7 Ways A Christian Can Prosper

James Preston Reply 6:59 AM
Quick Prologue:  My wife rightly pointed out to me this AM that us preachers are always criticising the latest "7 ways to success" principles, and here I am doing exactly the same thing!  After much thought I've decided to keep the title for a number of reasons which I can explain later, but I would love to hear your thoughts about the title in the comments section!

So how do you claim the promises of success we spoke about last week?

Passages like Isaiah 60 make promises that other nations will bring their wealth to you!  But how will this happen?  Surely if it's a promise from God, it will "just happen"?  I'm not so sure.  If Noah thought that, we might not be here today.  If Abraham thought that, he might not be a fore-father of Jesus.

This is a faith and works issue.  The very issues raised by James (ironically) when he says "I will show you my faith by what I do."  (James 2:18)

If you really have faith; IE. if you really believe the promises of the New Covenant, then you will get out there and do what He has placed on your heart because you somehow know that it is going to be blessed.

So you're starting to believe the promises of the New Covenant.  What now?

Let's use the story of Peter walking on water with Jesus (which you can read here) as an example of "stepping out" into the promises God has for us.

1.  Think Bigger Than Yourself
Walking on water is a simply ludicrous thought.  But Peter saw Jesus doing it and he thought "why not?"  Stop thinking small.  Break out of your own little world.  See what Jesus wants for you.  See what He plans for you!  See the bigness of what is available to you!

Dream big.  Don't dream small.  God is a big God.  And He is not limited by your capabilities or talents.  If you have a vision of something, but have never before seen yourself in such a position, then don't discard that vision!  Think about it.  Dwell on it.  And if the idea doesn't go away, it may well mean you need to pursue it.

2.  Dwell On Your Idea
I decided to make this a point, because sometimes really successful ideas are the ones that wouldn't go away.  If your idea goes away after a few weeks, there could well be other ideas more suited to God's purposes for your life.  But if your idea won't leave you, that's a pretty sure sign God's placed it in your heart and it's worth exploring!

3.  Act On Your Idea
Peter had a crazy idea.  The rest of the disciples must've thought he was mad.  But Jesus clearly liked Peter's idea, and told him to act on it!

It could be to start an orphanage, a new ministry, a new business, go on a mission trip, praying for someone....  It is only by acting on an idea that you start to see what is involved in making such an idea a success.  You start to see unforeseen problems and issues.  These unforeseen issues can now be dealt with accordingly, or you gain priceless experience for the next crazy idea.

4.  Calculate Your Risks
I would say that Peter's risk was calculated because He could see Jesus out on the water.  If you can see Jesus amidst the haze of rain and wind, then it's calculated.  Evaluate your idea, this passion you have in your heart, ask yourself these basic questions...  

- Is it feasible?  (Do I have the time to pursue this?  If not, is this something that I should pursue full-time?  If so, how will I sustain my income?  Etc.)
- Is it profitable (if it is business-related)?
- Is this an overly used idea?  (If so, do I have a fresh way of doing it?)
- What is required to see this happen?  (What training / skills do I need?  Do I have the necessary skills?  If not, where can I get help?)
- Get advice from friends and mentors  (Their advice will all be part of making up your calculation in the risk)

5.  Keep Your Eyes Fixed On The Prize
Peter took his eyes off the very Person who's Presence allowed him to walk in the water, and instead focussed on the challenging waves around him.

Remember, the very reason you took the risk in the first place, is because you had a vision of what could be.  If you start to get discouraged because things aren't going as planned, lift up your head and revisit your vision!  If need be, ask yourself "what is possible if this becomes successful?"  Those possibilities alone should inspire you to press on through the tough times.

6.  Admit Your Need For Assistance
One of the primary reasons so many Christian ministries and businesses are, simply put, "average" is because these Christians think that their idea is the idea and they don't need help seeing it become a reality.  If Peter hadn't grabbed the hand of Jesus, he would've had to swim back to the boat.  Too many Christians are swimming while others have their hands out to help them.

