THOUGHTS FROM JACKIE: “What’s the Prosperity Gospel?”

THOUGHTS FROM JACKIE: “What’s the Prosperity Gospel?”

“The Prosperity Gospel” has become such a buzz word for greedy preachers that it conjures up negative thoughts as soon as it’s heard. Whether in writing or audibly once prosperity and minister are combined in the same sentence visions of a dishonest individual enters many minds. Before letting the scriptures speak, as always, let’s muddy things up some more. What’s the measuring stick for an appropriate income for a preacher? Let’s start with his car. Can he have a new one? How expensive is the car allowed to be? How about his house? What’s to big of a house for a minister? Oh let’s get into salary. Should he even get one from the church or should all of his time be volunteer? If he receives a salary should it be based on the size of the congregation? Even if he has 10,000 members should there be limits to his salary? At the end of the day what does God have to say about all of this, and should prosperity even be taught in the church? What would be the positives of teaching prosperity? Are there any negatives if a minister does not teach prosperity? Who gets to be the judge that a preacher has become a charlatan.

If you don’t mind I’ll put a lot a bit of me in my explanation. Sorry I could’ resist the humor. It makes it easier to show how I’ve reached my position. If you were labeling my position you’d call me a prosperity preacher. I would simply call myself a follower of scripture. In the early years of pastoring I had a serious lack of money. There’s poor and there is poe. I fell well into the poe category. I’m talking 4 kids and $525 a month to work with. My car note was $495 a month. There’s still rent, food, gas, diapers, etc…. You get it right? I’m hurting bad. I’m preaching on Sunday and don’t even know if I have enough gas to get back home. So I open up this Bible I keep telling everyone has all the answers. I was a tither so Malachi 3:8-10 was in affect. I’d heard these verses on tithing my entire church life. Even when I was around the church and not in it I knew about tithing. Something was surely missing though because either God was fibbing, or I wasn’t doing something off, cause I’m tithing and I have an eviction notice, and my lights are going to get turned off. At least my family won’t be eating in the dark cause we are running out of food to eat. I’m making some of the darkest days of my life cute, but I was scared. I’m a father that’s supposed to provide. I work hard and go to college and we are struggling.

What was missing was a deeper understanding of scripture and expectancy. You see in Malachi 3:1-10 God is dealing with Israel’s sin in a variety of areas. The tithe had to do with lots of things one of which was putting God first in the area of trust. So I decided to show God the depth of my trust in Him by giving Him 20% of my income instead of just 10% and a small offering. I gave 20% and an offering. If I was going out it was going to be in a blaze of glory. The other thing that helped with my expectation was understanding that when God told Israel He would open the window I had missed something. The only reason the window was closed is because they had not been giving in obedience to God’s command. Once continual obedience is established I would be living under an open window of blessing.

To finish things up my income leaped after that. Debts were cancelled, I got cars, the house of my dreams, travel, many of my desires came to pass in months and in a few years. Now please listen close cause this is where us preachers and prosperity folks get a bad rap. The piece the haters miss is I got the greatest gift of all as I got blessed. Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” You see where it says men shall give into your bosom. Well I learned what it was like to be the man. Instead of praying all night that I wouldn’t end up on the street cause I was broke, God could speak to me and send me to answer someones prayer.

2 Corinthians 9:6-15 will tell you of the same kind of method that comes as a result of your giving. God will give you more so your always ready to participate in His system. The thing is God said if you bless people He will bless you. God’s not going to let me out give Him. I have a $6 figure income and still give away over 20%. Do you think God is going to let me out do Him. But as soon as I get this new Porsche I’m looking at the first thing the haters will say is I’m robbing somebody. It’s like one preacher said about a televangelist friend when somebody was complaining about the preachers new Mercedes. He said, “the man has given away 6 Mercedes you would think God would let him keep one.” I’ve been with some of these men of God and watched them give away cargo planes so food could be flown to Africa. I’ve seen them give away $10,000 in one offering for a cause, and they were the minister preaching who was supposed to receive the offering. It’s a whole other level of life. You couldn’t turn the blessings off if you tried. Just one more story. Two famous evangelists paid for a women that really wanted to be at there services expenses. They got her room, transportation etc., just cause God told them to. I believe she had her kids (2) with her and they paid for them to come across country and fed everybody too. When the preachers got back home a call came from the Chevy dealer for one of them to come and pick out a brand new Corvette that God had just spoken to the Christian dealer to give him. This is just another way of living, and if you want to get in on it trust God and He will do the rest. You may never toot your horn as you bless people, but owe what a feeling to pull a months worth of groceries out of your nice car for a hurting family. Children of the King happen to look like it when they know their covenant. God promised you the entire Kingdom. Receive what He has for you and don’t worry about what people may say. You know who gave it to you.
Luke 12:32 (NKJV)
32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

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