Do you also get annoyed when Christian ministries ask for support to maintain their ministry? I totally understand that. In fact I also used to be annoyed by requests for donations from preachers. ‘Why can’t they just go to work?’, I wondered frustrated. Until… God called me to lay down my own successful business in 2001 and focus full time on sharing His love with people. Wow…
But I had a plan: ‘I will sell my own Christian art and that will support my ministry’ I thought, proud of myself. I would never ask for donations, ever! I was way too good for that! I was better than all the others. Puh!
Things however took quite a different turn. The sales of my art wasn’t as spectacular as I had expected… and the demands of the ministry I was now in, was towering far above my head. Thousands of people responded to my work and I was overwhelmed with requests for help. Literally every single day people wrote me with the most horrifying stories of pain, despair, suffering, sickness, sin, addiction, crisis and struggle in every imaginable area of their life.
For about a year I tried desperately to keep up my commercial work besides my ministry, but it didn’t work. I ran into a brick wall of exhaustion and came to a stop. I had no idea what to do… Then God sent several people to me, who all said the same thing. It was not what I wanted to hear. But it was God speaking so clearly and so loud, that I had no way of denying it. He said:
Now that was a brand new way of looking at it! I had never considered this… So, when I give others the opportunity to support God’s work through me, that literally gives God the opportunity to bless them more. When I thought about that, I realized it is indeed what the Bible says. Jesus promised that when we support a prophet, we will receive the reward of a prophet. The apostle Paul wrote to the people who sent him a generous donation, that God would now provide all of their needs.
‘I do want you to experience the blessing that issues from generosity.
I now have all I need—more than enough—I’m abundantly satisfied! For I’ve received the gift you sent by Epaphroditus and viewed it as a sweet sacrifice, perfumed with the fragrance of your faithfulness, which is so pleasing to God!
I am convinced that my God will fully satisfy every need you have, for I have seen the abundant riches of glory revealed to me through the Anointed One, Jesus Christ!’
A second principle God started showing me in the Bible, is that anyone who preaches His word, is worthy of an honest wage. He led me to 1 Corinthians 9, where the apostle Paul explained this principle:
‘We who are on missionary assignments for God have a right to decent accommodations, and we have a right to support for us and our families.
Are soldiers self-employed? Are gardeners forbidden to eat vegetables from their own gardens? Don’t milkmaids get to drink their fill from the pail?
So, if we’ve sowed many spiritual gifts among you, is it too much to expect to reap material gifts from you?
Don’t you know that the priests employed in sacred duty in the temple are provided for by temple resources? And the priests who serve at the altar receive a portion of the offerings?
In the same way, the Lord has directed those who proclaim the gospel to receive their living by the gospel.’
So my initial criticism of ministers who receive support for their missionary work, was unbiblical! I just never understood how God works. Learning how God sees this, helped me to humble myself and submit to God’s principles in His kingdom.
I hope this will also help you, to have a better understanding when I ask for support. It’s a Godly principle and He greatly rewards those who are generous. Like the angel said to Cornelius, who had a habit of generously giving:
‘Your prayers and your gifts of money have gone up to God. He has remembered them.’
The actual meaning of the Greek word ‘remembered’ means ‘God has remembered them so that He is about to help you.’
Giving generously literally activates heaven on your behalf… It causes God to act for you, send His angels your way and help you in times of need. One day I heard the Spirit of God speak to me about this. He said:
If we give what we have in our hand, God gives what is in His hands. Like the little boy that gave his bread and fish to Jesus. It’s all he had, but in the hands of Jesus it became food for thousands of people…
Once we understand this, we will never want to be greedy, selfish, bitter or negative, but we will want to become radically generous. It’s a kingdom principle installed by God, that generosity on the earth opens the windows of heaven to pour out blessings.
Partner up with the God of life and healing to bring His salvation to people in need. There isn’t a greater cause. And He will reward you in ways you can’t imagine right now. It literally – read these words carefully – it literally opens the heavens for blessing and answered prayers for you. The more we give, the more the doors of heaven open up for blessing to pour down. What we do to others, will be done to us.
Nothing changes us more than when we learn to open our hearts to give abundantly. It breaks the chains of selfishness and makes us REAL (!) people of love, with actions instead of words. It transforms us to become more like God, who is a giver.
I hope this helps you overcome the negative feelings you might have had. Learning all these divine principles, sure helped me.
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Have hope! God is faithful…
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You are so beautiful, My child!