Breaking the Cycle Part II
Breaking the cycle of poverty
Synopsis of Sermon 10/10/10
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
Text: Proverbs 6:6-11
This area can be one of the hardest to overcome. Why? Many of us have problems confronting it. (Bishop Walker shares that anxiety had risen up in him when preparing for this message). Lots of people have strong feelings concerning the issue of money being preached from the pulpit. Bishop explains how he does not want to be caught up in the generalization of the “Prosperity Preacher”. Bishop explains that what separates him from this kind of theology is that he believes that the prosperity gospel approach is narcissistic and very individualist focused. This approach talks about how you can have it all right now (your blessings). This approach thinks always about the individual and is mainly focused on oneself. It is a “Bling-Bling” theology. Bishop explains that he is not one of these types of Preachers. Bishop states he believes the Gospel itself is the birth, the life, the death, and the resurrection of Christ. This is the gospel that Bishop Walker preaches. Having said this, we also believe that through this process of salvation, God wants his children to prosper. The job we have and the house we have is a result of what God has done. God did that. It would be hypocritical not to say that God wants us to prosper, because everything we have, God gave it to us. We have to be responsible with what God has blessed us with. This is what separates us from the prosperity view, that individualized view of blessing, and thinking that the blessings is always just about us. God thinks about others when he blesses us. We have told you before, if God can’t get a blessing through you, he will quit sending them to you.
Many of us have allowed blessings to make us victims instead of us applying sound biblical principles to help us be victors. There is an amazing story about to hit the news giant CNN. It is about debt in America and the churches response to it, particularly in the minority community. The reality is, lots of people shout and come church, yet they are deeply in debt. We have to start dealing with this in the church. You will be interested to know that Jesus taught more about money than heaven or hell in the bible. There is only one thing that God talked about more than money and this was the Kingdom of God. In fact, 11 of the 39 parables in the bible deals with money. 1 out of every 7 verses in the gospel of Luke deals with money. Over 2000 verses, Jesus dealt with the poor. Luke 4:18, Jesus gives a powerful declaration of about his own Ministry. It says 18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. – Jesus says he came to set the oppressed free. Debt and poverty will bind you up. We are never supposed to be controlled by this world’s economy. This is a word planet. Everything in this earth today is a result of God’s word. The problem is many of us allow our friends that don’t even come to church, to speak into our lives and so we end up settling and struggling all our lives. We come to church and dance and shout, yet we can’t pay our bills. We can’t even get in school and we go through life mismanaging our blessings.
This is a flatfooted word. There is no fluff to this sermon. Many of you today will leave from this reading breaking this cycle of poverty.
I. Principle of seed time and harvest
Proverbs 6:6-7 says 6Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: 7Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
- We must understand how to plan for the winter. It is about seed time. We have to start applying words like budget and planning in your life. You can’t live out of your front pocket.
- How do we handle the 90% left after we tithe? This might mean cutting out some the extras in our life. We have to stop living in the right now and think about our not yet. Imagine what $25 set aside a week or month could do in our situation. You got to start planning for emergencies. There are two types of people that die. Those that die blessed and those that die broke.
- This is about diversification. – Ecclesiastes 11:1 says 1Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.
- Don’t put all your money in one place. Ecclesiastes 11:2 says 2Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. – You don’t’ know when a recession might come. Don’t put it all your money in one place.
- Make preparation. Ecclesiastes 11:3 says 3If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth: and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be. – If stuff happens, you have thought about that, because you have your money spread out
- You never know what God is going to work out. Ecclesiastes 11:4-5 says 4He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. 5As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all. -You don’t know what God is going to work out with your seed. Sow your seed right now and then you don’t have to feel guilty about getting your harvest.
- We have to have Discipline – Proverbs 6:8 says 8Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. Lots of people live in the “right now”. Make up in your mind that you want to live. Get past immediate gratification. Sometimes it may mean you need to take your lunch to work or wear the same jeans. Rather than buying this, you might want to put something back for later. We have to break this cycle today.
- Stop living beyond your means trying to impress people that don’t like you anyway. We have a plan. We are planting seed right now.
- 6 key principles:
- Initiative -This is not the will of God for us to struggle. You have to get to a point you realize that this (poverty) is not God’s will for your life. There are unique situations where folk have gotten to this state at no fault of their own, but there are others that got in these situations on their own. For those who got themselves in this situation need to know that this is not God’s will for our lives. Some might say the Pastor is supposed to take a vow of poverty. Bishop Walker says this was not what God intended for him. Bishop jokingly says there are two vows that he wasn’t going to take as a Pastor. He wasn’t going to take a vow of poverty, because he is a giver and he wasn’t going to take the vow of celibacy, because it wasn’t natural to him. He says he was going to marry and use all that God gave him.
- Inspection – What has caused this situation? Was it your Visa or the clothes in your closet? Inspect your life and see what caused you to be where you are right now.
- Insight – This is God giving you the wisdom to handle your present situation.
- Increase – May have to work more over time to get out of poverty. We may have to sow more seeds.
