Greetings again my Brethren. Let us continue to look at God’s divine provision as it related to the provision for His ministers. Now I will be honest from the start I do not believe it is good for the pastor or minister in the local Body of Christ to receive a pay check from the church or ministry organization (I do not take a salary from BHG) for doing the will of God in their lives. When I pastored in Germany I could have received money, but I choose not to and worked two jobs (substituted at the American High School and worked as teacher for KMP a German company that taught business English) to support me and my family. I was truly amazed at the opportunities God provided to share this wondrous Gospel message with the German people. Some I am still in contact with and have visited us in the States. However for those who do believe it is okay to receive a pay check from the ministry (and that is okay with me) we can find Scripture that would support such a belief. Paul writes, “If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? 12If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. 13Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? 14Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” (1 Corinthians 9:11-14) Even though Paul wrote these verses I believe he never took a red dime for His time serving God as he was a tent maker as Peter and other disciples were fisherman. Somehow I think there was some confession (as seen by the detail and many verses addressing this problem) going on at the Church in Corinth over this topic and Paul settled the matter to allow the Gospel to go forth. Did you know just because you are authorized in God to do something does not mean you have to. I believe Paul knew this and worked for his daily bread (by the sweat of his brow) as the people he preached to. Again if you feel authorized to take a pay check that is fine with me. The people I ministered to in Germany worked hard (Germans believe in working hard while at work) for their money and most were just one arrest away from being deployed back to Africa or Asia and I found I could identify (their heart aches, pains, and suffering) with the people much better if I too experienced similar trials and difficulties, oddly enough (now not all) it has been my experience those ministers who do not work outside the church seem to be the ones who give the Gospel a black eye after all idle hands are the devils workshop. I hear pastors and ministers say they want to go “full time” in the ministry, well I hope they are putting their heart full time into what God has called them to do, but sadly some pastors and ministers have dumbed down the call of God on their lives and service to the Body of Christ to dollars and cents. We must be very careful when we think we are owned money for serving and working for God. Every year many denominations have special services by way of appreciating members time and talents for different functions needed in the local church it in its self saying thank you is appropriate, but when it gets overboard giving money and cars away well . . . I think God takes a dim view of this. In God we seldom get a pat on the back from God that is why we look to our friends and followers, it is a mature person who needs not the pat on the back. Peter asked, Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?(Mathew 19:27) And Jesus replied, “Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 30But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.” (Matthew 19:28-30) As we will see next month a pat on the back from the LORD should be enough. After all it is not about God taking care of us? Does God know what we need” Did God take care of Paul and Peter even Elijah? “So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.” (1 Kings 17:5-6) If so (and He did) He will take care of us too.

Next month we will continue to look at God’s divine provision for His maintenance as we close out the year at how remuneration is NOT a condition for ministry. Can you hear Him now?