Earning Money to Bless the Lord / Discerning Those Who Bless Themselves (2)

         The Lord Jesus did not get all the money He would need by asking other people for it. It started with gifts from the Magi when He was a child, which was obviously used properly. He likely never took up offerings before His ministry began. He did not use telethons. He did not strong arm good-hearted Christians to bless Him.

         Instead, He went out and worked quietly for many years with his own hands and His own strong back, sweating through the days doing hard labor building stuff.

          This is something ninety sum-odd percent of all pastors, priests, denominational higher-ups, religious hierarchy high hats, and ministers, especially the television variety, never do. They must all consider earning their money in such a way to be beneath them. One thing is for sure, however:

          There is a spiritual theorem in effect that essentially illustrates a clear connection between a certain type of person’s lack of desire to gain funding the Lord’s way with a great desire to shamelessly demand donations their way. These people have mastered the craft of manipulating others to give and thus, have no need of earning money like everyone else. And with so many Christians conditioned to give unconditionally, getting donations is a piece of cake if one possesses the “proper” credentials.

          They used to call these guys confidence men. They’re actually con men on steroids.

          This is one more clue toward differentiating between the real and the fake, especially in light of Paul’s statement in light of the Lord’s statement:

          “You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my own needs and to the men who were with me. In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” [Acts 20:34-35]

          Paul said the strong must financially support the weak. The Lord Jesus said we must give to the poor. Could it be we’re giving way too much money to the wrong people? Could it be that there are many honest and gifted ministers of the Gospel who must work full time jobs earning money because they are seen as non-ministers? While the fakes taking most of the money are seen as real?

          Some ministers do earn money, however, to support the ministries to which they are called. They have no choice. They will never quit on God. I have one particular friend who served for many years as a pastor and builder who did both. He worked a full time job in construction and also worked full time in ministry as a pastor. It can be done, and often must be done.

          The Lord Jesus set the right example, though what He did is not necessarily applied to all. Some people are called into ministry without much of anything, but only a few understand what a real calling entails. It does not mean one begins by subsisting on donations right off the bat.

          When the Lord calls His people into ministry, AND HE CALLS EVERY SINGLE ONE OF HIS CHILDREN TO SOME FORM OF MINISTRY, it is only the beginning. It took Him three and a half years to train His own men. There is the initial call, but there is also a preparation period that often lasts many years. Real Christian ministers know this. There is a price to be paid. He expects us to understand that we must do our part to provide for said ministry.

          In general terms this works out to a fifty-fifty proposition. He will not provide any more for us than what He already has until we first provide for Him. He began the process by giving His entire heart and life to us free of charge. It continues with each of us doing the same for Him. This giving of hearts is what makes for an actual blood covenant—the New Covenant.

          Christians who never do this are not real Christians. 

         Concerning earthly material needs, the Lord Jesus has already started the process for us by providing each of us with a human body within which we can be housed and from which we can operate. These bodies are given by God free of charge. Their creation is miraculous. People plant the seeds and carry the babies, and carrying a precious baby to term is not at all easy though extremely rewarding.

         Yet human beings cannot create human beings without the miraculous power and ability of God. We can only do our part, and both parts—God’s and ours—are required. God has His role and we have ours. And He will certainly help with parenting if we want His help and guidance.

         Regarding all the things we need in this life, God also blesses us with the initial seed to get started as well as the strength to gain more. He arranged things in such a way that His many gifts can be combined with our own to produce blessing.

         It is the same with ministry. We do our half, God does His half. God provides what we can never provide and we provide something God can never provide without us. He cannot do our work and He won’t try to do our work for us. It is OUR work. He gave it to us. It is a gift. Ministers who understand this understand that they must first give their half toward the process, without which God’s half—His gift (seed)—can never be effective.

         In the beginning, a new minister shows good faith and a good heart by thus not asking God to provide any more than He has already provided and by not asking others to provide, but by first providing for God and others his own gift (seed), just as the Lord did. By this one proves their heart for God.

         Giving is what starts the process just as planting a seed starts the process.

         And speaking of seed, the best seed to give with the highest yield is seed we have created ourselves with God’s help through the process of earning it doing our own labor with our own hands. If one plants this seed according the Lord’s direction, which obviously requires giving it to Him first, one will receive a high return. This process is achieved by utilizing God’s granted portion as well as our own, and by giving this seed with no strings attached.

         Though we cannot help but mentally acknowledge the fact that we will receive a good return, selfish raison d’être cannot be our motivation. If we plant good seed in good ground and nurture production, just as a farmer does when he plants a crop, we will see a good ministry result. But the proper motivation is to minister to others by giving freely and cheerfully. The Lord taught this.

