Biblical Prosperity vs. The Love of Money

This article is take from some thought of a good friend, Rev. Christopher Alam of Dynamis World Minstries.  He, along with his team, conduct massive Outreach Services primarily in Africa, India, and the Middle East; witnessing spectacular signs and wonders through the power of Jesus.

With his permission I am sharing some words he recently posted that I believe will stretch our faith, and challenge our status quo in the context of how we view and use money.  ENJOY!

I thank God for my friends who God has prospered financially. We run a missions work in Africa and in other places, reaching millions of people with the Life-Saving Gospel of our Lord Jesus. We feed orphans, plant churches, train pastors. When the big destructive tsunami hit SE Asia, and an earthquake killed hundreds of thousands of people in Kashmir, we could send large sums of money to help those who needed help.

All these things cost money, big money. And let me share a secret: All that money did not miraculously fall from heaven or grow on trees, but were given to us by friends and churches who we are in relationship with.

We have been able to do all this because our God has Prospered and Blessed good Christian people and Churches, friends of mine, who see it as part of their call in life to finance the work of the Gospel and to help the poor. If God had not prospered these brethren we would not have the funds to do all this.

A couple of years ago I needed a new large PA system, pick-up trucks, and a large 30-ton truck for our Crusade Operations in Africa. I also needed funds to build a new house for the orphans that we take care of. God’s people stepped up to the plate and with their sacrificial giving enabled us to get all this quickly done within a short time.

All this is rooted in the teaching of Biblical Prosperity that I learned from my spiritual father Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin who taught me to sow and to give generously, and to receive from God so that I could do the work of God. He also warned me against the pitfalls of greed and the love of money, and also never to manipulate people to get money out of them by offering them “100-fold” returns if they would sow into my ministry.

Now I know that there are modern-day preachers who amass great wealth unto themselves and live ostentatiously at a level which is far above the standard of living of those who make sacrifices to give to their “ministries”. I personally do not have the desire to listen to these preachers and do not waste my precious time in going to their meetings. I am just too busy doing what God has called me to do.

I am writing all this because these days there are many people who are busy knocking what they call “the Prosperity Gospel”, and in the process they also end up attacking the concept of True Biblical Prosperity, because they just do not know the difference. We should be careful with such criticism, lest we end up with a Poverty Spirit, where we begin to equate Holiness with Poverty, and develop a Poverty Spirit in our own hearts.

We should be careful lest we end up developing a critical spirit towards the concept that our God DOES want to Prosper His people so that they can support His work.

The best thing would be to stop being critical, and go to our Bibles, study what the Word of God has to say about this subject, and begin to live lives of generosity and giving. Then teach others about the virtues of “Living to Give”, so that they can receive financial blessings from God that they can pass on towards the spread of the Gospel and towards helping the poor.

THAT helps people far more than sitting around and being critical.

May the Lord Bless and Prosper us all for the sake of His Kingdom!

If you have any additional thoughts or comments, feel free to post.  God Bless!

5 Strategies for a Spiritually Strong Summer

We all know that our Summer schedules are a bit crazy and not our normal life-style of living. From trips to the beach, family visits, yard projects, and everything else that we try to to squeeze into these few Summer months, often times our Spiritual Life takes a back seat. However, this does not have to be you.

So with all the chaos, family commitments, and schedules to manage, what are some practical ways to stay spiritually strong during the Summer months, and not nudge God out of our Summer plans.

