When we give money to support those who do God’s work, it is an expression of love and worships toward the Lord. Giving is a part of prayer and serving. When we can’t reach with the gospel to different communities around the world, by giving we fuel these Kingdom missions. Many women who traveled with Jesus and His disciples, were financially supporting them (Luke 8:1-3). Luke tells us these included, “Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who were contributing to their support out of their private means” (Luke 8:2b-3). People like Zacchaeus also, who promised to give half his belongings to the poor and pay back four times as much to anyone he had cheated.
Jesus and His disciples could afford to pay for their daily needs (i.e., food, shelter, clothing, travel, etc.) because of the gracious contributions of these men and women. Their financial gifts to support The Ministry of Jesus and His disciples had an immediate and eternal impact on the lives of many and are still yielding results today. That’s an impressive return on investment! Psalm 68:5 tells us, “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.” His aim is to show orphans mercy, care, and protection, and because these waiting children are essential to him, they should be essential to us as his Church. James 1:27 says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
Deuteronomy 14:29 says, “And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do.”
People are called by God to care well for servants of God, children of God, Orphans, and Widows.
Wealth is A Blessing:
It is not a sin to be wealthy, as God sometimes blesses His people with great riches. He certainly gave great wealth to Abraham (Gen 13:5-6), Isaac (Gen 26:12-14), Jacob (Gen 32:9-10; 33:11), Job (Job 1:1-3), David (1 Ch 29:1-5), Solomon (1 Ki 10:1-25), and others. Sometimes this wealth came suddenly, such as when God liberated the Israelites from Egyptian slavery (Deut 5:6), and persuaded the Egyptians to give His people vast amounts of silver, gold, and clothing (Ex 3:22). Afterwards, God gave His people the land of Canaan (Deut 4:1; 9:6), which included cities, houses, wells and vineyards for which they did not work (Deut 6:10-11). The Bible also gives wisdom on making wealth by hard work (Prov 28:19) and investment (Eccl 11:1-2). I know some whom God has gifted with great business acumen. These He has blessed with the “power to make wealth” (Deut 8:18). These same skilled men have been generous in their giving to help others, and in this way, have followed Paul’s instruction to “those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to set their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy; and to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share” (1 Tim 6:17-18). Being wealthy can be a blessing from the Lord, but how one handles that wealth either honors or dishonors Him. And, “A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, and favor is better than silver and gold” (Prov 22:1).
As Christians, we should see ourselves as stewards of the Lord’s resources, whether that’s money, a home, car, food, clothing, etc. Biblically, we know that God owns everything, “For the earth is the LORD’S, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it” (Psa 24:1). The Lord declares, “every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psa 50:10), and “The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine, declares the LORD of hosts” (Hag 2:8). When we give to support the Lord’s work, it’s a test of our love and loyalty to Him; for what we give is already His. David captures this well when he says, “who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given You” (1 Ch 29:14). As God’s people, we are only here on earth for a short time, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave, “For we are sojourners before You, and tenants, as all our fathers were; our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding” (1 Ch 29:15). And, as Paul wrote, “We brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either” (1 Tim 6:7). What we do in this life touches both time and eternity. Jesus directs us to focus on heavenly investments, saying, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt 6:19-21).
Christian ministers—whether working full or part time—need financial support to help cover the costs associated with ministry, and our monetary support is a barometer of our love for God and what He is doing through them.
Old Testament and Tithe:
Under the Mosaic Law, there were actually three tithes the Israelites were obligated to pay to the priests and Levites to support them for their ministry (Num 18:21-24). Two tithes were required every year to the Temple (Num 18:21; Deut 14:22-23), and a third tithe was taken every third year to help the poor, the alien, the orphans and the widows (Deut 14:28-29; 26:12). This last tithe was comparable to a social welfare system for the most unfortunate in society. The Levites, in turn, gave a tithe of the tithe to the priests for their service (Num 18:25-28). For the most part, the tithes consisted of the fruit and grain that came out of the ground as well as livestock (Lev 27:30-32), and the Israelite worshipper and his family could eat a portion of the sacrifice that was brought to the tabernacle/temple (Deut 12:17-19; 14:22-27). Failure to bring the produce of one’s crop or herd was a violation of God’s law (Mal 3:8-10).
