The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
This statement is not referring to Jesus being poor. In fact, he was a craftsman and small businessman before he started His Ministry. Jesus became poor and took on the curse of poverty when He was crucified on the cross, so that we might become rich both financially and spiritually. In 2 Corinthians 9:8 it says And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
Agreed, He became poor when God became Man, however, the relevance is that, through us having provision of all things we can excel at doing good works for God.
Is Satan having a field-day in the UK?
I tell you, I have heard some nonsense in my time time, but being told that Jesus was poor and that God only gives us just enough, is, in my opinion blasphemy. Satan is having a field day in the UK. Here we are, accepting what we're being told, that we're only supposed to get by on just enough when there are more people worrying about money now than ever before. And why are we accepting what we're being told?
There are too many poverty minded preachers who have taken scripture out of context and created a theology and doctrine to suit their lack of faith in God. Equally, the preachers who tell you that you can simply believe for a new house and cars and a 100 fold increase do no one any favours because they also preach out of context.
So why do we allow this nonsense to infect our itchy ears:
- Is it because its easy?
- Is it because no effort is required?
- Is it because we're used to not having enough money?
- Is it pious Christianity?
- Is it that certain leaders are simply being sanctimonious (I'm alright Jack)
Or is it that Satan is alive and well and making sure that preachers in the UK promote a flat unchallenging message that keeps everyone where they are. We are so NOT a threat to the enemy, how can we be!
Mary & Joseph Moved House!
After Jesus was born Mary and Joseph moved to a house (Matthew 2:11) where the wise men or kings visited him. We do not know how many kings there were, the Bible doesn't tell us that. The kings opened their treasure chests (plural) and presented this toddler with gold (for royalty), frankinsence (for deity) and myrrh (for burial anointing).
"Toddler" because the wise men spoke to Herod who ordered all children up to the age of two to be killed. It was at this time Joseph, Mary and Jesus left for Egypt with plenty of funds to support them for many years.
Illustrating the three wise men bowing before the Lord Jesus in the stable is incorrect, but it makes for a pretty and colorful picture for a Christmas card! But it just shows how we accept what is presented to us without thinking.
Running the Family Business
Jesus was a Carpenter. He followed Joseph in to the family business. Jesus was a craftsman. He was the eldest son of Mary and Joseph. Matthew referred to Jesus as a "Tekton" (in the Greek Bible), an artisan and high level craftsman who worked in wood and in stone. This family business supported Jesus, Joseph (but we don't know how long he lived), Mary and the rest of Jesus' brothers and sisters.
Below are some more points you may find interesting:-
- He was invited to a large wedding with His disciples because of his social standing BEFORE he started His ministry. At the wedding in Cana, they ran out of wine, so Mary told Him to perform a miracle. Although HE said, "aw come on Ma, my hour hasn't come yet", he still turned the six 20-30 gallon vessels of water in to wine. Who needs money!
- He fed 20,000 people by multiplying the loaves and fishes - who needs money!
- He told the fishermen to lower their nets, (Luke 5:4, they only lowered a net - singular !) and they pulled up a catch of fish that nearly broke their nets and they actually counted the fish. Jesus did it again when He appeared to Peter and Simon. This time they counted their fish - 153 of them - who needs money!
- He told Peter to catch a fish and cut it open and in it Peter would find three coins to be used to pay Caesars taxes - who needs money!
Foxes have Holes...
In Luke 9:58 Jesus says, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.". Jesus was referring to the fact the His time on earth was transitory, Both Jesus and born again Christians, are not of this world and are simply passing through.
Additionally, Jesus had already predicted his death in v9:22 and again in v9:44, so for someone to say that he wanted to follow Jesus, the response of having nowhere to lay his head can easily refer to someone not being able to follow where Jesus was going - first to hell and back and then to ascend in to heaven.
This is the same illustration in Hebrews 11:9 when the writer (perhaps Priscilla) stated that Abraham and Issac dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents as they waited for the city which has foundations whose builder and maker is God. They also had no place to lay their heads!
The Church presents an illustration that Jesus had nowhere to lay his head as a euphemism that he was homeless, indeed I have heard that Jesus "sofa-surfed" for three years during his ministry.
- After Jesus' baptism and forty days in the desert, the Bible says he returned to Nazareth and moved to (or dwelt in KJV) Capernaum (Matt 4:13)
- After Jesus cast the demons of the two demon posessed men and into the pigs at Gadarenes, which is about 3 o'clock looking at the Sea of Galilee, it says Jesus climbed in to a boat and went back accross the lake to his town, (Matt 9:1 NLT) Capernaum - which is about 11 o'clock, looking at the Sea of Galilee. Nazareth is about 30km from the Sea of Galilee, so Matthew knew Jesus wouldn't be getting a boat!
