Blessings Deprived

I've been having some wonderful talks with my dad about what he has learned over the years from starting a church in our home, having it grow successfully at times reaching over 100 and pastoring for 26 years.  I've already blogged about the heart-felt love my dad had and the relation to Paul, in that, he didn't want to be burdensome to his flock by being supported.  Now, I will continue the story and I was amazed that this was even shared in a recent Bible study - God knows!

Although my dad didn't expect the support of his church those 26 years, it caused not only problems for himself and our family, but it caused his flock to become a people who didn't think the man of God deserved much.  They became callous and it even pained them to give my dad $100 a month.  Eventually, they conspired against my dad and brought in a man secretly to overtake my dad's church.  Thankfully, one of them clued my dad in to what was happening and my dad got up and preached a message to those people and resigned and walked out with my mom.

Growing up, we lived in what would be called poverty levels.  Here, was my dad running a church at one time reaching 120 members and we were struggling to eat.  If my mom ever got a new outfit, snide remarks would be made to her.  My parents kept a cheap, gray car because if it had color or was a new car, the people would surely think we were stealing from them.  Oh, how my parents suffered for a heartless people!  I asked God recently to bless my parents and pay off all their debts for what they endured for 26 years out of pure love to see souls saved!

Was this a good thing that my dad did?  Did he create such a people because he didn't teach them to support the man of God?  He sure did suffer and still does because for those 26 years when he should have been supported by his ministry, he dug a hole of debt that he is still in today.

Paul himself, later asked forgiveness for this wrong he had done to the Corinthians of not receiving support from them.

For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:13

The other churches gave support to Paul and this made the Corinth church inferior to them.  He noted it as a wrong but still didn't want anything of them but that rather they would be saved.  Maybe, Paul saw what kind of people it made them as the Corinth church was full of sin.  The Corinthians didn't get to get the blessing that comes with supporting a pastor and thereby he deprived them that blessing.  How similiar to what my dad experienced! What does this all teach us?

We should have a heart to support the man of God.  I'm of the belief and so is my dad, that a pastor should be the one who has ALL his material needs met!  He shouldn't even be without because we are obligated to that pastor's material needs because he takes care of our spiritual needs!  He is worthy of his hire!!  I personally think that the pastor should be the one with the nicest car, nicest house and clothes because how could we ever repay him for the sacrifice he makes for our OUR souls!

Those that have a problem with supporting a pastor by paying their tithes are surely full of greed, covetousness, jealousy and envy.  Their heart is not right, how could it be?  They are those that are caught up in money and covetousness.  That is why they have such a hard time with a minister having anything, they have an evil heart!  If they don't have it, they hate anyone that does have it!  Truly, they need to be saved because they have never had the love of God.

After a few years of healing from what has happened, my dad is ready to pastor again and he will expect that which is rightfully his and the people will be blessed by taking care of the man of God!  A Christian should always have a heart, not only to give God what is rightfully his (a tenth of all your increase), but also to support the man of God.  For what pastors suffer, it is but a small thing to give them material goods.  Also, don't forget that God ordained this system of support:

Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:14