Church: Green Pasture or Pork Barrel?
Shared by Patricia Backora, author of the book
Tough Love in Christ・s Millennium
Which you can order online from: http://www.publishamerica.com
Ezekiel 34:1-10; Hosea 6:6; Matthew 23:23
Yes, I behold across the land countless scenes of silver-tongued ministers badgering and cajoling overburdened church members to give, give, give. There is an insinuation that I will not give to them unless they succumb to all this pressure.
Do you not comprehend that unless I first give you , you cannot give back to Me? I am the Giver of every good and perfect gift. I want to share My abundance with you, My people. Tell Me what you truly need. Tell Me what satan has stolen from your lives. I want to restore every broken area of your being. Let Me love you. Take the time to linger in MY Holy Presence, that I might build you up in your spirit and fortify you with the riches of My Word. I would have your cup to overflow with a joy that no man can take from you.
How could you ever think I am so unloving and petty that I would change My attitude toward you if you were unable to buckle and bend to the demands of men? My mercy and love are unspeakably greater than I am given credit for in many churches.
The browbeaten congregation feel they are being fleeced and policed as inquisitive envelopes and intimidating pledge cards pop up in the offering plate. Their money-driven leaders need to know who gives regularly, and above all, how much. No matter that I commanded that giving be done in secret!
Worse yet, many subtly insinuate that My blessings are for sale. After all, ：God can・t multiply zero.；
Don・t tell Me what I can and can・t do! I set in motion the laws of mathematics. I created the world out of nothing but the power of My Word. I spoke, and visible things were made from that which is invisible.
I alone am the righteous Judge of hearts. I know when people are deliberately being stingy with Me, and won・t render that portion which I have shown them should be rightfully set aside for My Kingdom. I also know when pockets contain only pennies and people are backed up against the wall, struggling for daily food and shelter. Far better that these burdened saints buy a bit of sustenance without condemnation, than that some well-fed preacher lay the Law down on them and pry their last dollar out of them with threats of My retribution! The poor widow indeed gave her very last mite, but she did it because she was much richer in faith than all those rich men who proudly dumped their surplus funds into the treasury. The widow was not afraid I would punish her if she bought a bit of bread with that money instead. She gave it out of love and gratitude for all I had done to sustain her in her affliction. Her faith was such that making an offering was a joyful act of worship she wanted to participate in. She trusted that I, the Defender of orphans and widows, would be faithful to meet her own need that day. And I surely did. I did not let that dear woman starve. But many have not matured to her level of faith, and it would be cruel to force them to pretend otherwise.
Elijah prayed earnestly for rain to appear, for the ground was parched and cracked. Cattle and people were dropping dead from the severe, prolonged drought. Only a miracle could save them all from death.
There was not even one tiny cloud in the sky for Me to use as seed to multiply into more cloud mass. Elijah・s fervent prayer of faith was all it took to release My power over nature. Soon a tiny speck of a cloud appeared. It expanded into a cloud mass large enough to unleash a heavy downpour upon the thirsty land.
I created the whole universe out of what you term nothing, through the power of My Spirit-activated Word of faith, even through My dear Son Who was with Me in the very beginning. And I would emphasize it is MY faith imparted to you through My grace which produces fruit, not your own futile human efforts to ：muster up； faith. False ：faith； is a fruit of the flesh, not a fruit of My Spirit!
Throughout history there have been those poor in this world・s goods but rich in faith. These faithful ones lay up treasure in heaven, far beyond the reach of the enemy. In heaven there is no depreciation of the value of possessions.
But money-obsessed leaders lightly esteem the less affluent among you, and, by their example, teach others to do the same. One who is temporarily out of work or who toils at a minimum-wage job is thought to be flunking in the so-called School of Faith. No matter how dearly that saint loves Me, no matter how much of the Life of Christ is reflected through his life, hypocrites scorn him. If only that poor brother weren・t harboring some secret sin, if only he were more adept at working the ：foolproof； faith formulas, he would be basking in Canaan Land and never again suffer setbacks. Didn・t my servant Job suffer similar criticism when he was tried? In the end, who received My approval; him or his critics?