Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Giving is Supernatural

Giving is Supernatural!

As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News... No other church did this. Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once. I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. Rather, I want you to receive a reward for your kindness. At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
(Phil 4:15-19 NLT)


We know that if anything is “well pleasing” to God it has to be faith orientated. True giving is a faith enterprise, something which God is always on the other side of, so long as faith is involved. This is why giving opens up the way, because it requires faith that essentially pleases God. Giving is more spiritual than we give it credit for and partnering with a ministry is a God plan which measures your giving against your own account. It’s more about you – the giver – than the gift. Although you are assisting that ministry you are also assisting yourself. That may sound selfish, but it isn’t because if done God’s way your giving can only better position you to be more effective in the lives of others.

Clearly partnership is spiritual and supernatural and permits events to take place in your life that would otherwise not happen. Let’s take a closer look...

For this we will go to 1 Kings, chapter 10, where Solomon asked God for a very unselfish thing, wisdom, so that he could be a good king. Not only did God give him what he asked for, but He also gave him what he didn't ask for and made him exceedingly rich. Enough to have everything made of gold (in fact silver was completely disregarded! See verse 21). His fame and notoriety grew, with curiosity reaching new heights when it brought the Queen of Sheba from afar to see matters for herself.

However it’s not so much what she found than what she actually did, because she came bearing significant gifts... and I believe that it was her giving that brought her into the presence of greatness, NOT her status, charm or mere arrival! King Solomon was not in need of her gifts; in fact scripture described him as the wisest man on the face of the planet at that time, who lacked nothing.

"And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions. And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart. And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not anything hid from the king, which he told her not" (1 Kings 10:1-3).

According to verses 4 and 5 she was left breathless by what she discovered in Solomon's kingdom! But why was she singled out? What gave her position or favour above others who sought the same access? All other kings and people of notoriety in the world at that time also sought Solomon’s attention. Everyone was competing for his time so they could get his wisdom, counsel and blessing. Yet she was the one who got priority, spending ample time with King Solomon who answered all of her questions and more. Was her gift needed amongst such opulence? Of course not, yet her gifts opened up the way (notice for her not for him) as she was the one who benefited the most. Solomon was already blessed beyond measure, rather it was her needs that were met and not his. It was not about him but about her.

The Queen of Sheba gave lots of gold (at today's equivalent worth would approximately be about $44,000,000) not including the unprecedented stores of spice and precious stones. When handsome looks, status, skill, talent, or ability could not put her at the front of the queue her giving did. (It is a fact that most people want to TAKE from rich people... but she GAVE.) It was not necessary in terms of need... because that’s one thing Solomon did not have! But in terms of positioning it was essential. Giving is supernatural (spiritual) and causes a supernatural response, and positions us where God wants us to be... once we recognise this, we have a whole different view on it.

As we can see here... she certainly gained from the whole experience! "...King Solomon gave unto the queen of Sheba all her desire, whatsoever she asked, beside that which Solomon gave her of his royal bounty" (1 Kings 10:13). And you can be certain that his gift was greater than hers! The reality is this: her blessing opened the door to greater blessing.

Just think it must have been a very costly exercise in terms of people power, time and overall expense just to transport this entire gift to Jerusalem (hundreds of camels and people were doubtlessly deployed in its management) and she was probably greatly misunderstood by those looking on. For example, “Why not give all that wealth to the poor who really needed it instead of giving it to the richest man on earth with no needs?” She certainly would not have been able to keep her giving a secret as it was probably such a logistical nightmare that everyone would have known! However this Queen understood a very important principle that applies to the support of Ministries today. Giving does not just involve the needs of others, but yours too.

King Solomon didn't have any need for further riches than he already had – the need was entirely HER’S. She was the one who needed his wisdom and counsel – giving only opened up the way for her needs to be met. It’s almost certain that she would have left Jerusalem more richly loaded than when she arrived – along with the wisdom she so earnestly sought. Equipping her to help more people on her return and making her more effective as a queen to rule her own people.

The way of the Kingdom is upside down to the things of this world. But if we dare discover Kingdom principles and activate them first, all our needs (and eventually those around us) shall be met. Amen!

Giving into a ministry such as this not only helps those who are already being assisted by this ministry but also creates a supernatural flow into your own finances. Not to mention the impartation of anointing to be received as you connect with the blessing that's on a particular minister's life, such as mine. It’s the law of reciprocation and God fully intended for it to work that way. False humility says “But I don’t give to GET...” this thinking will rob you of any blessing God has pre-arranged for you when you give.

Desiring spiritual gifts is a directive straight from scripture, so you must not feel bad about wanting what you see in other minister’s lives. Supporting ministries creates inroads into your life and an opportunity for God to bless you more richly than you could ever give – as the queen of Sheba discovered.


PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father thank you that giving opens the door to the supernatural – especially when I give by faith. Miracles do happen when I trust You with my giving. Therefore I give thanks for every gift that I have given, every act of generosity that You have been able to work through; not only to minister to the lives of others but also to me. So I continue in this simple ministry of giving and allow the spirit of generosity to influence me daily! Amen

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today I give not only where the “needs” dictate but where the Spirit leads. I trust that when I give this way, inroads can be made by Your Spirit, to benefit Your Kingdom, bring glory to Your name and witness to the lost. True giving is faith inspired. TODAY I am a giver in Jesus mighty name.

THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Friday, 21 May 2010

True Partnership is a Joint Faith Venture

True Partnership is a Joint Faith Venture

At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen (Philippians 4:18-20).

