And He said to them, 'Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.'
You cannot serve both God and money.
From 1982 to December 31, 2011, AMTC was a successful for-profit company. But in the wee hours of New Year's morning, AMTC died and rose again. God turned our old 'World upside down' (Acts 17:6). His new plan was right side up, and AMTC became a non-profit ministry.
Now I can better understand the fear that churches may face--fear of not having the revenue to run without ceasing. But try as I might, I see no place in the Bible where God says to 'run without ceasing.' 'Pray without ceasing' (1 Thessalonians 5:17): Yes. 'Thank God without ceasing' (1 Thessalonians 2:13): Yes. But running from fear? No.
Whether from fear, pride, or greed I cannot say, but I believe the American church (in general) has shifted its focus from righteousness to revenue, from pleasing God to pleasing people.
In a Christian Post article, Colorado Pastor Brady Boyd said, 'We hype and promote and position and tweet and inadvertently create pews full of consumers instead of devoted worshipers of God. We realized that if we could package the Gospel and church in a tidy little package, then people would buy it better. That's exactly what happened in America. Over the years, the church has built marketing strategies... borrowing practices from the entrepreneurial, capitalistic world.'
Instead of teaching the hard walk of Jesus, they're preaching the soft talk to please us. Instead of waking us up, they're patting us down.
'You also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness' (Matthew 23:28), 'For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness' (1 Timothy 6:10).
The line between righteousness and lawlessness can be hard for a church-goer to see. Therefore, we must focus on the full teachings of Jesus Christ.
To Be Continued...
P.S. Christian Post article: http://www.christianpost.com/news/colo-megachurch-pastor-hype-vs-holy-spirit-83629/#8yo8E7MKfrrRDHQZ.99
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the The Church series.