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Devotionals    H3'ed 3/2/22

God Wants to Meet Your Needs in Style! He is El Shaddai - Not El Cheapo! Ugh

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Yeah, no. God told you no such thing. The notion that God would want you to take an 18 week break from preaching the gospel to preach on finances is asinine. You waited until week 13 to fleece your flock? What do you want, a cookie? The reason why people look at giving as what can I get in return is because people like you taught them so. Teaching finances in church always results in a quid pro quo. Sure, you try to over-spiritualize by calling the payoff "blessings" but we all know what you mean. So, you create a church filled with blessing chasers who know all of the trite sayings like you can't out give God!

What happened as a result? Heaven invaded our finances. About 25% of our people got completely out of debt within 12 months. Our church was given a five-bedroom house, which we used to house survivors of sex trafficking, and a 40,000-square-foot building on 32 acres. We also gave away an amount totaling more than seven figures over several years. We've helped buy a building for rehabilitating trafficking survivors and a 42-bed building to serve as a new "family" model for boys in foster care. This isn't about "sow a Toyota to reap a Ferrari" or other prosperity gimmicks. This isn't about using your faith to get nicer things. It's about prosperity with a purpose. It's about what I like to call "apostolic abundance." What is our apostolic commission? "On earth as it is in heaven." It's about using our finances to shape the culture over cities and transform nations. - Jim Baker

More anecdotal stories without proof. Baker says it is not about sowing a Toyota to reap a Ferrari but it actually is. In exchange for preaching 18 times about finances you reaped a five-bedroom house! You bought another building for rehabbing sex traffickers. Another noble cause for your money but why are you telling us this? Doesn't Matthew 6 command you to not publicize your good deeds? This entire article is a gimmick to get the sheep to give their money. Prosperity with a purpose, please. Mind you that this notion of transforming nations is the heart of NAR theology. On earth as it is in heaven is the slogan of Bethel Church. It is not our job or calling to shape culture in a fallen society. It is to present to the fallen culture the one thing that can save them - the gospel!

"We see this in the Parable of the Minas, where the master told the servant who invested his 10 minas and earned 10 more, "Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities" (Luke 19:17, NIV). When the servant proved himself faithful with finances, God gave him the anointing to influence and shape the culture over cities. "When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices" (Prov. 11:10a). God releases the atmosphere of heaven into a city when His people thrive. More money equals more impact. The Jews have always understood that this is the purpose of wealth: "[You shall] remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to create wealth" (Deut. 8:18a). For what purpose? "That He may confirm His covenant that He swore to your fathers" (v. 18b)." - Jim Baker

When your greedy heart is solely focused on money you can see anything you want to see in the bible. Prosperity pimps love saying that Jesus taught more about money than any other subject, which is absurd. The parable Jesus told often used imagery to get the point across without distraction. This parable is not about money not even close. Jesus uses money because He knew people could more easily relate to that. This story takes place on Jesus' final trip to Jerusalem when the people were still clamoring for Him to restore the kingdom of Israel out from under Roman oppression. This was another reminder that Jesus was not there for that but something much more powerful. Jesus came to deliver them from their sins and the oppression of Satan. The minas in this parable relates to what God has commissioned us with - the gospel! Its value so far exceeds ten minas, which was the equivalent to three months wages. The value of the gospel however, is eternal. What shall we do with what God has entrusted with us? That question is about Christ and His gospel, not some paltry amount of money.

"There were some clear errors in the popular "health and wealth" or "prosperity gospel" teachings of the '80s and '90s. We are still feeling the effects of these errors through two ideas:

1) Poverty is a spiritual value, and going without is a good thing. It keeps you humble. It is spiritual to live in poverty and lack.

2) Spirituality is measured by the size of your house, how much money you make or what you own. This is just as perverted as the first idea. Someone's material possessions are not a sign of God's blessingexcept when they are." - Jim Baker

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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