On a Mission Fall 2018

by MARK HALL Care Pastor Ginghamsburg Church Name It Claim It and How’s that Working for You? I’ve wrestled with prosperity preaching my entire Christian life. I can’t find scriptural sup- port for it anywhere in the Word. In fact, I be- lieve it’s a dangerous doctrine that causes many to stumble in their faith when the “name it and claim it” teaching doesn’t work for them. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t work for anyone but the folks spreading the so-called doctrine and lining their own pockets with the gifts and financial sacrifices of others. It’s easy to claim prosperity as a guarantee of the Christian life when you have a large pulpit to encourage thousands of others to give, give, give. You didn’t get your hundred-fold return? “There must be something wrong with your faith,” they say. It certainly can’t be their mis- interpretation of scripture, now can it? As Christians we are not guaranteed monetary return on our giving, and if you’re giving to get, your motives are entirely wrong to begin with. As a Christian, you are royalty in the truest sense of the word. You are on your way to the kingdom of heaven; sons and daughters of the most high God. Yet we’re often traveling by rough roads, enduring many hardships and suf- ferings...God never said it would be easy. In fact, just the opposite. When we experience trials, we often find our- selves reevaluating life. If you happen to be rich, you realize that trials can bring you down to poverty. In the book of James, the author was aware that most of his readers were poor and had become even poorer through the persecution leveled against them as believers. But James would not let them be discouraged. He told them that they should rejoice through their afflictions, because they were being exalted. They had been low and were made high! Through poverty, they had developed a humble spirit that would keep their hearts open toward the riches of God. “Listen, my beloved brothers: Has God not cho- sen the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He has promised to those who love Him?” James 2:5 The scriptures’ promise of abundance is clearly illustrated as spiritual-abundance, and riches beyond this world. Jesus’s life was not one of prosperity, but self-sacrifice for others. He be- 26 | SUMMER 2018 ON A MISSION womenonamission.net