Paul had partners! They supported him in the ministry and with the spreading of the Gospel. They gave to him or his ministry-purpose on a regular basis; (although at times maybe not as regular as Paul would have liked!) Confirming this notion of “regular commitment in giving” is his writings in 1 Corinthians 16:2, where he says, "On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside..." (NKJ)

Any ministry worth their salt will tell you that it’s the regular income that they can literally “bank” on, not just good will gestures – no matter how nice they are! Many times has the earnest and regular giving of the few, provoked much praise from our lips!

God prospers us ultimately so that we can establish His kingdom here on the earth, and “actively” seek first His Kingdom; in turn this brings a “supernatural flow” into our lives to meet all of our own needs (and let’s face it, we are always going to have needs! So we must get this right; for the bigger picture and for our own!) Therefore as we pray for direction in our giving, and then couple it with corresponding action – we find that our own financial needs are taken care of, as promised in Matthew 6:33. Very few Christians truly understand the kind of partnership that Paul spoke of, that of “systematic and deliberate giving” to benefit the Kingdom of God.

I have always believed that if I put God’s house first then He will furnish mine! He has never failed me yet. But my faithfulness in this transaction is the lynch pin. Without my corresponding action by faith, then I cannot tap the promises of God towards my own well being. Faith is dead without works or should I say that faith that is not working is dead! Acting in obedience brings results; for anybody. And it does not take PHDs or rocket science either. Just faith working, faith moving; faith doing. This is the point behind giving. Not the amount given, rather the fact that your faith is mobilizing itself and is the only thing that God can respond to – nothing else!

Think about it: if God responded to pain, need or lack, then there would be no poor places like India for example. But Jesus said we would ‘always’ have the poor with us. Not because God sanctions being poor (no! the cross dealt with that fact) but more to the point is that Jesus knew, His heavenly Father could only responded to faith and that not everyone will operate by that same value system; rather choosing the value system of this world. And in that context there will always be poor people amongst us.

God only and I say it again, ONLY – responds to faith. And our giving must be done out of faith. In fact whatsoever is not of faith is SIN! That’s a sober fact. We have all done things outside of faith – that’s for certain! But I have always believed that those precious folk who have tithed faithfully for decades but have never seen any freedom in their finances contradict the Word of God. Why? Because it’s not their giving that God is responding to its their faith. Therefore no matter how admirable any giving is naturally speaking... if it’s not mixed with FIATH then how can God respond to it favourably when the ONLY thing that pleases Him or provokes his favour is faith? It stands to reason.

It also stands to reason – that’s why Satan works over time to keep people ignorant in their giving. He might not be able to stop them giving but he’d rather pervert their giving anyway. To make it look like Gods ways don’t work. And is the very reason why pastors must keep their congregations well informed about how to give by faith and not by emotion or flesh instincts. Pious or religious or other.

So having said that; even our sincerity is no match for faith and lots of people are sincere – but sadly – sincerely wrong! So God does not even respond to our “sincerity,” it’s our faith alone that flicks His switch and nothing else! For want of a better term! So once that is settled in our minds, we wouldn’t do anything without faith backing it up; especially giving. Because who wants to give into a black hole and not see a return? Unless you are pious or looking for punishment!

We must not forget that the whole “seed time and harvest” scenario is a full on “give and receive” deal. Think about it, even God gave Jesus expecting something in return. One son for many! So we must not be deluded into giving without expecting. Because if we fall into the trap of giving without having faith attached – we will forever be unfruitful and disenchanted with the things of God. Tempted even, to turn and blame others – including God perhaps - for our barrenness; when the blame would squarely be ours!

Scripture is clear, “Herein is my Father glorified that ye bear much fruit.” God never planned for us to be fruitless but utterly fruitful. Why? because ultimately this is what glorifies Him.

It confuses folk out there, when we say we have God and yet live like beggars? It doesn’t fit right with them. They think, “Is that how God treats His faithful ones?” Needless to say it inspires no one to sign up! Who wants a faith that doesn’t work? Why would a turkey vote for Christmas?! On the contrary God wants our faith to work mightily and He wants others to see it working, this is our witness that if they too hook up with God, all things are possible. Otherwise its just more of the same. Why believe in God at all? All unbelief is enhanced when the world watches powerless Christians for generations blowing a lot of hot air without achieving much! Yet what a reality check when the see true faith lived out!?

So our giving, regardless of its amount or regularity, must be by faith. Regularity was even an issue with Paul. Think about it, when people only get behind the Good News worldwide mission once a year (even if it’s done by faith) we are left on the mission field to struggle for the rest of the year, just like Paul experienced at times; (he also knew how to abase and abound!)

However the mission of God can not be limited to onetime, sporadic givers. Fanciful or knee-jerk reaction giving either! Think about it, God never stops giving. For instance His mercy is new every day. It’s not a year old and wearing thin. No! Every single day He is committed to us. And its that kind of constancy that keeps us going over and not under.

This is also why ministries do need faith-ful givers – partners – who take hold with them by faith and who do it not just do so on occasion; far and few between. Just putting it down to an annual experience in order to stop their conscience barking too loudly at them! As ministers we need those who give as the Lord directs on a daily basis, weekly, monthly and annually. Those who keep their finger on the pulse, who care about the needs of the kingdom and not just their own; these are the ones whom God is using to furnish this great end time revival. Others are much slower on the uptake!

Consider Proverbs 18:16 says, "A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men," understanding the true meaning behind this verse can change your life because it's not talking about skills, talents or abilities but actual gifts.

The Hebrew word that was translated "gift" in Proverbs 18:16, 19:6, and 21:14 literally means "present." It’s clear that this scripture is NOT referring to anointing or being highly favoured but of ‘presents’ given to another.

