Do you know why you were born? A famous church pastor claims to know. According to him, you are “Born to be Blessed.” For millions of “sinners saved by grace,” this is music to their itching ears that are in continuous need of scratching (2 Tim. 4:3). Fortunately, help is on the way. Believers are assured that they need not trod the blessing path alone. The Lord’s “minister of righteousness” (2 Cor. 11:15) is on the scene to scratch their ears by revealing to them how to turn a little into a lot. To prove that the church member’s reason for existence is to receive blessing from the Lord, this false prophet will “send” (not sell) them both a book and a dvd for a “love gift” of only $140.00 “or more.” These sources of vital information concerning the true meaning of life will prove to the reader/watcher that God has one overriding goal for those in “the” church–to received blessings from Him.
Another purveyer of “truth” claims that the blessing seeker must not bombard heaven alone, that alone he has no chance of receiving the load of goodies God has stored up for him. He is withholding them until the seeker takes the final step which will unleash a barrage of longed-for stuff that will flood his/her life from on high. What is this final and necessary step? He must ask the speaker to join him/her in his/her quest for more and better stuff. The seeker is assured that when God’s man gets directly involved everything will change. The heavens will open up and the Lord will begin to rain down both spiritual and material blessings from on high. And not just a heavy downpour. This ear scratcher assured his adoring followers that once he had joined with them in faith, “… a tsunami of blessings” would overtake them.
A close look at such blessing-guaranteed ministries will reveal a common thread that ties wanting and receiving together. It seems that one must prime the blessing pump by giving the minister a “love” (sometimes called a “seed”) offering that will expedite the process. Some have even named the exact give-to-get ratio the believer can expect. The last ratio I heard was ten-to-one. But that is just the beginning. The pot invariably gets sweetened. It seems that the higher the giving, the higher the ratio. Church people are encouraged to “… show your love for the Lord” by sending the biggest love offering you can afford to His apostle. They are encouraged to apply the following Scriptural math formula: figure out how much they need and send God’s humble servant one-tenth of that amount. Then they are told to sit back and wait for the items on their wish list to arrive.
Recently a lady asked my four-year-old great grandson his thoughts about the money she had just given him. He replied, “I want money and more money.” The kid is a natural born preacher. Obviously I have much work to do.
In my previous series I brought to light God’s will concerning the priorities of His people. Obedience to His Word (will/way) was number one. If we obey that rule, the rest will fall into place as we divorce ourselves from the things of the world. And not just sinful things of the world. There are things we do which, though not evil in and of themselves, nevertheless need to be placed on the far back burner, if not off the stove completely. Years ago the Almighty revealed this Truth to me involving some activities I was involved in which were taking my time. When I asked Him to take the desire to do them from me, He did so, in some cases instantly. In other cases a short withdrawal period followed my prayer for help. Once deliverance came I had no interest in those activities.
Time is not retrievable. When it’s gone–it’s gone. We are told to “redeem the time,” meaning to make the best use of it. Many years ago the longsuffering God of the universe alerted me to the amount of time I was wasting each day. I began filling my free time with Bible study and “praying without ceasing,” as the Apostle Paul advised. When driving, walking to class, etc. I would memorize Scriptures which I had printed on note cards. I found this habit to be most beneficial.
Blessings are promised by God. But before jumping on the goodie express, I suggest that one study Deuteronomy 26, Leviticus 28 and the entire New Testament where God’s priorities are made plain. L.J.