  1. INVEST RELATIONALLY:  Relational investements are more than just hanging out, the are purpose times with key relationships that will strength either your spiritual walk, or someone else’s spiritual walk.  For instance, invite a group of people over at least 1x per month over the Summer, and look for ways to encourage them, or even pray with them if the opportunities present.
  2. ONLINE CHURCH:  While it is optimal if you are with your spiritual family as much as possible during the Summer months, but the times when you can’t, many churches now have their services streaming online (we use Facebook live), or you can binge-watch a sermon series your pastor is preaching.  You can check ours out HERE.
  3. CONNECT AS A FAMILY:  As our older 2 are peaking the teenage years, this has been more challenging.  However, be sure to make memories both with your kids (i.e., mini-golf, frisbee, croquet in the backyard, water-baloons, etc…).  Also, if you are married, don’t be afraid to make some memories with just your spouse.  After all, someday those cute kids will leave you, and you’ll be stuck with each other.  Make sure you invest in my marriage as well.
  4. KEEP GIVING:  If you are a part of a church, be sure you continue to remain faithful to your giving at the church.  You can often times do so with online-giving options, or even set-up recurring gifts to your church.  Remember, they don’t shut down during the Summer.
  5. SLOW DOWN:  Hopefully your schedule is more flexible where you can simply slow down.  Spend some time reading or listening to your Bible, praying, and of course… DRINKING COFFEE (or lemonade).  Be sure you are refreshed as the Fall season will be upon us quickly.  Don’t miss your opportunity to read a book, sit on your porch during your devotions, or listen to some worship music before the kids get up.  You’ll start wondering why you don’t do it more often.

My prayer for you this Summer is that you will find yourself more spiritually strong and refreshed as the Summer comes to an end.  Enjoy your Summer by giving to what matters most!

The #1 Threat to your Relationships

It doesn’t take a professional psychologist, counselor, pastor, or leader to tell us that relationships are challenging at best, or deteriorating at worst.  The problems that are threatening our important relationships (i.e., marriages, children, parents, friends, co-workers, etc…) are numerous. At times it seems as if we are inventing new problems all the time as if we didn’t already have enough.

I’ve read many articles and books that define the problems we are facing.  The list of threats could go on for pages, but certainly include Finances/Debt, Communication, Pornography, Divorce, Abuse, Alcohol, Television/Movies, Lack of Sexual Intimacy, Shame, Anger, Drugs, Busy Schedules, and much more…  However, what is the #1 Threat to your Relationships?

Let me share a powerful story, I read some time ago in a book entitled, Connecting, by Christian psychologist Dr. Larry Crabb.  He writes,

A friend of mine spent a weekend with a Christian ministry for troubled young people.  During a morning session of the residents and their parents, a young woman rose to address the group.

With trembling lips and tears of shame streaming down her face, she said, “I’ve been a prostitute for the last three years.  I am so sorry.”

As she stood there, paralyzed by her vulnerability, her father left his seat, walked to the front of the room, embraced the shaking girl, and said, “When I look at you, I see no prostitute in you.  You’ve been washed.  I see my beautiful daughter. (xviii)

I can only imagine the sorry and sadness this father experienced in his daughter’s confession.  He may have been embarrassed, felt like a failure himself, or even disgusted by his daughter’s behavior.  Instead, he offered grace and acceptance. You see… the #1 Threat to your Relationships is REJECTION.

Now please understand me, offering grace and acceptance is not condoning one’s behavior, but REJECTION is the death-sentence to any relationship.  REJECTION devalues the inherent worth of an individual, no matter how bad their behavior has been.  It strips away the hope and healing that can only be found when grace and acceptance are offered freely, and unmerited.

Let me clarify something.  When major pain is inflicted upon a relationship because of issues of repetitive physical/sexual abuse, or on-going unfaithfulness in a marriage it is necessary for some relationships to change.  So when a wife experiences an issue like the two listed above, she may need to respond to her husband’s rejection of their marriage covenant through separation or divorce.  These are the extreme situations.

On the norm, we should lead with Grace and Acceptance in our relationships.  Without Grace and Acceptance, we send the message, “I love and receive you as mine, only when you’re perfect or meet my expectations.”  Of course, this is an impossible standard causing most to either hide in the relationship or to run to a new relationship that makes them feel valuable or worthy of love.

Long-term, healthy and growing relationships Reject-REJECTION!   The father in the above story was not accepting his daughter’s behavior, but he did accept her as a daughter.  How might we respond in the same way to our relationships?