Something spiritual happens when you simply give gifts as the NIV puts it "...a gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great." Notice the emphasis is on the giver and not the receiver here... it emphasises that giving actually opens the way for the giver NOT the receiver. It’s essential to understand this... as Paul reiterates this point about your giving making way for you in chapter 4 of Philippians verse 17 where it says, “not that I seek after the gift, but I seek after the fruit that is overflowing to that is the very heart of God – He seeks not the gift more than the result of the gift. GOD IS NOT AFTER YOUR MONEY BUT AFTER YOUR FAITH!

PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father I thank you for your commitment to me and my wellbeing. Thank you also that you plan to use me everyday of my life to help furbish your Kingdom. To use my prayers and diligence. You plan to use me to minister to and for your Kingdom and I WANT to be used. Use me today. Use my finances, use my willingness. Direct me and use me in Jesus name amen.

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today I declare Isaiah 1:19 that as I am willing and obedient I will eat the good of the land.


THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Victims or Investors

Victims or Investors!

A good man leaves an inheritance [of moral stability and goodness] to his children's children, and the wealth of the sinner [finds its way eventually] into the hands of the righteous, for whom it was laid up (Proverbs 13:22)

I think that some folk imagine this “wealth of sinners” to just plop into our laps! Okay the Bible might say that “it is stored up for the righteous” however I am a great believer that it is “as we work” that God is able to promote us in society etc; (with the best positions and wages to-boot!) But let’s not forget that in most cases our finances come to us via employers who are not yet believers.

This transaction of wealth from the wicked to the righteous takes place as we work not just as we sit! This is very similar to some believer’s concepts of the rapture; we were never meant to be all and “sedentary” waiting for the rapture, rather we should be active and obedient until the very last moment (faith without works is dead). However – dare it be said - concerning wealth some Christians should have released this wealth back into the Gospel via their tithes and offerings, but instead built themselves golden calves to worship!

Statistically there is enough money in the Body of Christ (even as we speak) to change the nations forever; but only 5% to 20% of the Body of Christ actively support the Kingdom of God financially. How sad that is. Things could be so different!

So as we pray for a mighty release of wealth – from the ‘wicked’ to the ‘righteous’ – that the Body of Christ might increase, let us also pray that any golden calves erected out of misguided funds, be melted down and turned back into capital to be released into furnishing the End Time Gospel Crusade to the Nations!

But you shall [earnestly] remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. And if you forget the Lord your God and walk after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. Like the nations, which the Lord makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the Lord your God. (Deuteronomy 8:18-20, AMP)

Stepping into God’s System: When opportunities arise (and they do…!) to get angry over situations related to our finances, it is precisely then that we must remember the words of Jesus; “it is better to give than to receive…” because this truth will bring great liberty if it is willingly heeded to.

In all honesty, there are those times when the last thing any of us would do is ‘GIVE!’ But usually when we turn to the Lord and say, “Lord help! What would You do in this situation…?” GIVING is the first thing He requires of us! Giving gets us out of a knot and shuts the door on the devil! He can’t move against it! He can’t issue gossip against it either. Why? The devil won’t draw attention to honorable behavior!

Just for illustration sake, we had an opportunity recently to get all unsettled after being robbed financially by a certain reputable company. This company did us ‘wrong’ in not too many words and our flesh wanted to rise up and get all carried away with itself. Emotions can run high in times like this and become extremely articulate! In fact at times like these anxiety, worry and fear like to waltz right in, and have a pity party – they need no introduction or invitation…!

But the Lord reminded us of a testimony that we had heard of; a Christian couple who had something very valuable stolen from them at a very inopportune time. They felt angry at first and upset but then the Lord broke into their thoughts and reminded them of a few things. And as a result, they decided to do something unusual; prayerfully before Him they chose to GIVE this valuable item to the thief! (The thief was unaware of this of course! However it was settled before the Lord, lifting the burden of unforgiveness and opening up the way for blessing).

By doing this act of faith, this immediately changed their status from “victim” to “investor!” Their missing valuable item was no longer “stolen property” but a very generous “GIFT!” Consider this: Satan can’t steel anything from us that we have already given away!

According to the Bible in Proverbs 6:31 A thief found must “restore sevenfold…” what he has stolen, alternatively a seed sown can get as much as a 100 fold in return! (Mark 4: 10) This alone reveals how much smarter it is to be a GIVER in life. So when we are tempted to play the role of victim, we must stay within the role of GIVER, it has a better rate of return!

100 times is considerably more than seven! So just for mathematics sake we must consider the wiser option! Think about it, if we were robbed of something valuing £500 and only claimed back 7 times that value – we would have done better to have given it away (as a seed sown by faith) to claim up to 100 times the value in return! This is our scriptural right!

Look at it numerically - £500 x 7 is only £3,500 this is good but we can do better! Just by choosing to GIVE something and see it as a seed – we can then claim a 100x fold harvest and get £50,000 in return – what an awesome difference! See how it prospers us to do as Jesus said (Acts 20: 35) “It is more blessed to give than to receive…” Oh glory - for the wisdom of God!

And with just one step, we can go from anxiety, frustration and anger – to joy, relief, excitement, expectation and faith. And what was meant for harm, from the devil’s point of view has now become an ‘opportunity to prosper!’ God’s system is not only higher but far better. Better for the outcome, better for the investment and better for our health!

Instead of losing sleep and losing out – getting angry and hurt – we can make a quality investment and gain every time! This means we never lose... we can win every time! If we respond by faith instead of fear!

