8-The Prosperous Life 10/20/13 INTRO: I. II. JEREMIAH WRITING TO BABYLON FROM JERUSALEM A. They knew they were not in their eternal home. B. They had prophecies that promised a speedy departure. C. They were struggling to know how to live in the world they found themselves in. ==> Jeremiah 29:4-11 BODY: I. The Blessing of Production “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. A. We can be so busy looking for tomorrow that we miss today. 1) GOING IN TO THE BATTING CAGES 2) John 9:4 “As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” 3) LARRY ASKING ME, “WAS IT WORTH IT, BUILDING THE BUILDING?” B. II. The sooner we plant, the sooner we will reap a harvest. 1) Psalms 1:3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers. 2) “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”—Chinese Proverb 3) GRANT MYRHE—THE OLD APPLE TREE IN THE BACK YARD The Blessing of Progeny 6 Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. A. B. Fruitfulness comes to those who are faithful over time. 1) Galatians 6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 2) WAITING FOR YEARS TO SEE FRUIT IN THE KIDS LIVES Our investment in children is our assurance of a future. 1) Psalms 127:3-4 2) III. Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! CLIFF HANES WATCHING THE KIDS GIVE SPEECHES The Blessing of Prosperity 7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” A. The more we prosper our city, the more we prosper. 1) Heb (shalom) peace, prosperity, wellness 2) THREE WAYS WE CAN RESPOND TO THE WORLD a) Withdraw from it (Monastics, Amish) b) Protest it (Westboro Baptist) c) Try to change it for the good (HARVEST PARTY) 3) 1 Peter 2:12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. B. In the midst of it all, God is always faithful to His promises. 1) Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 2) MERIDITH ANDREWS—NOT FOR A MOMENT OTHER SCRIPTURES: Ecclesiastes 9:10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. Psalms 113:9 He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12 Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody. Ephesians 5:15-16 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.