- Many of the miracles that Jesus performed were in and around Capernaum
Right after Jesus spoke in Luke 9:58 (as above) he then spoke to the seventy disciples and sent them on their way to heal the sick. They were told not to take any money, knapsack or sandals. These disciples would have seen how Jesus was being treated. I believe that seeing Jesus turn water in to wine, feeding 20,000, healing the sick, casting out demons and teaching the way he did, that there were thousands of people who would have wanted Jesus to stay in their houses.
We are not talking about some down-and-out hobo, He was the Son of God who the UK Church seem intent on depicting as some constantly tearful and wimpish individual who everyone would turn away from.
There was No Premier Inn in Israel
I hope you agree that Jesus pretty much walked everywhere. Jesus' family and business was in Nazareth and it is clear he lived in a house in Capernaum. Jerusalem was ninety odd miles from Nazareth and even further from Capernaum. If Jesus was preaching outside Jerusalem, after he finished he certainly would not have said, "Ok boys, I'm just going to pop home for a bite to eat and get my head down and I'll see you in the morning. It would have been over a 200 mile round trip.
At the end of Matthew 12:49 Jesus makes a comment about who his mother and brothers are and immediately after in 13:1 the scripture says, "Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake". - JESUS WAS NOT HOMELESS.
Think about it, here we have the Son of God, performing miracles throughout Israel, who wouldn't want him to stay at their house and give him the best bed and room?
Equally, the seventy two disciples who were sent out, they had already seen what Jesus was doing and how he was being looked after and treated by those who were accommodating him, which is why Jesus told them not to take anything with them.
Don't Believe What You're Told, Test It Like it Says!
The message from many preachers is not consistent with the Bible. And until "simple" Church-goers like you and me start reading the Bible, the UK will continue to believe this faulty doctrine. In Acts 17:11 is says "And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul's message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to check up on Paul and Silas, to see if they were really teaching the truth."
Do You Want to Stay in Poverty and Lack
Think about it. Here we have the Son of THE MOST HIGH GOD, Ruler of the Universe, being reduced to a pauper, by preachers and church leaders. I believe that it is in order that everyone can be convinced to accept living a life of lack because that is what they're telling us Jesus did. Poverty and lack demand no effort on behalf of anyone. It is the lowest common denominator. It is an existence that can be guaranteed, all you have to do is ...nothing!
Poverty is a curse (Deut 28:15-20). Poverty and lack were one of the curses that Jesus bore for us on the cross so that we would not live defeated lives. We spend half of our waking day working for money. Therefore I wholehearted believe that God has a plan for us and in particular our relationship with money. It costs money to live. God does not want us attempting to give out of our poverty (and yes I know about the woman and her two mites).
If we have an abundance, we are expected to tithe AND bless others. Offerings, gifts and alms are all part of our giving as well as our time, however, all these activities become visible to others. Believing God for his promises means a church will have an outward visible image of prospering, not just financially but in healing of all kinds. Therefore, what does it say if a church is constantly pleading for money, no one is getting healed and peoples lives are constantly a mess?
We have a choice. Carry on as we always have and expect more of the same or start believing God for his promises and read the Bible for our own good and not rely on the nonsense spoken over us by many preachers. It has not got us anywhere. Yes pray for our leaders, but also read the Bible so that you can challenge faulty teach and help build up your chuch and the faith of those around you.
I wouldn't mind if this was completely open to personal opinion, but it isn't. The Bible is the truth and in the Bible it says, right from the beginning that God blesses those who are obedient, starting with Abraham.
God said, Walk before me and be perfect and I will make a covenant between you and ME and I will multiply you exceedingly (Gen 17:2).
In verse 17:6 - 7 God says to Abraham 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
As a statement from God, this is quite serious! God is not holding back here. Abraham was made exceedingly rich. But it wasn't about the money is was about following God and blessing others.
The same applies to Moses, Joseph, David, Solomon, even Job! Time after time, God blesses those who Honor Him.
I've mentioned it before about prosperity. It's mentioned 138 times in the Bible - Satan's mentioned 92 times. I believe that God is trying to tell us something here. The Bible teaches on finances more than any other subject, however, this is not the case at Church.
Its a bit like healing. Many Churches say that Jesus doesn't always heal, but it says in 1 Peter 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. This was also mentioned 600 years before Jesus was on the scene Isaiah 53:4-5. So here we have prophecy and it coming to pass, yet we still don't accept the Truth's in the Bible.
