One thing that majority Christians agree on is that we are all members of one body; but then again, if this is true to Christians, then why do we not find true unity in the body of Christ, who is the church. The church refers to the entire body of Christ, not as each individual congregation, assembly, or denomination. I am all for One Gospel for All People; and I don’t care which ‘church’ you from, we all of the same body.
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When I look at my own body, I don’t find my hand fighting my leg, or my one foot disliking my other foot. My head gives instruction to each member of my body; and all necessary work together to accomplish the task given. My one hand will help the other hand, when one is injured or not functioning as well as it should [for whatever reason], then the other hand will take over the work until it is healed. When my body falls, not one member stand in judgment to why the body fell, but instead all the members work together in getting the entire body up – and if any member/s got hurt, the entire body adjust to comfort the injured members and continue to move on.
It is sad to say that we seldom see this happening in the church [and here I am speaking of the individual church, not to mention the entire universal church]. This happens mainly because of the lack of interest members show to one another; and in some cases it is because of the lack of teaching in certain areas. Today, I just want to focus on one specific area, and the importance of this area. Now before I tell you want this area is, I want you to understand this: When one member of our body fails to assist another member, it does not only hurt the member needing help, but it is also denying the instruction coming from the head. Above all else, the member who fails to assist the other members of the same body is actually selling itself sort, because for the body to function to its full potential, every member of the body is required to participate. I am sure we can all agree on that…
When we came unto salvation, we came into one body [the church]; and we are to function under one head of instruction [Christ]. When you see a brother or sister [member of the body] fall, or being in need, it is not only required of you, but it is also your responsibility to help them. We must not judge no man, for as being part of one body, when you judge another, you also bringing judgment upon yourself. I’m sure that thus far all I have mentioned is making perfect sense to you; and it would be fair to say that if you do not agree with all the above, then you are a selfish person. Now here comes the part a lot of folks will stop reading; and once again, those are the selfish people in the church; because they see for themselves only and have no compassion on others.
If you haven’t guest it yet, I am speaking about your financial assistance in the body of Christ. Like your household which needs money; be it money that must be paid for rent or mortgage, your utility bills that must be paid, from time-to-time maintenance, the items you clean your home with and furnish it, and of course your groceries you need to buy for those who live in your household – the church is also your house. You might live under someone else’s roof, but irrespective, you still have financial commitments to that household, and if you are unemployed, you will have other responsibilities to fulfill in that home.
In the same way that each member of your physical body has a responsibility in the smooth functioning of your entire body, so to do you as a member of the body of Christ have a responsibility in the smooth functioning of the church. Irrespective of your role in church, you have a financial responsibility in the house as well. Now some Christians do not attend church; and in most cases it is because they don’t get along with their own members, so instead they sit at home or they church hop; but all this is doing is straining your own growth while crippling the entire body of Christ. You can’t walk properly when you have a thorn stuck in your foot, you need your hand to take the thorn out, right? Your foot is not going to kick your hand away when your hand is trying to help.
You have a financial responsibility in church, to give towards the works of the entire body. Don’t be like a fool who curse the pastor or leaders for not using the money the way you expected it to be use; the head [Who is Christ] will deal with the member who is dealing roughly with the ministry funds. Don’t be the fool who spites him/herself by not giving; for the Bible says that it is the Lord who both gives bread to the eater and seed to the sewer [2Cort.9:10]. Remember that the sewer must also eat; and by the Word of God we are all commanded to give. It was a custom in the Old Testament that folks gave their offerings to the priest of the temple; and it was also a sure thing God dealt with those priests who misused the offerings to their own benefits. The congregation of Israel did not stop giving their offerings when they saw the priest getting fat and living large; no, they continued giving and God dealt justly with the priest – and those who gave was blessed irrespective of what the priest did with the offering.
Our God is a just God, He will not stop your blessings because of what your leaders or pastors are doing; but in the other hand, we stop our own blessings because we want to play God over man by judging them. God directed your steps to a certain ministry for a purpose to bless you in the right place. God told Abraham to leave his father’s house and go unto a place God will show him [Gen.12:1]. God was not going to bless Abraham under the roof of his earthly father, but instead God prepared a way for Abraham to be blessed in abundance in the place God was leading Abraham to. Today, not every member will have their own church, so God directs our steps to spiritual furthers [in some cases mothers] for us to be blessed in that place. Sadly, like Jesus said, we will always have the poor among us [John12:8], because there are some who never can comprehend why we should give in church irrespective of what the leaders are doing with the money.
