The Top Five Verses in Support Raising

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By on October 1, 2009   /   2 Comments

The Bible. A book by and from God. His mind, His heart. Read and learn what the Lord has to say about this idea of living and ministering on support:

Nehemiah 2:1-9
The young cupbearer went face-to-face with King Artaxerxes, the world’s most powerful man, to ask him to support his ministry project. Nehemiah carefully planned and prayed; and when the moment of truth came, he risked everything! Not only was he sensitive to God’s leading and the King’s questions, but he had the courage to make his request—then “zip the lip”—and let the King answer. You gotta’ love it!

Luke 8:1-3
The King of Kings and Lord of Lords came to earth and could have easily snapped His fingers to produce untold riches, but instead chose to depend totally on God and others to cover His personal and ministry expenses. The Son of God was not too proud to live on support. Why should we be?

Luke 10:1-8
After modeling to the disciples (in Luke 8) a life lived on support, He then turned them loose to do the same. Jesus sent them out in pairs to go door-to-door to people they did not know and ask for the room and board required to carry out their ministry in that city. What was His rationale? “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” Here Jesus reaffirmed an Old Testament principle that God’s ministers deserve to be fully supported.

1 Corinthians 9:14
Portions of this letter are comprised of Paul defending himself against false accusations from the carnal Corinthian church. Some of them claimed the apostle was preaching the gospel in order to get rich, and so he spends most of this chapter laying out the biblical foundation of why he (and other Christian workers) deserves to be supported. He even gives an Old Testament verse (“You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing”) to precede the kicker: “The Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel” (v. 14). Wow! I always thought full-time ministers being supported by others was just an option, a suggestion, something to pray about, etc…NO! The Lord COMMANDS us to do so. I wish I could tell you that the eight Greek courses I took would allow me to do some hermeneutical gymnastics around the basic, literal meaning here, but it does not. Sorry.

Philippians 4:10-19
This is my favorite passage of all. Even though the apostle Paul was homeless and penniless most of the time, he possessed a supernatural peace and contentment very few have. Yes, he was thankful to the believers for their financial support, but he did not ask them to give because he had needs. This is how he put it: “Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account” (v. 17). In other words, Paul didn’t need anything. His motive in asking was strictly for the Philippians’ benefit! Whether the believers understood or not, Paul was doing them a huge favor by helping them move some of their earthly treasure to their heavenly bank account. He finishes off by pointing upward and saying “and if I ever did have needs, I would simply go to my Father’s bank—full of glorious riches—to refill my supplies” (v. 19—Shadrach translation).

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