God prospers us in more ways than one. There is more to this than finance alone. He prospers us in spirit, soul and in body. He prospers our minds for example with His wisdom, and increases our revelation and knowledge of His Word. In fact, everything that God touches eventually prospers, whatever realm it is in; spiritual, practical or mental.

As we ‘choose’ to do things God’s way we’ll come out on top every time. (Head NOT the tail! This is God’s plan for his children Deuteronomy 28: 13). Choosing to bless - rather than curse. Choosing to give - rather than anger and un-forgiveness. Choosing to sow - rather than indignation. Choosing to invest - rather than holding-on to something worthless…!

God’s ‘WAYS’ always propel us from the “small and narrow” – into the “large and wide” (Psalms 18: 19; 31: 8; 118: 5) He removes us from the “petty” to the things of the “vast and great!” He widens the lens – He extends the prospects – He opens up the way. So let us overcome evil with good by taking up the opportunity to prosper rather than being robbed... investing rather than holding-onto… shutting the devil out rather than letting him in!

Jesus said to bless our enemies. He was so wise when he said that, He knew exactly what for and for why! We look on His statement with such puny perspective sometimes – but Jesus knew the outcome of such behavior… In fact when we look at things the right way around and respond correctly – whatever the devil lines up for our defeat, becomes our firm victory. We can’t fail doing things God’s way! His unworried, un-perplexed calmness and His ‘all-wise-plans’ – supersede all else. So therefore finally let us dare to invest – bless our enemies – and give rather than curse – only then can we step back and let God step in! Let’s see what He can do!


PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Thank you Father that as I operate in honorable behavior You will bless me. Satan will not draw attention to it – Oh but You will! My investment is in Your Word and as I act upon it by faith, I know that my return is as sure as the day I was born. You never fail and Your ways never fail me. So I refuse to be victimized by circumstances and I chose to take the higher ground every time by investing my seed. I shall not be robbed if I am constantly giving! Thank you Father for Your infallible truths, that outweigh all else, Amen.

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Father today I declare that my conduct and behavior is dictated by faith and not fear. I run my finances and all that is valuable to me - according to Your Word and not my own. My own wisdom fails me, but Yours upholds me and brings me a far better weight of return. My trust is in You. Nothing can outwit You and Your ways are higher than all others. Today I invest - today I give - today I prosper! I refuse to be a victim – instead I choose the overcoming life of Christ. Hallelujah!


THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Friday, 14 May 2010

Get in Line for a Spiritual Harvest

Get in Line for a Spiritual Harvest

“Other seed fell in rich earth and produced a bumper crop.”
(Luke 8:4-15 Message Bible
)


Always we must sow our precious seed into good soil and never sow under pressure. God is faithful to speak to us and to direct us, thus enabling us to give with joy. Also we must avoid giving just random sums. Instead we must always ask God how much we are to give, because compulsive giving does not match faith, (and it is no less than faith that can please Him).

The devil on the other hand does not want believers to give. If we do give, then he must try to influence us to contribute to the wrong things. If we sow into things that are not approved by God, the devil has managed to channel our money down a blind alley and prevented it from bearing fruit. We should do nothing out of routine or religious duty, but let it flow as a result of our fellowship with the Lord. In this way, we will be actively involved in what God is doing.

Similarly, we should not allow threats or flattery to motivate your giving as this is not the leading of the Holy Spirit either. As soon as we feel under pressure to give, we must stop immediately. This is not the correct motivation for giving – and it is the “motivation” for giving that is the most critical issue. The sum of money is not what matters. Which is what Paul was saying: For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have. God does not consider the amount of money given; He looks at the motive behind the giving.

Paul wanted to remind the believers in Corinth of their previous decision. Like the rest of us, they had a tendency to act on impulse and then go home and forget all about it. Now, a year later, Paul was writing to remind them of their decision. He said; now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.

Likewise if we have made any decision before God to contribute to a particular cause, that is, if we have made a financial promise, then it is too late to try and excuse ourselves by saying that we have nothing to give. It is not a question of what we have now; it is a question of what we promised. If we have nothing, then we give according to what we do have!

We must prove that we are willing to carry out our decisions. God considers the promises that we make to be sacred and precious. Just as His promises are precious to us, He wants the promises that we make to be equally precious, holy and reliable. (Most ministries that I know could wall paper their offices with the unfulfilled pledges that have come into their ministries!) God is merciful. He fully understands our situation and will never condemn us. He sees our goodwill and intentions. But we should make sure that we do not forget to do what we have promised. There are two important sides to this issue: On the one hand, we must be sure to keep our promises and, on the other hand, we must avoid getting into legalistic bondage by letting others force us into making wrong decisions and doing things we would otherwise never do.

God has established a financial plan for His Kingdom and it involves us giving voluntarily to His work. This is a ministry to the Lord, which is no less holy than praise and worship in the Spirit. And one thing that I regret over the years is a lack of sowing where the future harvests could have been reaped from past seed. This of course was before I received revelation on Financial Increase. We have a great quantity of teaching in the church right now on finance.

God has raised up men like John Avanzini and many others since who are preaching the end time Word on finance. It seems though that there is a great lack of this substance (money) to furbish this great end time revival. But that of course is not true; it is just not being released by those who have it!

The church is caught up with how to get, more than anything else and mostly misunderstand the teaching that is given through these great servants of God. Instead people use God or the ways of God in order to furbish their own desires rather than the desires of His Kingdom. We must see that true prosperity is more about giving than getting. Having said that of course we need to reap the blessings to be able to give in the first place, but the harvest cannot come without the seed being planted. I believe that there are thousands if not literally millions of people suffering right now because we are not giving as we should. Oh yes giving perhaps… but not as we should!