So, the Bible is The Truth...
The crest behind a Judge in a court of law in the UK says "Dieu et mon Droit" - "God and my Right", we swear on the Bible when giving evidence acknowledging that the Bible is the truth. Then how come it is acceptable to say that Jesus does not heal or that God doesn't want us to be prosperous. It's in the Bible so it's the truth. The facts might be that you're skint or that your healing has not yet manifest in your body (assuming you've been praying and received prayer for healing from others in Church!). But is doesn't detract from the fact that the Bible tells us the Truth. And if it's not happening in our lives we need to do something about it.
Can you see my point? Why would anyone want to believe that God wants us "just getting by" when we're not blind to the rest of the world or other Christians who are wealthy. And before I get any negative comments, it's the love of money which is the root of evil, not money its self. Money is to be used to first bless God and then to bless others.
I know there are unscrupulous preachers who are after your money. So find a Church that isn't! The trouble is, the Church need people on seats because that increases their collections. The Bible says to pay 10% to God and to also give to Charities and those in need. If God is your source there shouldn't be anything to be concerned about. He's the Lord of Lords and everything belongs to Him, so there shouldn't be any question about what we give to our respective Churches.
You give to God, not the new roof...
However, if we are not being taught about God being our source and we believe that we only achieve what we do in our own strength, then we fall in to the trap of offering a pittance or nothing at all, believing that everything is down to us. Where is God in your life? It all becomes a bit foggy. Think about it, if God is the Creator of everything, the same applies to your job and finances.
Its all well and good having "well meaning" and popular pastors and preachers, but if they are not prepared to teach on the precepts given to us by God to enable Christians to become victorious and overcomers of this life then what good are they. Congregations need to be equipped to fight and handle this life that we live and not be subjected to the vagaries of the world (satan, the negative stuff, distractions and lures!).
I am blessed to be a blessing. If you are not being taught this, then you are being deprived of the greatest element of our existence on earth.
Christians need to be reminded that our God is an amazing, loving and caring God. But think about it. How can He be our ultimate Father in heaven, when we are encouraged to think of Him as a skinflint and someone Who is happy to see us get by with just enough. Nonsense.
We watch our children go though school, from primary to university and all the while, encouraging them to do well, so that they will end up as genuine, happy and contributing members of society, get a good job and be able to enjoy the good things of life, get married, have a family and so on. I have never said to my children that I want them to "just have enough".
I only want enough for me - ouch!
Its the same with Christians. We should never be happy with just enough for ourselves. My goodness, how selfish can we get. No, I want more than enough from my God, so that I can bless others and keep blessing others. What good am I to anyone if I've only got enough for me.
Think about it, people don't want tea and sympathy when things go wrong, they need help. And by things going wrong, I mean, financial, work, life, tragedies, you name it. These issues of life seriously affect us, but what about cash. God knows that we need money to live, we don't use bows and arrows to get the weeks shopping!
I don't want to get to the end of my time on earth, get to heaven, only to be told you wasted all that time because you couldn't be bothered to pick up a Bible and find out for yourself. Being lazy about this is not an option.
God wants us prosperous so that we can bless others. Simple! Not so that we can all swan around in Ferarris (not that there is anything wrong with having a Ferrari as long as the Ferrari doesn't have us, but thats another blog :) ).
But how can we "GO" and make disciples of others if:
- We look like paupers, who on earth would want to be like us
- Because of our lack, we are ineffective to do any good work (except tea and sympathy!)
- Our approach is so lackluster and defeatest
Look in the concordance in the back of your Bible or do a search on Google for finances, prosperity, God's provision or God's promises.
Don't wait for your Church to tell you to tithe, read what it says in the bible and tithe to God, not the minister!
Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
This is the only place in the Bible it says test me.
Let God show you His amazing provision and share what He's doing in your life with someone else.
And don't forget. Love the Lord your God with all your heart mind and strength and love your neighbour as yourself. Learn what this means. Don't hold a grudge, forgive everyone and anyone who has upset you in the past and bless anyone you can, either financially or with your time.
Do I think that Jesus was poor. No. Never. We can learn about what He did on the cross for us, but we will never fully understand. What I do believe is that God chose to create us and put us on this earth. Why would he want us living in lack and poverty. That's just it, God doesn't, satan does.
If this has challenged your previous thinking, what more do you think God has got in store for you.
You must read and get your own understanding about the Bible
My God is an amazing God. What's your's like.