Thursday, March 05, 2009

Don’t get the cart before the horse

Why do you want to be in ministry? If it is for prestige, power, or profit then you had better think again. Ministering as a means of providing for your own needs is backwards and is not God’s design. It does make a difference which one comes first – the cart or the horse. Ministering to others must come before your own needs. The calling and heartfelt desire to serve others and further God’s kingdom must precede your need and aspiration for an income, job, or career. Yes, a workman (minister) is worth his wages, but that should never be the goal or purpose for ministry. God’s Word tells us to seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and then He will take care of our needs. 

Being driven by financial gain has led many ministers to drift far from the will and presence of God, leading to ungodly behavior. This was one of the many reasons Martin Luther protested the Catholic Church. Church leaders were selling forgiveness in the form of indulgences. The church leaders were putting their needs first and lining their pockets instead of ministering the gospel to a needy generation. Pastors and teachers can fall into this trap when they water down the Word of God in order to appeal to a larger audience for the purpose of increased tithes and finances. We are told to freely give because we have freely received (Matthew 10).  We must not minister out of greed or out of fear. God will provide all of our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. He is faithful and will bless those who lift up His name and proclaim His Truth. 

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