“I have been young and now am old; yet have I never seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread.” Psalm 37:25 If that’s true, why do Christians beg?As I’m writing this article, I have just left my living room where I have been watching scenes of one of the worst natural disasters in recent American history; the ravages of the 2005 hurricane, Katrina, in Louisiana and Mississippi and the surrounding area. My heart is aching with grief for those destitute people in need of water, food and shelter who have lost loved ones, as well as everything they owned. For some answers as to why God allows such disasters, go to my link, Acts of God.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED
Especially in times of crises, civic and religious relief organizations need our help. For organizations, such as the Salvation Army and the Red Cross or perhaps your denomination or local church, to solicit funds and volunteers is a selfless act of mercy. We all need to do whatever we can to help those in genuine need. Rescue Missions and Christian homeless shelters deserve all the help we can give them as their employees and volunteers do an often thankless job of meeting spiritual, emotional and physical needs.
But as we do what we can to help the truly needy, we need to be aware of the Scam artists who go down through the phone book calling and begging churches for money. It’s amazing the detailed hard-luck stories they tell. I’ve heard some of the same stories repeatedly year after year. I guess some stories work well and make money for the beggar.
Some of the most sacrificial, unselfish, kind, thoughtful people I have ever met are in full time Christian service. On the other hand, some of the rudest, most thoughtless, selfish, self-centered people I have ever met are also in Christian service.Some people in Christian service have the mentality that since they are in full time Christian service that everyone owes them money and special attention. Some are rude and demanding and expect other Christians to go out of their way for them. It’s a joy to show hospitality and sacrifice for selfless, appreciative Christian servants; but it takes all the joy out of sacrifice when dealing with rude, thoughtless people who have the attitude that since they are in Christian service, everyone should cater to their whims and give them whatever they need.
Some missionaries need to raise their own support before they can be sent out to a field of service; but they must beware of developing a beggar’s mentality, expecting everyone to do special favors for them because they are “in the Lord’s work.”
Some evangelists I have known have a fixation on love offerings and travel expenses. If evangelists would concentrate their attention on avoiding canned-messages and seeking God’s message for a particular church, love offerings would meet their needs and expenses would be met. God’s people are generous. Feed the sheep and be honest with them and they will provide the wool willingly in abundance.
Pastors, get over self pity. Don’t whine because the people do not love you or care about you. Don’t whine because they do not offer you free baby sitting or yard service. I have seen some good preachers ruin their effectiveness and ministry by expressing self-pity to their congregations. Don’t complain or even hint that you are over- worked or underpaid. That is a pathetic attitude in a man of God.
Learn to live on what God supplies. Above all, understand that GOD is your source of supply. Quit looking to man for your source of supply. If you depend on your congregation, you are going to find yourself trimming your preaching so as not to offend your source of supply.
Beware of taking advantage of business people. They don’t owe you a ministerial discount. If they want to do something special for you, accept their generosity with appreciation to them and with thankfulness to God for His supply of your need.
If you are guilty of coveteousness, recognize it as a sin and confess it to God. Everything we have received has freely been given to us by the grace of God. Jesus says to us in Matthew 10:8 “Freely ye have received, freely give.” Jeremiah reminds us in Lamentations 3:22-23 “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is Thy faithfulness.
“Paul encourages us in Philippians 4:6 ” Be anxious for nothing; but by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.” Did you note that Paul does not tell us to let our needs be known to others?
The child of God who is faithfully doing God’s will can always count on God to meet his needs, whether he is a pastor, missionary, teacher, evangelist or involved in a secular job. Note also in this verse that there must be an attitude of thankfulness to God. Thankfulness should not be difficult when we realize that we deserve nothing; that all we have, we have by the grace of God.
May God teach us to be content in whatever situation we find ourselves. Philippians 4:11-12 May we be thankful for the way He supplies all our needs Philippians 4:19 and much, much more. Ephesians 3:20-21 May we be sacrificial and discerning in our giving to the truly needy.
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