Our white American Gospel does not work in the garbage dumps of Bogata, or in the villages of third world countries who have no wells, no storage place, no income, and no way to support themselves.
Nor does it work for those normal everyday humans who will always struggle.
Take a trip to any inner city, or rural poverty place and try and preach prosperity religion and see how that works out! Take a trip to the poorest dwellings in your own community and preach your prosperity gospel and see how that works out!
We will never erase poverty, eliminate persons from suffering chronic illnesses, living in pain from trauma, but we can spread empathy, understanding, and share the Hope Christ can give to persons the ability to walk in the midst of the most dire of circumstances, for this is God’s Grace!
Too many misconstrue the gospel of Christ. He came to spread the message of Forgiveness, Mercy, Compassion, Grace, Love and too many twist and turn it into materialistic consumerism Christianity.
Christians need to get in the real world of people, who struggle to put food on their tables, who struggle to pay the bills, who struggle to exist. Christians need to enter into the suffering of others, not pray it away, not dismiss it, not rebuke it, but to sit with others as Jesus did with us, with humanity.
Do we pray for others? Yes, we do. We then need to come along side them, walking with them, entering into their suffering with Christ’s Compassion. We help to ease their burden in this way, as we share with them in whatever adversity they are having to endure.
Christ came with a message that is real, that breeds truth, that allows us to be authentic human beings, with weaknesses, but in our vulnerability in sharing our lives in open, honest communication, we are Christ with hands, feet, and arms, reaching towards others to not ‘fix’, but to just BE Him in all of whom we are becoming.
Get out of the ‘church’ and get into the streets where the mission is. We have the Hope people need. We have the abundant life of Christ who enters into our world right where we are. We do not have to do anything to have His free gift of salvation.
Christ offers to us, Freely, Love, with no strings attached and it is His love that draws us into a deeper contemplative life where we realize all that He richly gives in our inner beings; satisfaction, contentment, joy, peace, meaning and fulfillment not found in any other service. He becomes the Reason we live.
Too many preaching if you give, you will get returns much greater in financial means, etc. Giving is from the heart, having no expectations of receiving anything but the Mercy, Love and Compassion of our Father God, who richly rewards us with an inner contentment.
Preachers who feel they have to quote scriptures, emphasizing giving, etc. are not trusting God. They are preaching from desperation, for an attempt to manipulate others into giving.
Preaching giving to get is not what Christ taught. It is not scriptural to teach that we give in order to get. Prosperity in the scriptures refers to an abundant inner life filled with the overflow of the Spirit’s reign in us, that bears the fruits of the spirit, not a fat bank account.
Giving from our hearts is an outpouring of the Spirit’s activity moving in our hearts. Those who have died to Christ do not worry, do not fret, but fully Trust in His Fullness, whether they see it or not. Giving is having an inner attitude of love, of mercy of not expecting anything in return.
For when we give to expect it is not a biblical or Godly principle. Our God supplies all our needs is a Godly principle, but is not based on the worldly view of investing to get more returns.
We invest in Spiritual Principles as followers of God. The Christian life is not about wealth, possessions, material goods, or collecting stuff.
Those that have been blessed with an abundance of wealth are to be wise stewards giving to others as the Lord leads. Being wise with how God has entrusted us with resources is walking in the Godly wisdom and Godly council of those He has put in our paths.
The Christian life is about BEING CHRIST! It is about pouring ourselves into others lives so that they will Know He lives. It is about living in a shared bond of community with other believers, giving away of our resources that God has given to us, using discernment. For He gives us so much more than we can gain in this world, He gives us HIS FULLNESS.
Giving involves establishing boundaries, relying on Godly wisdom, walking in Spiritual wisdom, and pursuing Holiness. We are not to be doormats where others abuse and step all over us.
What is your life like? Have you given all to Christ? Have you given of your wealth and finances over to His reign? Have you submitted your desires to Him? Have you surrendered your heart, your home, your family, your career, your activities, your weaknesses, your stubbornness, your rights, your all to the Lord who will fill you with His Spirit of fullness?
We have but one life, what are you doing with yours, For God? What are you holding back? In what ways are you resisting Him? In what ways are you having your foot in the world and your foot in Him that is not giving of your All to His desires for you?
Have you surrendered everything to the Lord, allowing His Spirit Reign in the most secret of places in your heart?
Give to Him today, Your all, and He will fill you with His Fullness that satisfies and completes us as no other person or thing can. He will enrich your life with meaning and purpose, along with giving you an inner peace, contentment and joy nothing in this world is able to offer to anyone.
Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister
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