This is a humbling thing, and requires you to get over yourself and your pride.  Admit you don't have all the answers, and seek advice.  I am not saying you have to take the advice.  I am saying at least get some advice!  You could sit through an hour-long conversation from a mentor or a friend whose advice seems completely unhelpful, but they could say one thing that could change your entire idea around and set it on a course for guaranteed success.  If you hadn't sat through the hour of nothingness, you would never have got to the gold.

Also, get advice from more than one person.  Perspective is an invaluable commodity in stepping into God's promises for your life.

7.  Never Give Up
If the perspective you receive encourages you that this idea is not dead, or you strongly feel in your heart that there is more to this, then do not throw it away!  Do not give up!

Not only in that specific dream, but in general.  God has promised you success.  It is your destiny.  Don't give up pursuing that for which He has called you.  Believe you are born for greatness, no matter what you go through.

Peter faced a number of challenges and even rebukes from his Master, but after some encouragement, he pressed on.  He kept fighting.  And today he is one of the greatest heroes of the New Testament.  An imperfect hero, sure.  But a great hero nonetheless.  We all have imperfections Jesus is working out in us.  But that doesn't stop us from stepping into greatness.

Don't let anything hold you back!  Don't believe bad news and discouraging words!  You are born for greatness!  Greatness is in your DNA.  All that is required for you to do is believe it, and act like it.

Are Christians Meant To Be Prosperous?

James Preston 1 6:30 AM
In a nutshell:  Yes.  Without a shadow of a doubt.  Christians are meant to be prosperous.  We must also be acutely aware that the term "prosperous" means many things for many different people.  For an indian farm worker in the Punjab, prosperous is having a secure roof over their head and enough income for 3 meals a day.  Prosperous is all a matter of perspective.

The first thing we need to be careful of is comparison.  When we compare ourselves to others, we will fall into the trap of believing that because we aren't like "them", we're not prosperous.  That's a lie.  Having said that, we must also be very careful not to use this as an excuse not to believe for a blessed life!

God our beautiful and loving Father wants us to prosper!  Like any good dad, He wants to see His kids succeed in everything they do.  Not just because He has an agenda, but because He's a good Dad and He loves His kids!

Does He have an agenda?  Well...  yes.  And that too is for another post.  His agenda is simply to see the brokenness of this world made right.  And His plan is for that to happen through His kids.  How are we going to do that without being successful?  Exactly.

I want to take you on a short journey highlighting this glorious truth that should inspire you to get out there and walk in the favour God has given you!

1.  The New Covenant Means The World Is Yours

The New Covenant is founded on God's promise to Abraham.  (Galatians 3:14)

God's promises to Abraham were...   (Genesis 12:1 - 3)
- he would become a great nation
- God would make his name great
- he would be a blessing
- that all people on earth would be blessed through him.

As we see in Galatians 3:14, these promises are not just for Abraham, but for you as well!

2.  You Inherit The World By Believing This Promise

- Romans 4:13 - 16 clearly reveals that Abraham would inherit THE WORLD (yes, THE WORLD!) by faith.
- It also explicitly states that this promise to Abraham was not only for him, but for his offspring.
- On top of all this, it goes on to tell us that WE are his offspring!

You see, one of the great promises of the New Covenant (among many!) is that we would inherit the world.  You can't inherit the world as a pauper.  You are destined to prosper, because the world is yours!

3.  Through Jesus, You Can Reign In This Life (Not Just The Next!)

One chapter on, in Romans 5:17, one of the great verses of the New Covenant, we are promised that we would "reign in life" through Jesus.  My friend, the more you realise what Jesus did for you, the more you see His unconditional Love for you, the more you see His Power and Majesty, you will find yourself reigning in life.  Reigning in life means prospering.  Means being successful in everything you do.  It means everything you touch turning to gold.

Does this mean you won't have challenges?  No.  Does this mean that you won't face trials?  No, reigning in life or being prosperous does not mean all troubles are erased.  These promises mean that the troubles and trials are not for nothing!  The promises mean that you can press on through the trials because your successes are waiting for you on the other side!

Next week Friday, I want to show you HOW you as a child of God can go out and claim the success and prosperity promised in this Glorious New Covenant.  And no, it's not by "naming it and claiming it".  ;)

Stay tuned for next week's edition...


