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Sunday Message for August 25, 2019

THE PROSPERITY LAWS OF OPULENCE

This month we have been delving into the prosperity secrets of Moses, one of the wealthiest men of the Bible, using Catherine Ponder's classic book The Millionaire Mosesa as our reference. Because we are at a time in the evolution of humankind where we need to "fish or cut bait" about our prosperity consciousness!

Today we are going to explore what Catherine Ponder calls "The Prosperity Laws of Opulence."

Opulence is "Wealth, affluence, abundance, profusion, luxury; amply provided or fashioned." According to Webster's dictionary. Check in with yourself for a moment. What does that word bring up for you? Be honest! For some it's a really positive word; for others it brings up thoughts of greed, overindulgence, selfishness.

According to New Thought pioneer Ralph Waldo Trine in his book, In Tune With the Infinite: "Opulence is the law of the universe, an abundant supply for every need if nothing is put in the way of its coming. The natural and normal life for us is this: To have such a fullness of life and power by living so continually in the realization of our oneness with the Infinite Life and Power that we find ourselves in the constant possession of an abundant supply of all things needed."b

Isn't that a terrific way to look at Opulence?! So, if this morning, you have any negative connotation at all about that word, I invite you this morning to let it go. To release it. To know that it does not serve you!

Moses learned the Prosperity Laws of Opulence -- when he was a prince in the Court of Pharaoh. This knowledge, coupled with his faith in God as the source of his supply, enabled him to provide lavishly for his followers over 40 years in the wilderness.

EXODUS

One of the greatest lessons on Opulence is found in the instructions God gave in the Book of Exodus for building and lavishly furnishing the Hebrews' tabernacle. You should read about it. It's fascinating, starting at Chapter 25 running through 27. Let me give you a brief overview . . .

Even though it was a portable place of worship, it was to be constructed of the finest materials including acacia wood, goats' hair and rams' skin. It was to be overlayed in pure gold with a crown of gold around it and basically everything it was built with was to be covered in pure gold.

The curtains were to be made of fine twined linen and blue and purple and scarlet material made by fine craftsmen.

The dishes and the candlesticks were to be made of pure gold. And the descriptions and instructions go on and on.

And then we get to Chapter 28, which contains the explicit instructions for how the high priest's robes were to be made.

Briefly, they were to be made of fine linens embroidered in gold, blue, purple and scarlet. They were to be adorned with emeralds, diamonds, onyx, topaz, sapphires, amethyst and other precious stones, all set in gold. They are described in the scripture as "garments of glory" made by skilled craftsmen. They were to be worn for "glory and beauty."c

Ponder writes: "And because every single one of us is a rich child of a loving Father, we are all "priests of God." We too are entitled to wear and enjoy those things which enrich our souls and enhance our worlds."d

It is significant that God gave instructions for building and lavishly furnishing the tabernacle while the Hebrews were still in the wilderness. It is significant that Aaron, who was the high priest, was instructed to wear elegant garments in that barren place.

Because right there in that barren wilderness, the Hebrews needed to learn to lift their vision to opulence. They needed to develop an "opulence consciousness" so that they could get out of that wilderness by accepting the unlimited abundance that awaited them in their Promised Land.

1. LIVING OPULENTLY
1. The First Prosperity Law of Opulence - Living Opulently

So, here is the first of three Prosperity Laws of Opulence --

Begin now in your present circumstances, even if it is a barren wilderness experience -- to get ready for the good you want. Do what you can to prepare your consciousness to mentally accept more of your good. Make the desert-like places in your life as beautiful, rich and harmonious as possible.

Do not sit down and wait for your blessings to drop in your lap. Do the most you can with what you have -- and remember, you always have more than you know!

Realtors know that the quickest way to sell a house is by fixing it up. Fix up your wilderness.

Use what you already have. Do not store up your finest possessions, waiting for special occasions for their use. Use them now. This practice not only makes you feel rich, but it opens the way for more abundance to come to you.

Say yes to opportunities to feel opulent! Having and enjoying the opulence of the universe really is a divine right - and Exodus: 25-28 show us that. The first Prosperity Law of Opulence is to know this!

2. TITHING
2. The Second Prosperity Law of Opulence - Tithing

You knew this had to come - this IS a Catherine Ponder book, after all!

Moses learned the universal practice of tithing in the temples of Egypt and taught the tithing law of opulence to the Hebrews while they were still in the wilderness. They never questioned his instructions, and as they tithed, they prospered accordingly. They were instructed to give "all of the tithe" of the land, seed, fruit, grain, wine, oil and the firstlings of the flock.

Four quick things about tithing - from my perspective:

1) It is 10% (literally)! Anything less is NOT a tithe - it's percentage giving, which is just fine if you're not ready to tithe - just be clear that it's not a tithe. Tithe literally means one tenth.

2) If you are looking for greater financial abundance, then your tithe is of money, and can't be substituted with time and talent. Tithing of time and talent when you desire more financial good is like working out your left side hoping to develop and strengthen your right side. It just doesn't work that way.

3) Where you tithe is important - tithe where you are spiritually nourished and inspired.

4) Finally, and this is a biggie - tithing is a consistent practice that you do despite your financial fears. The very act of tithing when things are tight is a way to build your faith.

Using the developing muscle example again, if you only lift weights that are easy to lift you won't build any strength. The strength building comes when it gets hard. When you have to huff and puff to lift. The same with tithing, if you stop because you get scared, when it gets hard, you will never gain the spiritual strength needed to be truly abundant!

Ponder writes: "When you take God as your financial partner, you are bound to prosper. There are people everywhere who are spiritually minded only up to their hip pockets. They give the Lord practically everything: Advise, excuses, good intentions, a little time and even a little energy - everything except the coin of the realm. Not so of those who are developing a true opulence consciousness. It includes abundant generosity. Tithing is always the beginning of opulent increase."e

3. THANKSGIVING
3. The Third Law of Opulence - Thanksgiving

The Third Law of Opulence is activated through thanksgiving - in fact, a very specific type of thanksgiving - being thankful before there seems to be anything to give thanks for. When you give thanks anyway, your mental acceptance is accelerated. Your good is stepped up. It comes more quickly.

The Hebrews learned the miracle power of thanksgiving while still in the wilderness. Moses taught them to observe festival days three times each year to gather and formally give thanks! One of them was called "the Feast of the Harvest" or "the Feast Day of the First Fruits." This consisted of one day set aside at the BEGINNING of the harvest season to be thankful for a successful and abundant crop.

You should also follow their example and praise and give thanks at the beginning of a new experience, rather than only after its completion. That is a most powerful practice. You can invoke the miracle power of thanksgiving by giving thanks in the face of your problems, before there seems to be anything to be thankful for.

And there you have the three Prosperity Laws of Opulence:
     a) Living Opulently right here, right now, doing the best with what you have, where you are!
     b) Tithing your way to abundance
     c) Being grateful BEFORE you have anything to be grateful for!



aCatherine Ponder The Millionaire Moses
bRalph Waldo Trine In Tune With the Infinite, p. 146
cExodus 25-28
dCatherine Ponder The Millionaire Moses
eCatherine Ponder The Millionaire Moses



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