and I just had to pick up the phone and I called and left to record a message. I just want to thank you and the leading the way ministry because it has changed my life. I listened to you and I began to grow every day by every message I’ve grown more in the last seven years than I’ve ever grown. I’m so encouraged to listen to Dr yourself and to go out and to witness about the messages that I hear and I can do that with my smartphone. I like to take my smartphone and just go out and say, hey look this I heard today I can take the knowledge that he’s teaching me and I can share with other people with clarity and dr Yousef whole focus is to point you to jesus christ, I can’t get around like I used to but thank you Lord, that the message has come to me right in my home, right in my living room, on my iphone, Lord, thank you for leading the way. Thank you for dr Yousef in these troubled times in jesus name, Amen Leading the way strives daily to be a resource for those seeking out the truth of christ, to learn how you can be a part of helping leading the way to reach those in need. Please contact us today. Question have the problems in your life become bigger than your God? Do you long to have unwavering faith in the midst of pain? Now we live in troubled times? Yes, but we serve a victorious and soon coming Lord, I’ve written a book to show you how you can live fearlessly, no matter how overwhelming the circumstances may be. It is called Fearless Living in troubled times. It’s a timely message about the hope that we have in christ return? Get your copy today. When you think about the state of the world today, what fears and concerns do you have for the future? How can you live out your faith in an age of crisis and instability with constant headlines of global disasters, persecution and economic turmoil. Fear as originally envisioned by God when he created it in us is that we may fear God. But what happened when Adam and Eve fell in the garden, we inverted that wonderful gift and we ceased to fear God and we fear meant we fear people. We fear circumstances in his book. Fearless Living in troubled times. Dr Michael usage guides you through 1st and 2nd Thessalonians and shares how you too can live fearlessly in today’s world. Fear is natural. Even some of the great men and women in the bible experience fear, it’s what you do with that fear and that’s really the theme of my book, Fearless Living in troubled times. I even caught myself saying, you know, I’m fine, I’m going to heaven. It’s Children that I worry about their future. That’s the flesh talking in me, not faith. That whole concept of saying I fear for my grandchildren should be eliminated from our vocabulary. And I’m starting myself doing that in this book. You’ll find encouraging answers to life’s greatest challenges and find an overwhelming hope in christ’s return. Faith is believing in God’s word. Even when the world is falling apart, Faith says no matter what happens around the God will keep his word uncover the true nature of the end times and why you should not panic. I think the most important message is that you are not a victim, you are a victim and it is the will of God for you to live victorious and therefore when this book comes into your hands and you read it, you will be lifted up regardless of what circumstances you might be facing. So I hope you’re gonna get it. Fearless. Living in troubled times is available now for your gift of any amount. Visit us online at l t W dot org to request your copy today. Check out Leading the Way, smartphone app with the leading the way and you can watch recent episodes of Leading the Way as well as watch Leading the way live events. Just search for leading the way on your Apple android or amazon fire device today passionately proclaiming uncompromising truth. Leading the way with Dr Michael Yousef. Thanks you for your faithful support through your continued prayers and gifts.