Please note that I am very aware that this is a subject that could require some serious theological explanation.  But for brevity I will leave that either for a separate post, or for the comments section.  Or you are welcome to email me with questions.

I Want You To Change the World

James Preston Reply 6:30 AM
2013 is upon us.  And it has hit hard!  It came out of nowhere, and we are already too deep in to go back, now.  As with most people, a new year is a fantastic opportunity to set new goals and try new things.  That's what I'm doing on my blog... for you!  That's right; for you!

I want to see you succeed in 2013.  It won't be easy.  For any of us.  But with a revelation of God being for you, and with a whole bunch of faith-based effort*, you'll begin to see things turn.  You may not see the fruition of new successes this year, but you need to start building your platform for success now.  It starts now.  Much like Abraham and Sarah took 7 years to conceive Isaac after God promised they would, it may take time to see your promises fulfilled.

God has inspired a vision in my heart to see you, yes you, equipped and inspired to start changing the world.  And that's what I will do on this blog once a week.  Yep, you read that correctly:  ONCE A WEEK.  One of my goals this year is to blog once a week about anything that will inspire and equip you to change the world.

So here is the first official blog on my brand new website.  I hope you like it by the way.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself.  Stop wasting time and energy doing nothing.  Rise up, and do what God placed you on this earth to do:  Change the world!  Contribute to change today.  Smile at someone.  Pay for someone's groceries.  Don't honk your horn if someone cuts in front of you.  Be nice to the waiter.  Whatever it may be...  start somewhere.

Until next week...  happy "changing the world"!  And happy 2013!


* A quick note on the term "faith-based effort":  I am talking about you believing that God is for you, and that you are born for greatness...  and when you believe it, you will go out and do something about that!  I am not saying that you have to do anything in order to gain favour with God.  By what Jesus did on the Cross you are already favoured with God!  But if you don't step out in faith, you won't see that favour manifest.  So get out there and do it!

Don't Be A Victim - Be Victor

James Preston Reply 7:57 AM
Happy 2013 everybody!  I hope 2012 was a good year, and you can recount some good things that came from it.  If you can't, then either you're not looking hard enough, or you really, really had the worst year ever!

Be thankful.  Look at the positives.  Cut out the negatives and forget them.  This is something that I am working on, and a mindset I am going to adopt for 2013.

2012 had a number of challenges.  There were dreams that weren't realised.  There were goals that weren't met.  There were disappointments and let downs.  But my golly, there was a lot accomplished!

Victims will focus on the disappointments.  Victors will focus on the achievements.  Don't allow yourself to be a victim.

In ministry, I meet victims often.  Victims of a poor South African government.  Victims of their past.  Victims of their parents poor choices.  Victims of the economy.  But I also meet a whole bunch of victors who achieved a surprising amount who had very similar pasts.  The difference?  The mindset.

There's a reason Bill Johnson is so strong on the point of being thankful for what God has done and is doing.  Even if you can only find one thing.  It's for this reason Bethel have become such a powerhouse for the Kingdom.  They're victors.  And they know it.  Sure they had disappointments  they had setbacks, they had letdowns.  Trust me, if you're trusting and believing for half the stuff they believe for, you're going to have a lot of letdowns!  But they just don't allow the letdowns to get to them.  That's what victors do.  They don't allow the disappointments, letdowns and challenges to get to them.

Do you know that most of the world's most successful entrepreneurs have gone into liquidation at least once?  Have you ever gone into liquidation?  No?  Be thankful!  Yes?  You could be the next successful entrepreneur!  What made those entrepreneurs successful was the fact they didn't allow the circumstances to get to them, and instead kept fighting.

What I've learnt recently is that sometimes it's not so much about focussing on the good, but rather choosing not to focus on the bad.  Consciously deciding to not allow the bad to get to you.

This year, I will not allow my circumstances to get to me.  No matter what I face.  I am making a conscious decision to brush off the disappointments and challenges, and by doing so I'm excited to experience a year of happiness and joy!

Don't be a victim of your circumstances.  Be the victor God created you to be!

Have a powerful 2013!

Spiritual Blog of 2013!

Spiritual Blog of 2013!

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