- Industrious – Make the most of what you have. If you don’t have Kool-aid, may have to make sugar water. If you don’t have lotion, then you may have to lick that ashy spot. Use what you got!
- Investments – In the kingdom of God, it positions God to help you. Once you invest in the kingdom, it obligates God to help you. God’s word will not contradict itself. People say they are not going to give all their money in church, but it’s deeper than that. When you invest in God’s kingdom, it obligates God to help you, because his word will not return unto him void.
II. Problem of sleeping too hard
Proverbs 6:9-10 says 9How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep? 10Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
- We have a problem; we pass poverty to the next generation. How long will we settle for being pathetic? How long will these churches keep selling fish plates? How long will we pass debt on to others? How long will you put everything on a credit card? This makes us bad advertisement to the kingdom. We acknowledge that some people were dealt a bad hand, but you ought not want to stay there.
- God funds purpose. Once our purpose is established in earth, God funds our purpose. We need God to bless us so we can get gas for our car for an example.
- Many of us are in a vicious cycle, because we are caught up on pleasure. We can’t live our life from party to party bed to bed. Sin is expensive. Ex- The story of the prodigal son is about redemption. This story is about a son asking for his inheritance. This son wants his trust before his father even dies. The father turns a trust over to an immature, undisciplined boy. What happens when an immature undisciplined boy gets a lot of money? They end up broke, busted, and disgusted.
- Money won’t solve our problem, but discipline will. It is possible to give money to fools. This is why people win the lottery, they end up broke. They still have the same undisciplined principles in their life. It takes discipline to get it, but character to keep it. We waste instead of building wealth. There is nothing wrong with having a good time, but you can shout a little better when all your bills are paid.
III. Promise of a season is at hand
Proverbs 6:10-11 says 10Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 11So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
- Consequences are results of decisions we make. The scripture says poverty will come on you like one who travails. Travail used in this scripture is similar to a woman that is in labor. She is trying to give birth, but she can’t. Every time she tries to push the baby out, she can’t because it hurts. Like this, every time something comes around, we can’t take part in it, because it hurts us (when we are in poverty). When holidays come or opportunity comes around, we can’t take part because it hurts. This is not God’s will for our life. We must determine which season will come to us.
- There is a high cost to low living. Ex- A couple of yrs ago, Bishop Walker told us to look at hands and think about all the money that ran through our hands that was wasted and wonder how much better off we would be financially if we had that wasted money back. The only way to break this cycle is to be sick and tired of being sick and tired. We come to church run, shout, and still don’t have anything. If you don’t have anything, you can’t help anything. God is not blessing us just for us. In order for us to live out our kingdom assignment, we must be a good steward of what God gave us so we can live out our assignment and bless others. Nobody can help you unless you are willing to help yourself.
- Some of you have fallen asleep during this message and you think you are dreaming, but you are not. If you learn the power of planning (seed time, harvest, and waking up) you will notice something.
- a. Look at the total blessing. Deuteronomy 28:1-4 says 1And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 2And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. 3Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. 4Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. – When you are in poverty you can’t get the best food and medicine for your body. God is trying to bless us totally so we will be blessed in our body and mind. This is called totally blessed.
- The blessing of God is on you. Deuteronomy 28:5-7 says 5Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. 6Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. 7The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. – Are they fleeing because you got money? No, they are fleeing because the blessing of God is on you and your blessing is tied to obedience.
- God will command things to bless you. Deuteronomy 28:8 says 8The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. – Before you go in, God will command it to bless you. Don’t depend on your job to take care of you. If you are living for God, you will always have more than you are paid. It is not Job Jireh it is Jehovah Jireh.
- God swore a blessing to you if you walk in his ways. Deuteronomy 28:9-10 says 9The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. 10And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee.
- We should be lenders and not borrowers. Deuteronomy 28:11-12 says 11And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. 12The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. – The Lord will make you the head and not the tail. He will make you above only. Somebody needs some stuff opened up in your life. You will be able to lend and not have to borrow.
- God will make us the head and not the tail. Deuteronomy 28:13 says 13And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them: – Bishop will leave this with you. He was watching a commercial the other night: Billy is dead now, but he was a good salesperson. He had this cleaning product. He was talking about how awesome it was and how it could get up these stains and clean up this mess. It had all these attachments to it. When Billy got through, Bishop thought that this was a good deal. He thought this was a lot of stuff to get for only $19.99. He started to pick up the phone to order the product and they said on the commercial, but wait, there’s more. We are going to throw in this and that. Bishop says, “Wow now I really have to call.” As he was trying again to call and make his order, the commercial says again, but wait, there’s more! They said if you call now, they will throw something else in. Again we said we have come today to break the cycle of poverty. We have a word in Proverbs 6:6-13, but if you act now, wait there’s more! Malachi 3:10-11 says 10Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts, but wait, there’s more! 2 Corinthians 9:6 says 6But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. , but wait, there’s more! Proverbs 3:9-10 says 9Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:10So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine., but wait, there’s more! Luke 6:38 says 38Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Somebody say I am breaking the cycle of poverty!