I thank God that He has blessed me to fund the works of the ministry, but I also want others to be blessed. It is true that within the first five years of my ministry I didn’t get any financial support, but it didn’t stop me from blessing others. That is what ministry is all about; doing what is right even if others don’t.
Media and social media has painted a pretty bad picture about tithes and offerings due to a number of pastors who turned their ministries into businesses; and due to this number the entire body suffers. When we look at global statistics on religion over the last two decades, it is clear and noticeable how Christianity at large is not making the impact it use to. I have received so many emails and messages from messenger and facebook from all around the world who is seeking financial support to continue in ministry; and these are surprisingly not only from third-world countries. On the other hand I see comments of folks saying that if God has given a minister a vision, then He will also supply the resources. Is this really what God said? Does God not give ministry visions to pastors and ministers of the Word; and also direct people like you and me to ministries. The big picture here is: Yes, God gives the vision to ministers of the Word so others may share this vision; and God will bless you in that house. In other words, God will give seed to the sewer and bread to the eater – who is you and me. We are blessed in the ministry because we sow financially into the ministry.
We don’t give because we have, but we have because we give. Ponder on this… See the spiritual truth in it. Don’t be that person that withhold, be that person who gives. Develop a mentality of a giver. When I give in church, or in any ministry, and even to whatever cause it may be; I don’t give having any person in mind, I give having purpose in mind. My giving is done unto the Lord; and if any man is going to misuse what I have given – well, let me say it like this: ‘Can a man rob God’ [Mal.3:8]. You are blessed to be a blessing. As you receive, so also give – freely you receive, also freely give. You will know when you are blessed by God or just ‘blessed’ because of your own; because when God blesses you, He not only releases unto you, but He release unto those connected to you as well. Yes, God does not bless you for you alone, He blesses you for the sake of others benefit too.
It is a biblical financial principle that Jesus taught as well: ‘Give and it shall be give unto you…’ [Luke6:38]. Make your mind up today be truly blessed, become the giver God made you to be and envision the church expanding to the utter most parts of the earth. One man can do much, but together we can do so much more. The field is ready to be harvest [Matt.9:37]; while the world is eagerly awaiting the manifestation of the son of God [Rom.8:19]. Don’t be like a thorn in the foot of the church, or an unwilling member of a body that cripples the entire body; just because some misuse the funds of the church. The big house, expensive car, fancy clothes, and luxury living has a time limit on it; none of these things will follow into the next world. Those who withhold from giving in church because they think the pastors are in it for the money is no better than those very pastor who thinks they can rob God. Not only does your not giving in church rob God, but it robs you yourself.
In all, the world is filled with people in desperate need; and the church is a means of making greater impact. No church that’s established or being established must ever close down. Our current global population is sitting at 7.6 billion people, from which only about 2.5 billion are labeled Christians, but how many are truly born again [Rom.10:9]? Over that last ten years alone, more churches have closed down due to the lack of funds than 50 years prior to this. The global statistics from 2008 placed Christianity as the biggest ‘religion’ with 2.2 billion labeled Christians; which means that over the last 10 years there was only 3 million people who came to the faith of Christianity – while the world population over the last 10 years increased by 2.1 billion people. For me, there is something major wrong with these figures! See graph above. When we stop tithing in church and giving less during offering time, it affects the entire body. When we look at the Islamic religion we will notice that it is growing in the Western world. Muslims look after their own people; and this is something Christians ought to learn – after all, Muslims apply biblical principles and majority of Muslims are financially okay, while a large number of Muslims are better of than most other people.
You can step out and evangelize as much as you want to, but if your church does not hold the capacity to host these new souls, all your doing will be done in vain. You might have large and frequent numbers of new comers coming to your church, yet your church is not expanding; because as many that comes in also leaves. Today, as always, money plays a big role in obtaining and maintaining souls, money plays a big role in developing souls, as well as expanding the vision of a ministry. Times have changed, but the principle is still the same. Back in the olden days folks use to bring corn, wheat, fruits, bread, milk, goats, sheep, cows, oils, wine, etc as offerings and tithes; today our money represents all of these things; so why is it that we think we don’t need to follow the same principle today… You are blessed with purpose, therefore, fulfill that purpose!