Saul lost his ministry and revival the moment he pounced on the plunder. God wanted a sacrifice similar to when the Israelites conquered Jericho; they were not to touch any of the riches. King Saul should have remembered Achan, who sneaking away silver and a Babylonia tunic, was judged by God.
But no. After decimated the Amalekites, the Israelites swarmed on the riches, a normal practice in ancient warfare that God ordered them to abstain from this one time. But the people and Saul couldn’t suppress their greed.
God had warned Saul that he was losing credibility, but even so he paid no heed. It was here, when Saul and others pounced on the plunder, that God sent Samuel to anoint David as the next king.
Let the church be warned: when we love money more that souls, revival is over. God gives us money to reach souls, but when we grab it for our pleasures, God retires from that church. I don’t care if you’re a big church. Bigness doesn’t mean Godness.
Posted in Christianity, church, Financial Talk, ministry
Tagged amalekites, church administation, Faith, God, greed, Israelites, Jesus, money, offerings, revival, Saul, tithes
Finances are a dreary necessity that underpin the true joy of saving souls. I don’t believe that God’s main purpose is to bless His people. Yes, we are children of the King, but the Child of King didn’t have a home, much less a bank account.
Having disavowed the prosperity gospel heretics, I would wish to proceed with a balanced exposition on finances. I was struck by this reading Ruth: Let fall also some of the handfuls on purpose for her, and leave them, that she may glen them. (Ruth 2:16).
Boaz is a picture of Christ because he redeems her from deplorable poverty. Gleaning was a back-breaking job: 12 hours under the blistering sun only to pick up enough grains for one meal. Boaz makes the decision to improve her lot significantly.
We can, therefore, ask God in prayer to drop “handfuls on purpose” for our ministries.
Posted in Christian Fellowship Ministries, Christian schools, church, church finances, Financial Talk, How do I pray?, how to pray?, ministry, missionaries
Tagged blessing, boaz, Faith, finances, God, gospel, inspiration, Jesus, offerings, prosperity, Ruth, tithes
When she came to Christ last year, she was so excited that she began to rebuke classmates for their lackadaisical attitude toward God. She was the one salvation out of the school this year — until he accepted Christ just a few weeks ago when I visited Guatemala. Together, they are the fruit of this year at the Door Christian School in Guatemala.
The irony? We were considering cutting their studies program because of lack of funds. Why are effective ministries not funded? Why do Christians not pay their tithes and promises?
I always knew that giving blood was good — for others. Frankly, I’m surprised to learn of the health benefits of giving a pint of your 10-11 pints once every two months or so:
- It reduces risk for heart disease by keep iron levels in check.
- It lowers cancer risk (again, the iron content).
- It burns 650 Kcal.
- You get a free check-up!
- Do-gooder feeling does a body good.
In eight weeks, your red blood cell count is automatically replenished! Why dont’ more people give?
The truth about giving blood also applies to donating, whether to a charitable organization or a church. Whether you want to save abandoned dogs or abandoned souls (my choice!), giving is good for you.
Aphrodite doted on Paris for his beauty. Zeus loved Hector for his courage. God is a glaring contrast to the chaos of the Greek pantheon. When He declares Himself “holy,” He is saying He is different. “I am NOT similar to false gods.”
So what does God like? He likes FAITH. From Abraham to Daniel, He gets excited about people who believe Him. The problem with the Israelites in the desert was NOT their whining so much as their lack of faith.
You won’t hardly find Jesus marveling over someone’s personal uprightness. Nor their “sound interpretation of scripture.” Nor their “acts of righteousness.” Over and over, Jesus admires just one thing: faith.
When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. — Matt. 8:10 NIV.
Publicists teach how in marketing to impact. But what impacts God? Stand-out faith. He is drawn to it. He searches for it. He responds to it. He gets disgusted when He can’t find it.
In the verse above, a Roman gentile — despised by the Jews — garners the open admiration of the Jews’ Jew, Jesus. The gentile — supposedly an outsider to the business of God — earns higher marks than the insider, simply because of faith.
It’s easy to NOT believe. When you pray for finances for your ministry, stir yourself to stand-out faith.
Posted in Christian, faith, Financial Talk
Tagged Aphrodite, Christianity, church, comparative religion, finances, God, Greek pantheon, Hector, ministry, offerings, Paris, pray, prayer, tithes, Zeus
The Israelites were experienced with deserts. For forty years, they tramped to and fro until their bodies lay scattered across the Sinai wasteland. Elijah and John the Baptists headquartered their ministries in the desert. Some people actually think brown is beautiful.
But the rest of us are enchanted with lush paradise, a pine-covered mountain cut by a waterfall, a Hawaii island with rich volcanic soil great for growing pineapples. God promises to turn brown into green.
He will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD
— Isa. 51:3 NIV.
Jehovah Jireh promises to turn the unproductive land into a championship garden. If your ministry is going through a financial desert, God makes the waters flow. He fertilizes and transform sand into loam.
Where sand swirls in dirt devils today, a gurgling rush of water will empty into a pool ringed by greenery. Pray and believe towards that end.
Sarah laughed at Abraham. A generation mocked Noah. No doubt, the other prisons gaped incredulously at Paul and Silas as they sang hymns while their fresh wounds dripped blood. These were all dumb to believe.
Lord, give us dumb faith. Grant us to believe — in the face of scorn.
Of course, there’s a difference between “dumb faith” and just being unwise. Grant us the ability to know the difference. Without balancing this teaching, I want to extol “dumb” faith.
Sarah gave birth at 90 years of age. Her laughter of unbelief turned into laughter of joy. Noah spent 100 years building an ark and telling people the reason why was that it was going to rain and flood the Earth. It had never rained previously. The Earth was watered a mist that covered the land. No wonder they didn’t believe him. He was dumb to believe.
Paul and Silas look out of their minds. Their wounds evidently hurt. And they’re there singing away happily. Did they appear to be drugged up?
Dumb faith is the answer to ministry’s greatest frustrations. It keeps you giving up hope, when any “reasonable” person could see clearly. When finances lack and obligations loom, dumb faith gets the miracle of money. When challenges are staggering, dumb faith keeps you from despair. It is quiet and childlike.
So let others laugh. You are good company — in company of Biblical heroes. They believed when it appeared to be dumb to believe.
Posted in church finances
Tagged Abraham, breakthrough, Faith, flood, fulfillment, Noah, offerings, Paul, prayer, promise, Sarah, Silas