I think that the church as a whole is suffering because it has become earth-bound. It’s great to teach about how to prosper and have abundance. It’s great to help people get promoted, get out of debt, pay their mortgage off early, how to invest, start businesses and be in the market place. I am for all of that. I believe in all of that.
But in addition to that, Jesus actually said to His disciples that if we believeth on Him, we can do the works He did (John 14.12). That’s another level. Well done on completing your pension and paying off your mortgage, but Jesus is talking about raising the dead and turning water into wine and healing everyone in the room and feeding crowds with one loaf of bread. There is a place prepared for each of us in Heaven, so let’s get a bigger visions than passive income!
We should definitely choose getting ready for Heaven and bringing people to Heaven with us. We are in fact told not to lay up for ourselves treasures on the earth, but lay them up in Heaven (Matthew 6.19-20). There’s nothing wrong with having treasures on earth, but never ever think for one second they come anything close to the treasures of Heaven.
I know people who could never leave a well-paying job or career and become a full time pastor. They love money far too much, and deep down they think if someone does that they are stupid. But the ministry is a wonderful way to lay up treasures in Heaven. I know people think I should have a lot more saved for a building fund, but I am aiming to give away £250000 this year to world mission. I want my treasure in Heaven!
There are Christians who would never give to world mission, never serve in a local church, never turn up early or on time for church, never invest in a church – but if there is a business deal, they are early, they are there, they have their bank card out. To me that’s the crazy person! I know born again tongue talkers who pray they will never be called to ministry. I know people who are in ministry and all they talk about is how little money they have.
Listen, we are called as pastors and leaders to do something for Heaven. We are called to lay up treasures in Heaven. So stop those negative attitudes. No wonder so many pastors and Christians never see miracles.
If we are to impact the world in the 21st century, we need the same attitude as the old missionaries. The Puritans, the Methodists, the Salvation Army. The old Methodist missionaries to Africa would pack their belongings in a coffin and sail to Africa, keeping the coffin because they would die there. That’s the attitude that changed the world – treasures in Heaven.
If you love money as a minister, let me prophesy over you: your future is going to be hard and its going to hurt. How about loving God? How about loving Jesus? How about loving the Holy Spirit? He sent Jesus into this world so that we would not perish!
Stop being earth bound. Don’t chase money, it will find you soon enough if you are seeking the kingdom of God. Find out what God wants you to do and do it with all your heart. If it involves selling all you have and giving it to the poor, rejoice. If it involves entering the ministry full-time for 1/3 or 1/4 of what you used to be paid, join the club and sing a happy song as you join it. If it involves going overseas to a nation that does not have all the amenities you are used to, who cares? WE ARE LAYING UP TREASURES IN HEAVEN!
Every pastor and minister should be rejoicing day after day that we are laying up treasures in Heaven!