Also I can see that there are certain categories within the church, some give and do not expect anything back. Others give but don’t give into good soil (simply not led of the Holy Spirit). Then there are those who give regularly and faithfully tithe, yet we can read testimonies where debts are being wiped off, salaries increased or substantial inheritances are left behind. However this still seems to me to be the minority rather than the majority!

It’s also important to state that God by the Holy Spirit will show you the fields to sow into and note: the fields are always someone else’s! Yes you can sow into your own soil, obviously a farmer doesn’t sow his seed into next doors garden but into his own field but we still must remember that in the Kingdom of God, a seed is something that we do for others that improves their welfare or increases them personally and makes their life easier. This can be done in a variety of ways. (For example giving into certain ministries who are helping others, can make your seed go further and reach more people at once). Ultimately our seed ministers and refreshes others; because giving is a ministry in itself.

Our harvests are the seeds of another’s field; this is God’s way of establishing. You cannot establish unless you help someone else establish first! You might say, like the world says, “Let me establish, have what I need and then…perhaps, I will help someone else.” The problem with that is this, their establishing never ends! “MORE, ME & I” are always first! Self and the flesh life is always greedy and needy. But let me make it clear. God wants us to release our seed to invest in the harvest field.

The results of all this will be twofold: a) There will be a spiritual reaction: salvation b) prosperity will be manifest: spiritual and natural wellbeing. In other words, the Body of Christ will see growth in the establishing of the Church, with the finances to do the work of the ministry. And the people of God will be blessed in everything they do!

Let’s look at Acts 2: 42-47
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.

All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Conclusion:
My belief is this, that if we take God’s Ways of Financial Increase seriously this will not only bring a tremendous outpouring of the blessings of God but would also release the financial needs to the ministers of the gospel. The result would be revival!

We pray for an outpouring, but perhaps God is waiting for us to pour out our wealth to set in motion a sea of abundance where blessings and miracles would be on the lips of every believer instead of just the few! Prosperity is not just for the minority, while everyone else is jealous; on the outside looking in… No! But if we operate the way God stipulates in His Word, there is more than enough to go around; it is His plan that everyone can prosper. However this simple truth never changes: “Word works only for those who work it!” (Matt 13:3-23; Mk 4:2-20).

PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father I thank you that it has always been Your plan that I prosper. There are no super stars in your Kingdom. No isolated favorites who can access the mysteries of your Word better than anyone else. No! And I personally choose to work your Word and let it work for me! I trust Your plans for my welfare. That You have always had my best interests at heart. So lead me by Your precious Holy Spirit, to sow my seed where it should be sown on a regular basis and to see the right harvests come to pass. Your Kingdom was never build on selfishness but on GIVING and as You are so am I in this world (John 3:16).

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Father You give seed to the sower – You are my provider and my source. Today I will sow seed where You direct me and the harvest that results will bring Glory to Your Name and Honor to Your Kingdom.


THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

ALMS: A Vital Decision

ALMS: A Vital Decision

When the son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory (Matthew 25: 31).


If you continue to read our opening scripture for today’s “Truth for The Journey” you will discover God’s heart towards the topic of “Alms Deeds.” This matter is a weighty one in deed and you could contemporize it by saying that this is what “separates the men from the boys” when it comes to true Christianity! So close to God’s heart is our treatment of the poor and distressed that our destiny actually hangs in the balance with it… (continue to read Matthew 25: 31-46).

Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me noting to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

As much as many of us have confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior and have considered ourselves the beneficiaries of eternal life, have we really perceived this scripture in its entirety? Yes salvation is a result of confessing Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior - but this goes beyond something we do as a mere form of practice but our whole life style must change.

Part of being Christ like (having His divine nature) is reaching out to those in need, giving alms and being actively involved in caring for the poor. It may not be our entire ministry focus but it must be our attitude and way of life regardless. And as we are focusing on finance lately in “Truth for the Journey” alms giving is a strategic part of this subject.

I would say prophetically speaking that as we continue over the next few years there is going to emerge an even sharper divide between those who have and those who don’t. Yes, wealth is on the increase just as the Bible said it would in these end times (with the end time wealth transfer) but poverty has also been on the increase of course. Along with many other changes there is also a great movement and unrest in the earth right now. For example statistics show that as boarders have been relaxed in places like Europe significantly, that more than ever before multitudes are on the move - looking for a better life.

As Jesus told His disciples, we will always have the poor amongst us; however poverty also brings crime. For instance take the time that I was in Africa, where the local army arranged with the police to have me stopped outside of the airport – in the middle of the night – to put their guns through the window of my taxi and say, “We want your money…!” That is what poverty does to people. It drives them to a place of despair, to a place of crime. As frightening and as vulnerable as this situation was, I remember recognizing that these men weren’t looking to get rich. They weren’t being greedy; they were looking merely to survive. Why? Because these soldiers had not been paid for 6 months! How else were they to feed their families? God’s Heart is one of LOVE, COMPASSION AND ONE OF GIVING. He is looking to reach out through us.

What is a “self preservationist?” but someone who only looks to meet his own needs. Now I am not suggesting that our giving gets out of hand by doing silly things that jeopardize our safety or compulsively giving money that we don’t have which causes debt. No! Rather we should approach every situation by the leading of the Spirit of God. Then we will hit the mark every time without casting our pearls before swine. Our giving will be on time and provoke praise to God; exceeding those fleshly motivated and random hits and misses!

