Petra has a great song called “We want to see Jesus lifted High.” It goes like this:
We want to see Jesus lifted high
A banner that flies across this land
That all men may see the truth and know
He is the way to heaven.
Step by step we’re moving forward
Little by little we’re taking ground
Every prayer is a powerful weapon
Strongholds come tumbling down and down and down.
We want to see..we want to see..we want to see Jesus lifted high!
As I ponder these words I have a question for you:
If you could reach a billion people for Christ. You will not make one dime. You will not receive one ounce of fame. Would you?
What if your other choice was to reach a million people for Christ? You would make millions in the process. You would be famous. Would you?
What if you had to choose between the two?
Don’t get me wrong, Christian authors and speakers need to make money and make a living. We’re not talking about making a living here — we’re talking about motivation. Why do we do what we do?
The angriest Jesus ever got was at the beginning of his ministry (John 2:13-17) and after his triumphal entry. He saw the moneychangers and sellers of doves in the temple.
“Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. It is written, he said to them, ‘My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it a den of robbers.'” Matthew 21:12-13, NIV
15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” John 2:15-16
Why was he angry? The dishonest moneychangers were taking up the space reserved for the commoners to pray and making a lot of noise!
I think there are too many Christians selling and not telling! “We’ve a story to sell to the nations?” Let it not be!
This prosperity Christianity has got it all wrong! We are defining prosperity as money and success. What are the fruits of the spirit? “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control.” We cannot serve God and man!
3 John 1:2
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers
God does want us to prosper…in all things. We just want to tell God where we want Him to prosper us. (Then we buy a beach house and stop going to church!)
Last night in the car, my husband and I were discussing this. How many rich Christians can you name from the New Testament? (Not old testament, but new?)
Do you not think Jesus would want the very best for those who were closest to them? They were poor, gave away everything they had, and reaped great riches from Christ but not from man. John was the only one who didn’t die a martyrs death. Jesus put money in a fish’ mouth — he could have given the apostles and himself more than one could dream!
Do Christians deserve to make a living? Of course! I myself long with all of my heart to be able to write books that will bring people closer to the Lord. There is a difference between “a living” and “profiteering.”
Some Christians seem more concerned about hawking their book or TV show than in exalting Jesus Christ! Some are so focused on your pocketbook they are looking past the soul Jesus died for! Some are so emphatic about tiny points of doctrine that they forget how much Christians agree on.
On Thursday’s post, a commenter, Steve Bogner said:
Just goes to show we’re all more alike than different, and that it’s the same Spirit inside us all. We may divide ourselves, but we can’t divide the Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
The focus must remain on Jesus Christ. We want to see Jesus lifted High!
9 But those who have gathered it shall eat it,
And praise the LORD;
Those who have brought it together shall drink it in My holy courts.”
10 Go through,
Go through the gates!
Prepare the way for the people;
Build up the highway!
Take out the stones,
Lift up a banner for the peoples!
11 Indeed the LORD has proclaimed
To the end of the world:
“ Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘ Surely your salvation is coming;
Behold, His reward is with Him,
And His work before Him.’”
Lord, today I pray that you will give us discernment. Help us discern our own motivations for the motivations of others are not our business. Forgive us when we care more about what people say about us than whether you are well pleased. Forgive us when we exalt denominational liturgies above your Holy Word. Forgive us when we spend time arguing when we should be reaching the world for Christ. Lord God, guide us and lead us. Help us do your will. Lord, bless the Tuareg people and sow the seeds of salvation in their hearts. Open the doors wide to our missions teams. Protect our missionaries from extremists who would do them harm. Let us return our focus to Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith. In Jesus name. Amen.