         “Freely you received, freely give.” [Matthew 10:8]

         How do we give to God?

         “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’

         “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’” [Matthew 25:37-40] [1]

         One must remember that all of the above needs are not only practical needs but also spiritual needs. The Lords real community gives both.

         So, unlike the plague of prima donnas who think they’re better than everyone else and deserving of coerced money—those who have no problem at all putting the pressure on anyone but themselves for funding—the Lord Jesus never put pressure upon anyone to render His living, whether it was His close disciples or general followers.

         He began by putting pressure on Himself. This is also how all real ministers of the Gospel operate. They put the pressure on themselves to make it work, and once they have achieved something in God’s eyes, He will also give toward the goal doing His part.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. (Part 2 of 3)


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Posted on March 30, 2015, in Real Christianity and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Really appreciate these articles, especially in view of the latest outrageous demand for an expensive jet by a well-known “minister.”

    My dad was a pastor. For many years, he worked a secular job and pastored at the same time. He certainly never became wealthy. Not even close. But he was a true minister, a pastor to his people, a shepherd to his flock, and a preacher and teacher of God’s Word. Never had his hand out.

    Gotta respect that.

    Like

    • Thanks Linda. And thanks for the great work and example of your Dad. I do respect that, as so many do. It is refreshing to hear of a man who lived his life that way and it really proves his call.

      Regarding the other guy and his hugely expensive jet, I almost added that story to a recent post on that very subject. They had no problem putting their request out there on the website but got slammed right away and immediately took down all references to it. That too is refreshing, but I wonder how much of the rebuke came from Christians. The arrogance of these people is off every scale known to mankind.

      There is no doubt an evil spirit is associated with all the takers in that they are clearly serving mammon and are worshipped as a higher class deserving of all that extravagance and faux religious honor, though their example speaks volumes to those with ears to hear.

      Be blessed and keep up all the work you are doing, ministering to many. Much respect from here.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Some people make great con artists. Look at the Oral Roberts fiasco. I remember a number of years ago that Oral Roberts said that the Lord told him that he needed 20 million dollars for a prayer tower or else the Lord would take him home. How ridiculous can you get?! I guess he got the 20 million. (Why would anyone need a prayer tower? You can pray anywhere you want to. The Kingdom of Heaven is NOT in man-made buildings, cathedrals and sepulchres. The Kingdom of Heaven is the power of the Holy Ghost working through broken vessels (dead to self)).

    “The Prodigal Prince: Richard Roberts and the Decline of the Oral Roberts Dynasty”
    http://blog.longreads.com/2014/09/16/oral-roberts-family-history/

    I believe what happened to Oral Roberts is that he definitely had a gift for healing and the Lord worked powerfully in Oral Roberts’ crusades in the 1950s. But I think all the fame and fortune went to his head. So he took that money and founded Oral Roberts University in 1965. Roberts was on TV for many years and the money kept rolling in. It looks like the fame and fortune corrupted his immediate family.

    Like

    • Thanks Tim. I also think that because the brand new medium of television ministry had yet to establish a track record no one really knew all the pitfalls thereof. Many didn’t care, though, and jumped right into it. Some might have thought this was a noble thing to do but most had to have known the truth at least somewhat. A medium is just a medium, and if one works very hard to keep it pure, television can be a great ministry tool. But for the most part, Christian television has become a means to grow public profiles and bring in tons of cash.

      Ministers know the medium is unforgiving and they must therefore strive to look their best. Some ministers have not held back from saying they have had cosmetic surgery simply because looking younger makes their ministry appear more viable and keeps the donations coming in which keeps it alive. They know that when their profile goes in the tank so does the ministry. Some obviously don’t know when to stop. It becomes sadly laughable when these guys go to their prayer mountains and prayer towers and prayer whatever places and ask God for millions while so many real Christians struggle to get by.

      I remember a message long ago that talked about the generational aspect to a man’s ministry, which only happens if it becomes a large financial enterprise. The second generation often kept things going okay after the main guy passed on, but by the third generation it got really weird, with infighting and a struggle for position, and a greater piece of the pie. By the fourth generation it got evil. In time it becomes less and less about God and more and more about maintaining the enterprise and the money tree.

      As a perfect case in point, look at what happened to Robert Schuller, who passed away the other day, and the ministry he started from scratch in the mid 1950s. The timeline and all that it entailed should be taught as some kind of ministry course regarding what happens if one goes down a certain road.

      None of these scandals ever happened to the Lord Jesus, His apostles, or the early believers…

      Liked by 1 person

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