My wife always looks to give strategically to everyone with need. Not rocket size but strategic. It’s something she feels that God has spoken to her about. For example in Italy there are very many Moroccan women begging on the streets (who use their babies as bate to capture the hearts of the passerby). To remedy this, my wife began buying little cakes and drinks for the children as well as the mothers. At the time she couldn’t give more and felt this was God’s directive.

She said “God I must do something, what can I do, besides money. I know if I give money they won’t directly benefit; the pimps will just take it from them. Yet it is them sitting here all day long. What else can I do Lord?” Then she noticed that no matter how hot or cold or extreme the weather was, there they were day in and day out with their babies on the side walk exposed. No drink or food. So she went into the store and bought them both a cake and a drink. The child’s eyes light up! And my wife thought, “eat it quick child, enjoy it… no one can take that away from you, it’s all yours!” She told me later… “They said ‘thank you’ but I wish they hadn’t… I didn’t demand anything in return. But if I did get something… it was that big bright smile that the child flashed me… it said absolutely everything!”

Giving this way also means that you are treating beggars like human beings, looking them in the eyes and telling them God loves them. It provides us with the opportunity to witness for Christ in their lives. Don’t pity them, or judge them… just give to them and walk away. It’s their responsibility what they do with it afterwards. Don’t control them with your giving! And don’t suppose that your gift is insignificant because it’s not rocket size (this thinking stops you from giving). They are not asking for a Ferrari! Give something. Ask the Holy Spirit. Find a way to refresh their soul. Don’t wait. Act and GIVE.

Everyone is aware that their husbands force them to beg, they pimp their own families on the streets! My wife and I even found their meeting place and watched them as they regrouped! Yes, they are breaking the law and in some cases I’ve even said to my wife, “Some of these guys have more money than we do…!” But that is never the issue, God just said GIVE. We’ve already seen in Matthew (25:34-46) that our own salvation rests on it…!

If we only tithe and give offerings without giving alms to the poor – it has to be said and this is a serious subject – our selfishness could be an issue at the judgment seat of Christ whether we get into heaven or not! Refusing to help others puts us in a dangerous place, where we are already judged by God’s Word. However we must not forget that God expects us to give alms ‘alongside’ our tithe and offerings. You can’t do one and neglect the other.

The word “alms” means: Eleemosune (Strong’s 1654), connected with eleemon, “merciful,” signifies (a) “mercy, pity, particularly in giving alms,” Matt. 6:1, 2-4; Acts 10:2; 24:17; (b) the benefaction itself, the “alms” (the effect for the cause), Luke 11:41; 12:33; Acts 3:2-3, 10; 9:36, “alms-deeds”; 10:2, 4, 31. Note: In Matt. 6:1, the RV, translating dikaiosune, according to the most authentic texts, has “righteousness,” for KJV, “alms.”

If we put God first, He will prove Himself. On the other hand how can we ever expect God to bless and prosper us if we do not heed the cry of the poor and be merciful? “If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered” (Proverbs 21:13). And in Acts 20: 35 Paul says: “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (see also 2 Corinthians 8:9-15).

God will meet our needs if we meet the needs of others. As we learn to give to the poor God will bless our lives. However if we neglect this area then we have neglected one of the most important principles of Gods Ways of Financial Increase.

So next time you see someone begging in the street, instead of judging them, I challenge you to simply ask the Holy Spirit, “Lord, what’s on your mind… how can I help… what can I give?” Your responsibility is to give not to judge. It often makes me laugh when people seem so critically concerned what happens to their ten pence!!! Often that’s only what people are prepared to give; their lose change. Don’t be deluded, no one can get drunk on your ten pence! Don’t let nonsense thinking hinder your compassion or stop your giving.


PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord you told me that it is better to give than to receive. Help me Father to recognize when and where you want me to give on a daily basis. Whether its finance or any other gift; my time, prayer, energy or friendly smile. Help me discover again the life of a giver. Because I am convinced that living is truly giving and giving is truly living! I want to mirror your divine nature and be a giver just as you are. Lead me today to give myself away. Love empties itself of itself. If You spill me, then You can fill me. Brand me with the revelation that it is truly “better to give than to receive!” Amen.

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today my confession is that I AM A GIVER. My life is not strife. My living is wrapped up in my giving. As I give out from myself, God can lift me off the shelf. There is no insignificance in giving. Firstly giving makes me Christ like; then makes me relevant to others, makes me valuable for them. Giving causes me to be a problem solver. Therefore I love to be a giver. I hate to be a (self) preservationist! I declare that God will persistently find in me a cheerful giver.


THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Friday, 7 May 2010

God's Financial Plan

Some argue that Tithing does not belong to the
New Testament?

“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give” (2 Corinthians 9:7)


God wants to provide for the Church so that it can do everything it is called to do; something that requires both faith and commitment. Therefore, teaching on tithing and sacrificial giving should be given to each member. I heard a very prominent preacher recently on TV telling his congregation, “the devil can only operate in what you don’t know, and that is why I must keep teaching on money, tithing, offering and giving. You cannot afford to remain ignorant and I must keep you informed so that the devil cannot use your ignorance.” I found his rather blunt statements interesting in reference to John 8:32 which says, “And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.”

The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light; their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension)... (Psalm 119:130 AMP).

Obviously the emphasis here is on the word “know” because without “knowledge” of truth; that same truth cannot affect us. Therefore it can only be the truth that we “know” personally (revelation) that can set us free. In fact our personal and individual knowledge of the truth is so crucial that it keeps the enemy working tirelessly to keep us ignorant of the truth or at best, to distort it. And in that context I must agree with my fellow preacher that what I heard that day; we do indeed have a responsibility to keep heralding “truth” - over and over again – in order to keep ignorance at bay. We have a responsibility to preach with the spirit of revelation and not just “information” so that people can really “receive” the truth. Adding to that, any school teacher in training will inform you, that the “art of teaching is in repetition!”

