Message for August 28, 2011

The Kingdom of God is NOT in RECESSION Are you Fearful or Faithful

By Dr. Jan Harbuck, AEGA Vice President

Being on the front lines here at AEGA, I have seen many ministers, churches and ministries through the years struggle with being faithful — especially in the area of giving. Most of the time they get very discouraged because God is not blessing them, not just financially, but in the growth of their ministry. In talking with them I receive many excuses why they cannot be faithful with the giving commitment they made when they received their credentials. Such excuses range from, “I have too many bills to pay,” “I need the money to send my child to college,” “I can’t remember to send it,” or, “the people in my church or ministry won’t support me,”… etc, etc, etc.” In hearing these excuses my question is, How can God bless you and cause people to support your vision if you are unwilling to keep your promises and commitments? In my early years, I struggled with faithfulness too. Then God helped me to realize that faithfulness in every area, especially giving (which included giving beyond what is “required”), was a key principle to a having a successful ministry, and in becoming a true leader and an overcomer.

Those of you who truly understand the heart of AEGA know we are not (and never have been) about “money,” but about “faithfulness.” And if you know your Bible, it speaks of the same. Now with the US economy on the downward spiral, fear is trying to grip the hearts of Christians (both ministers and laymen), and many are withholding giving to the work of God. But is this pleasing to God? Are we only to be faithful in the good times? Do we only give when the economy is healthy?

God doesn’t need a healthy, normal womb for a woman to conceive and bear a child. In Judges 13:2-3 (conception and birth of Samson) the scripture says“And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.” Not convinced?  (continued)


 In Psalm 113.9 the scripture says “He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.” And in Luke 1:5-37 the scripture tells us that Elizabeth was barren and well advanced in years, but God brought forth a child out of a barren womb. So what is my point? God doesn’t need a healthy economy to supply our needs! At this time in history our country seems to be slipping away from us, and the future is very uncertain. But we must remember that most of the time God provides “just enough” at “just the right time”. So what must we do? We must not fear … but remain faithful in all areas of our Christian life. And yes, that most assuredly includes our giving, as well as keeping our commitments to whomever! This is called integrity, and it reflects Christian character.

God can make the bitter water sweet … He can bring water out of the rock … God wants daily trust in Him, not trust in our economy. Remember the Lord’s Prayer … Give us this day our daily bread” (not weekly, monthly or yearly). I’m not saying we should not plan for the future, but we must trust God with the future! In fact, it is unwise not to invest for the future. However, when times get tough is not the time to withhold our faithful giving to the work of God.

God can supply our needs even in a bad economy, just as easily as He can in a prosperous one. Since the “great depression” we Americans have lived a relatively prosperous and comfortable lifestyle. Unlike many countries in which my husband and I have traveled, the U.S. (regardless of our many faults) has enjoyed the blessings of God — many of which are due to our Godly principles and unselfish giving to those in need. That’s why all foreign people desire to come to this great land of the FREE. Many say that in the future Social Security may not exist, but God’s security is inexhaustible and limitless!

So don’t fear, but BE FAITHFUL … God still specializes in miracles which are not dependent on our economy.

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