When I lived at home with my parents, there was one thing that I took notice of some mornings …this little bird would come and sit on my windowsill and sing. I would open my window curtain and sigh, then say, “My freedom has come to me this morning.”
Life is a bit more oxymoronic than that. Freedom comes from Christ, and when you take this freedom, your life is not your own, and you become kind of a willing slave for Christ.
While living this sacrificial life for Christ, one issue that God dealt sharply with me about was self-righteousness. I was walking around like those Pharisees and didn’t even know it; it was not easy to see because it was buried. I was slipping into the bondage of the old law.
Well, now I understand that the only ‘Good’ in me is the God that lives in me, and He is the one that cleanses me and makes me righteous.
Apart from God-I know nothing. True “Know”ledge is Spiritual, and it comes from God. I know what God allows me to know, which is in His Word taught by His Holy Spirit. Without this, my paradigm becomes distorted; my understanding begins to cloud my vision, evil and good become gray, and I myself began to believe that I am capable of knowing what is good or evil, and I become my own god. Jesus said that only God is Good (Luke 18:19). We know there is a worldly type of good and true Good, which is of God.
I remember pondering the world’s general definition of good and evil. I realized I had all these programmed ideas about the meanings of these words. Although some of my beliefs were in the Bible, I understood that my reason for believing some things were wrong or right, evolved out of my natural human mind or religious conditioning. I needed to let that go. I needed to connect with my Righteous God and find out what He says is ”right.”
I am continuously taught by the Holy Spirit, as all Christians are if they consistently seek Him. There is no greater way to learn than having a direct lesson from the Creator, and He reveals things to me while I’m studying.
One wrong thing I thought was right was selling Jesus, the Gospel, Spiritual Gifts, His Word, or a testimony. Jesus offered you life and spiritual growth freely, and He does not force you to pay monetary payment. Jesus did not say…Okay, I will give you eternal life, but… you have to pay me $500.00. Since we are followers of Christ, we should strive to be like him. Jesus said: “…Freely ye have received; freely give.
Now, ministry never stops, no matter what you do. However, if your sole purpose is a ministry that was created to spread the Gospel, teach our eternal family, or strengthen them, we should never, I mean never, put a price tag on it. We should not merchandise the Gospel.
If I want to go to a concert and hear what God has for me, I should not be forced to pay a fee to enter. I should not have to buy a book that was written to help me spiritually. I should not have to pay for a movie that was created to save people or be forced to pay for a Bible, a Christian conference, sermon, prayer, Biblical counseling session, etc. This is like a church charging people to come to their church service or you telling people they will need to pay a fee before you pray for them. It might seem funny, but I’m just giving an example to help people understand this.
And what if someone doesn’t have the money? Do they not deserve what God gave to you to share with others because they lack the funds? This is Not Godly. Are you trying to block a blessing?
I’m saddened to see Christians selling God. There is no way that anyone can rationalize this with the Bible I read. As I always say, thank God His will gets done when we are wrong, and we are still made righteous through Christ anyway.
I believe there is no room for Bible twisting, and ministries and churches should depend on God & free will giving. We see this throughout the Bible. God does not force you to give. You give what is on your heart. (2 Corinthians 9:7)(Exodus 25:1-2)(Deuteronomy 16:10) You can look to your eternal family for help, but you should not forcibly charge them, geez.
The ministries can support the pastors/elders, workers, or guests with food, shelter, financial gift, honorarium, etc from the donations; those that live by the Gospel should receive their living from it (1 Corinthians 9:13-14) (though I know some who choose not to take any kind of compensation & prefer for it to go back into the ministry, especially if a ministry is struggling).
Now, we know that if you benefit from a ministry, you should try to help in whatever way you can. But some Christians do not help as they should. They just take. This does not mean you should stop doing the right thing and start charging a set fee to minister. Keep the Faith! & I’m not just talking. I deal with this myself sometimes, but my husband and I are building multiple streams of income to provide for our family. I will not start merchandising Christ due to others lack of generosity.
God is the most powerful being in and out of this world, and if you think he cannot help you with your ministry, which is for… Him…then… you are relying on what is right or wrong with your flesh.
I can remember when I didn’t think about these things… but God has given me this magnified mind where I analyze every little and big thing through this Holy Spirit filter. I’ve become very black & white. Those gray areas I create God puts into two categories.
I know I am not the only Christian that has dealt with this because I hear quite a few Christians talk about what is right and wrong, but…it seems to be from their own perspective with a sprinkle of God’s. When we let go of this fleshly hindrance, and look to God for direction, we can pass this issue.
But of course, there will always be other issues while we are on this earth as the enemy is always attacking the ‘Church.’