"Chaos" is one of numerous words that could be used to describe what we see unfolding on a daily basis. The news media keeps us abreast of what is playing out on the world financial front, especially here in North America. Even the "experts" are asking questions and wondering with deep concern over what the future may hold for millions of people. There are reports of some losing their homes due to the mortgage debacle; enormous "invincible" banking institutions failing; gigantic insurers going broke, and people looking to "big government" to bail them out, etc., etc., etc.
Since I don't spend a lot of time watching television or reading newspapers, I'm sure I've heard only the proverbial "tip of the iceberg." But what I do know is that although we are still in this world, we are not of this world. So then, how are we to survive here amid such financial losses? This question must be on the minds of countless people - not only in North America but around the world.
There is a very simple and very tangible solution. This article is a short read and will show what the Lord quickened so clearly to my spirit and urged me to share at this strategic time.
The Body of Christ has become so worldly in its free-fall into apostasy. This is evident with the rampant numbers of "prosperity" preachers. The earliest ones may have at one time received a revelation of truth, but turned away to fables out of personal greed. All their teaching on "seed faith" or "making pledges/vows" became a tool in their own hands to entice others, giving them promise of a wonderful "return" on their giving. Of course it is all done under the guise of pleasing God and "spreading the gospel." In their own greed they appealed to the greed, and even need, of the hearers. They have twisted passages of Scripture to the destruction of countless people. But does that altar the truth of the passages given to us by our precious Lord? Have we become so accustomed to the miss-applied meanings of words Jesus spoke for our good that we miss what He said TO US?
To make the point I need to make, there are many passages I could quote from the New Testament as well as Proverbs. But the Lord showed me a simple lesson, so I will keep it simple. I will quote a well-known passage then make a short comment.
Give, and it shall be given to you: good measure, pressed down and shaken and running over they shall give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it shall be measured back to you. (Luke 6:38 EMTV)
These words spoken by Jesus are as much a surety to us as is the law of gravity. We can count on His words. If you stretch out your hand and drop what is in it, the thing will fall to the ground. This is the "law of gravity." It is something we experience and know to be a fact. So it is with Jesus' words. He said "Give and it shall be given to you." He meant what He said.
He also said we should take care of the widows and the fatherless. In our daily walk we may come across someone in need and the Lord will prompt us to give. We must obey Him! Even if we are in need ourselves, this is His way of supplying our need. We only have to trust Him. If we let go of what is in our hand it will never be empty. It is the principle of giving and receiving.
Let's take God at His Word and dare to trust Him. His Word is true - He never fails. We must give first, and He will cause others to give to us. That is the only way to true prosperity; or in this case survival. The temptation is always there to hold back in fear of not having, but that is opposite to what the Word tells us. There has never been a time when it has been more vital to learn to live off our giving. Our survival is dependent on our giving - not the world's money system. And our giving must never be to the pleading television "ministries" that present grand accounts of all the great things they are doing "for God." God's Word does not tell us to do any such "giving."
My prayer is that you will receive a revelation of the truth in Luke 6:38 and experience for yourself the salvation of God in the turbulent days ahead. Things are only going to get worse - now is the time to learn this secret to survival. It is the only guaranteed way there is. And we personally know the Guarantor.
COMMENTS AND TESTIMONIES:
Well said indeed. But there is so much more to the essence of what I call "living selflessly after the pattern of Christ." It is the "giving of oneself" that people do not understand. Only those who are indeed living "selfless lives" understand these words and the very concept.
- Washington State
There was a solo mother in our church who feared God. Her oldest son was born with a very rare skin disease. Life expectancy is short. He was in much pain and could not participate in normal physical activities. Even walking was very painful for him.
This mother lived below the poverty line as she paid for one of her sons to attend the Christian school our church provided. We became very good friends. One day she told me how she couldn't pay the last of her son's school fees. I told her I would pay them.
After church I went to the principal and said to him I would like to pay for the boy's school fees. I took out my cheque book and asked him "How much are they? I will write you the cheque now." He said, "$120. But you can't pay for them because she doesn't tithe." I said "I must, the Lord has told me to do this." I wrote him the cheque for $120. As I walked away the Lord said to me, "You are to no longer tithe to this church but to give as my Spirit leads you."
Not longer after that, I left that town and went back to my hometown to train as a nurse. I attended another church. I was a student and was only on a small bursary. I saved my 10% tithe and waited for the Holy Spirit to lead me.
There was a solo, God-fearing mother in my nursing class who also attended my church. She worked very hard to provide for her children and became a nurse so she could give them a better life. She was having trouble with her car and it was in the garage.
That Sunday I went to church and the pastor was preaching about how the church needed to give more to pay off the massive church building. He had placed huge graphs on the wall showing how the mortgage would decrease every year if so much was paid off.
After church I saw my nursing friend. The Lord told me I was to pay her car bill. I said to her "The Lord has told me I am to pay your car bill now, how much is it?" She said "It is $120 and I can't take it out of the garage until I pay the bill." I had exactly $120 in my cheque account. I wrote the cheque out for her.
As I walked away the Lord said to me "Judgment has come into my house because they have made it a den of thieves and it is to be a house of prayer".
I did not know then the significance of the number 120--the number of judgment.
What I want to say here, is to give as the Holy Spirit leads because only He knows what we are truly giving into and the purposes He has for the recipient. Secondly, both were solo mothers/widows who loved the Lord and church members did not consider them worthy of my giving. Thirdly, God's people are under judgment now because they have not given as He has directed--to the poor, to the fatherless and to the widows. They have only given in order to get.
There is hope for Christians if we show mercy to those who are poor now so that when our time of poverty comes mercy will be shown to us.
- New Zealand