On the other hand, there are other who have argued the point that tithing does Not belong to the New Testament at all – yet I would be interested to see how much these particular individuals actually give to God’s work!

Having said all this, it’s important for every church member to understand that God alone is our provider and that He is both - able and willing - to bless us financially. The bible is very clear on this point and Jesus says plainly in Luke 6:38 “Give and it will be given to you.” In other words, God meets our needs when we give toward other’s needs, as we see in 2 Corinthians 9:6 also: “Whoever sows generously will reap generously.”

No church member should ever feel that they have been exploited. Instead, we should have understanding, faith and revelation that God will bless and help us in every way, including the financial realm. We must understand that it is not just empty words, but a precious revelation that we must nurture and keep alive!

This is God’s will for every one of us. When we as believers understand our ministry in this area, financial blessings are then released over both our personal lives and that of our familys, ministries and churches.

Sometimes we have heard pastors say out of frustration: “What we need are three or four millionaires to pay our bills.” Or alternatively, “Where are all the businessmen?!” But how wrong that is! Three millionaires are not necessary. First what is necessary is “faith” in the pastor’s heart. Second we need correct teaching that builds “faith” in the believers and results in commitment. Furthermore it was never intended that a few members should carry the whole financial burden; everyone should share the weight.

And what is more simple than the fact that God wants everyone to love Him. And as Ulf Ekman says it, “Everyone should praise Him. All should be intercessors. All should go out with the gospel and all should be givers. This gives strength to a believer’s ministry. God does not only want specialists whom we can admire. He seeks an entire group who can rise up, pay the price of commitment and walk with Him. Then great power is released.” He went on to say, “God wants everyone to give to His work: ‘Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give.’ God expects every active believer to be a giver” (The Church of the Living God by Ulf Ekman).

What we need to perceive properly is that tithing was instigated by God not by man. God spoke to His people, He instituted tithing. Even before the Law, Abraham and Jacob gave a tenth of everything (Gen 14:20, 28:22). The principle of tithing is found throughout the Bible. Jesus spoke about it in Matthew 23:23, where he emphasized righteousness and compassion, but tithing was not to be exempt. You should not do one thing and overlook the other. The book of Hebrews also speaks about tithing (Heb 7:2-9). In Malachi 3:6-12, God emphasized that a tenth belongs to Him and that it should be brought into the store house. The storehouse is the Church; for it is there one receives food and nourishment.

Therefore ten percent of our income belongs to God, which simply means that we manage better on 90 percent with God’s blessings than on 100 percent without God’s blessing! Why? Because when we do not give our tithe, we are robbing God of something that belongs to Him; the tenth does not belong to us, it belongs to God.

Giving a tenth to God means that we are surrendering, sanctifying and circumcising our income so that we can safely stand in His covenant where we can count on His blessings; only then is heaven open over us: “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it” (Mal 3:10).

Finally: tithing puts us in a position of protection and blessing. It is God’s perfect Financial Plan! Why would he consider all else and leave the subject of finances to our own discretion. His Kingdom, His Body are in complete order; no chaos, no anarchy. His perfect plan for our well being includes tithing. Once we accept this, the easier we make it for ourselves! Because our heart is always where our treasure is, and surely it belongs with God. Tithing is just our opportunity to prove it; where we demonstrate our faithfulness and commitment to Him in every single area, not minus one!

PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father God thank you that today you have given me the opportunity to surrender everything to you including my finances. It is not only with my words that I commit my life to you but with everything I own and have. My relationship with you has not come down to “percentages!” No! You mean so much more than that, rather my tithe indicates an outward show of my personal commitment to You. Thank you for your perfect Financial Plan that has my best interests at heart, I trust you with my life and with my finances. Amen.

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today I declare that I gladly surrender my tithe to God. It is not hard for me to understand that from cover to cover the bible is written along covenant lines, which does include my finances. I am not operating independently from God; He is my Saviour and Lord of all that I have. I gladly relinquish control to Him; of which I do not exclude my finances. Why would I with hold them from Him? Therefore today I declare my allegiance to God’s Financial Plan and commit myself afresh to His ways and not my own.


THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Break Out!

“Break Out!” True Prosperity is FREEDOM
on Every Level not just Money...

And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]. Psalm 1:3 (Amplified Bible)

The English word to prosper means to succeed, to flourish, to thrive and especially to have economic success. In Hebrew, the world most often translated “prosperity” or “success” is tsaleach (pronounced “tsaw-lay’-akh”), #6743 in Strong’s. The King James Version translates this word in 15 different ways, among which are: come mightily, be profitable, break out, be good, prosper, make prosperous.

The main idea of this verb is to accomplish, finish, complete and succeed. Thus the primary meaning of tsaleach has to do with pushing forward; that is achieving some goal. There are several tense of tsaleach, and they can be used to convey a variety of concepts.

I like the term “break-out” to refer to prosperity as breaking out of the cookie cutter mould that life, culture, tradition puts on us. We can break out... like a jail-break... we can shake of those chains of the past and be free to move on. Prosperity is a real achievement. Jesus put poverty on the cross. Like a curse hung on a tree. Forever it can be conquered and overcome. I like to remind folk that the war has already been won... we just have a few battles to fight and even then we are only “enforcing” the victory won at the cross.