We as Christians must care for society and God’s work, there are many preachers who are the richest and there are many who are living a miserable life. We must care, Jesus said those who call me Lord, Lord will not enter into His Kingdom.
“Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ Matthew 7:21-23
Do you know that today the famous and richest preachers are those who do miracles in Jesus’ name and those who do prophecies in his name, who are called prophets and prophetesses? There is another group who are called sheep of Jesus, The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. (Matthew 25:40).
Sheep are those people, who listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd and who do what He tells them to do, goats are those who have their own will and arrogant spirit. They didn’t do what Jesus The Good Shepherd tells them to do.
Are you a Sheep of Jesus / Yeshua or you are a goat ?
The Sheep and the Goats
It is written in Matthew 25 31When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, He will sit on His glorious throne. 32All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate the people one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will place the sheep on His right and the goats on His left.
34Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you took Me in, 36I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you looked after Me, I was in prison and you visited Me.’
37Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink?38When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39When did we see You sick or in prison and visit You?’
40And the King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’
41Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.42For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, I was naked and you did not clothe Me, I was sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’
44And they too will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’
45Then the King will answer, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me.’
46And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
In these end times, you decide where you have to sow, who are listening to the voice of Jesus, leaving their wealth for Jesus, and sharing the wealth of heaven with the world and reaching to the unreached communities or you are giving to the big building and a big name. The apostle Paul was supported financially by Christians who gave to his ministry (2 Cor 9:1-15). Paul explained that giving of one’s finances needs to be done with the right attitude, for “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7). It is better not to give at all than to give “grudgingly or under compulsion.” Giving should be done with the right attitude, and in proportion to what a person has (Acts 11:29; 2 Co 8:12). The one who has little can give little (Luke 21:1-4), and the one who has much can give much (1 Tim 6:17-18). But attitude matters, for God, is watching the heart as well as the hand.
It is biblical that Christian ministers be supported financially for the work they do. As I live in an Islamic country, and support converted brothers and sisters. In my life and 24 years of journey in serving Jesus, I have seen many muslims who were rich, left their wealth, and properties for Jesus, but the church and Christians do not support them. These people have no place or shelter, no food, rejected by their muslim families, Islamic society, church, and by Christians. They live their whole life in loneliness, deprived, traumatized, emotionally wrecked, and depressed. Does Jesus talk about them in Matthew 25:40 or the homeless people? Who are Jesus’s brothers and sisters? You can give to the poor and homeless, but these brothers and sisters in Christ are homeless too. There is no one who cares for them, to give them food, give them clothes, to care for them in their illness, there is no mechanism for such people of God. They are rejected by the church and Christians. God will not judge you for the world, but God will judge you for His people who were rejected by the religion and society, by the church and Christians.
Sadly, there are false teachers in the church today who, through their ministries, rake in tens of millions of dollars, live in luxurious mansions, and fly around the world in private jets. These give a bad name to Christianity because of their greed and false messages that mislead people. The disciples of Jesus Christ didn’t use ministry money to build their mansions and palaces, they used everything for preaching the gospel. I think much of this is born out of Jesus’ instruction to His disciples when He told them to preach to the lost sheep of Israel, saying, “As you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give” (Matt 10:7-8). That is, Jesus’ disciples were to preach and engage in ministry to others freely, without charge. Are you sowing your seed for the Kingdom of God or for the private jets and mansions? Even if you are willing to pay for their jets and mansions, then please think about those men and women of God who are rejected by their Muslim families for accepting Jesus their savior, and who are reaching and preaching the unreached, who have no food, not a shelter and nobody to take care of them.
May Lord YHWH richly bless you according to your heart and faith.