Thursday, August 02, 2007

Prosperity Gospel

I have to admit, I don't tend to follow trends in the church so much, unless I find myself directly impacted by them.

So while I hear of things, I don't always care about them unless they surprise me by creeping in somewhere. For instance, this whole Prayer of Jabez thing that goes around, or the prosperity gospel. To me that you the same thing. I am surprised when, what I consider a good church -- as in solid, evangelical, knows the word church, starts to espouse the principals of it. I often wonder, where are these folks coming from.

Why am I mentioning this? These thoughts came to my mind as I was reading in Jeremiah 29 this morning.
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
See how is says, believe in my fully and I will restore your fortunes?

People read that and think....oh...if I believe in God I will be rich! (which is what the prosperity gospel message teaches correct?) It seems to me that these different 'messages' that people preach from the gospel are just over-emphasis's on ONE part of the total message of God, and a lack of taking things into proper context.

Yes, when we believe in God our fortunes increase...we have GOD on our side. In the Old testament that often pointed to material possessions. Not always though, particularly if you look at the dependence and love that the David had for God in the Psalms.

So even if our material life seems really icky...our fortunes have still increased because now we have a way, a reason, a method for getting through those icky times. We know that God is working it all for good. Maybe not our immediate good, but for our long term good and for the long term good of our now extended family (that being the family of God).

God tells the people in Jeremiah... believe in me. Pray to me. Seek after me, you will find me. Don't listen to false teachers. Hear me, says God.
"You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart."
Don't settle for anything less than all of God. Just don't do it.

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