For that reason I declare the blood over everything. Not out of ritual but revelation. And not unlike Benny Hinn and the late Dereck Prince I value communion highly and would take it every single day if I wasn’t restricted by travel. The Passover is real. It’s not just a culture or part of tradition its revelatory and real to those who apply it. Jesus causes the destruction, to pass over. Satan comes to steel, kill and destroy - but Jesus is still our Passover Lamb. The finances of this kingdom should not influence the finances of God’s kingdom. We should prosper regardless.

When the world is in recession we should thrive. Go back to the opening paragraph... and you will see that prosperity means to prosper but also to “make - prosperous.” Consider that! Selah! We are not just to be prosperous ourselves... but wherever we go we should influence and “make” prosperous. How? by bringing prosperity and well being into other people’s lives.

I can honestly say, and my wife and team and everyone who knows me will back me up on this, that wherever I go I look to raise the standard. In the natural I was raised like many to do a job well done or not at all and therefore naturally speaking it has been instilled in me to do and be my best wherever and whatever. It’s my hard wiring if you like! But higher than that is my concept of the Kingdom in me. And wherever I go I look to make it nice. Even if I rent a property I do it up and spend time on it. Is that good stewardship or bad? After all isn’t renting dead money? No! not at all. It depends how you live. If you travel like I do, renting is your best option. Do I then let property run into disrepute because I don’t want to do up someone else’s property? Not at all. In fact everywhere I go I look to leave “order” in my wake. And I believe that with a good conscious and a good witness that is how all of us should be.

We should make the world sit up and look. Hey what are those people doing? Why are they doing that? Because wherever we go we possess it for the Kingdom. When we move on, we move on, but until then it’s going to look like Kingdom property!

This is how I run my personal life. Like Smith Wigglesworth, I own very few clothes. But what I have is smart and in order. I de-clutter regularly and keep everything neat. In fact my wife calls me a “neat freak” but I genuinely see the benefits. When others are encumbered by “stuff” I am free to move, to operate and to succeed because obstacles are not in my way. I stay on top of the weeds of life... and keep the way clear so that when God says move, I can move without having to clear out the rubble first.

Even Nehemiah had to stop and clear the rubble away before progress could be made and there are times like that. But if in your personal life you keep things uncluttered and simple, it makes flowing with God a whole lot easier. Some people would love to serve God the way I have over the last 25 or more years. But “life” has gotten in their way. That’s a shame because good intentions don’t build for the Kingdom. Only faith with-works can!

So let’s be prosperous but also “make” others prosperous or at least feel the benefits of our prosperity. Let it overflow and spill into their lives so they want the same. Many times I go somewhere and tidy it up and immediately the other residents do the same. Its like a trigger for excellence. Everybody loves excellence. They might not admit it at first, but inevitably everyone is influenced by it. I have seen it so many times.

I get on a plane in my suit and get treated like I have a million dollars. Regardless of whether I have a one way ticket or not, they don’t know that and why should I tell them. What they see is order and that communicates things to them.

So... the moral of the story is this: prosperity is not just about possessions and money. Prosperity is a perception. It’s a way of thinking as much as anything else; where you refuse to think failure, only success. It’s that basic half empty or half full concept. And wherever you go or whatever you have at the time: you do your best, behave your best and deliver your best and circumstances can’t revoke that. Nothing impedes your “thriving” mentality. It’s neither a “striving” mentality nor a “surviving” mentality. Instead you feel and look and live as if you are “thriving” every single day of your life. No matter what is going on around you. You see the possibilities in everything and don’t look for the problems - rather the solutions.

Now this is more than just positive thinking. Why? Because there is no denial in the existence of problems but instead of dwelling on them, you seek their solution. You are a fixer. Not a fault finder or a problem finder, but a “solver!”

Take on the prosperous attitude today. Like brother Hagin often used to say about faith; “if you believe something then act like you do, talk like you do and think like you do.” The same is true of prosperity; act like it, talk like it and think like it - regardless. True prosperity is an attitude and affects your whole way of life, not just your pocket book or purse!

I have lived in some of the poorest areas where folk depend so heavily on welfare that you can read the day of the week like an alphabet. It’s so predictable what comes next. By payday everyone’s mood is high but by the end of the week everyone is dark and depressed! They are up and down because their moods are dictated by their bank balance or cash flow.


This is earthly and low level thinking. It keeps you down. Well I say we should “Break out!” break out of the mould that has us locked down. Jesus said don’t think about earthy things but what is above. And my wife often likes to write at the bottom of her letters “Stay Lifted” because it’s so easy to be brought down by life. Keep your eyes lifted. Your spirit lifted and your thoughts lifted and break out of the rut. True prosperity goes way beyond money and is a mentality that refuses to be put down by circumstance. It rises to the occasion - regardless. Perhaps it sounds just like faith. But it takes real faith to live in “true” prosperity.

Break out today and stay lifted in every way!

PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father I thank you that true prosperity means breaking out of the mould and out of all things that would hinder our well being. You took poverty to the cross and nailed it there forever. I don’t have to be ruled by it, I am an overcomer and I don’t have to obey poverty any longer. I choose to walk in prosperity and to help “make others prosperous.” Amen

CONFESSION OF THE DAY
This day I declare that I have broken the mould; no restrictions can hold me back. Not educational nor gender related restrictions, not social restrictions; cultural or traditional restrictions, nor any kind of prejudice or lack! In Christ I humbly yield to His authority and enforce His success in my life. I choose to thrive and not just survive. I delight in breaking out and helping others “break out!” I choose to live in true prosperity (that goes way beyond financial boundaries) so that I am better positioned to help others.



THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!

Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’

Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries