"Is God Short of Cash?"
I was on a famous Christian TV show several years ago before their demise. During a 'commercial' break, the host of the program told me if I would give $100 to his ministry the Lord would give me back $1,000... I asked him politely, "Sir, where does it say foolish written on me?" He was a bit shocked and asked me, "don't you believe that the Lord will bless you by giving your money to our ministry?" I told him, "No I don't." And that furthermore he didn't even believe such a thing. He was again a bit surprised by my response and said, "Yes I do." I answered, "No, you don't." He said, "YES, I do." I said, "NO... you don't." With a puzzled look on his face he frustratingly said, "Why do you keep telling me that I don't believe this?" I said, "Simple. If you really believe this, then why don't you give your $100 to God, He'll give you a $1,000 back, and you'll quite asking me for mine?" He looked at me with that dumbfounded kind of quasi pseudo-theological televangelist deer in the headlights don't bother me with doctrine look, and replied, "I never thought of that before." I quietly muttered, "I think that's the problem."
That encounter illustrates the picture perfectly, doesn't it? Some people in the body of Christ feel that the Lord will actually grant others prosperity if they give to their "ministries." This has sadly left many in the dust of dashed hopes. Naive believers have actually trusted these glory boys in their false and fallacious claims about increasing their mutual funds by Divine Design. They view God as some sort of "Celestial Monty Hall" granting them door #1, door #2, or door #3 to satisfy their fancy and material cravings as long as they have enough faith. This is so foolish and should not tolerated in the church.
Questions: What does the Bible say about prosperity; and if you are experiencing tough times financially does that mean you are out of the will of God?
Answers: Second part first... of course not. The Lord is sovereign working all things for our good and His glory. Even Paul considers himself in his service to the Lord, "...as having nothing, yet possessing all things" (2 Cor. 6:10b). As learning "to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry; both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:12-13).
The absence of money or wealth beloved is not the barometer by which we measure someone's spiritual richness. The Apostle Paul gives us profound insight when he says in 1 Timothy 6:5, "and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of [financial] gain." Sound familiar?
Turn on most TBN shows or Christian TV broadcasts and that's precisely what you'll see... men and women "huckstering the Word of God for profit" (cp, 2 Cor. 2:17).
What is the N.T. formula for "success" or "prosperity?" Paul gives us the clear biblical answer in 1 Timothy 6:6, "...godliness, plus contentment is great gain." Are you living a godly life in accordance with the Word of God; are you content with what you have from the Lord--not seeking more or complaining of less? Then the Lord calls that, "great gain."
If you have nothing... don't be bitter; if you have great wealth... don't be prideful. Give to the Lord by faithfully giving your offerings first to the local church and secondly to biblical, credible ministries. Then ask yourself one question before you send another "love gift" to TBN or a TBN-like network: Is God really short of cash?
Remember, thinking can be beneficial for your spiritual health. Mind your faith.
Friday, March 12, 2010
"Is God Short of Cash?"