Ecclesia Economics How – Ps John Bendixen (WTB)
Scripture reference: Luke 10:25-37 (AMPC); John 12:3-5; 7-8 (AMPC); Matthew 15:32-37 (AMPC)
Hello, everybody. Welcome to Sunday morning online church. I’m glad we can do this. I’m glad God has allowed us to be able to do this. We certainly live in different times, interesting times and times that are challenging for many people. Certainly this last week, I’ve become aware of just how challenging this season and this moment in human history is across the globe, many nations, many people are really suffering and struggling, and many people have experienced great difficulty and have had to say goodbye to loved ones, for various different reasons. Those people that have lost people that they love, I know, and you know, that they’re in heaven, and that they are with Jesus, and it won’t be long in eternal time, it won’t be long, and we’ll be all visiting together in the presence of the Lord.
Today, I’ve got something different to talk about, and last week was, I know for many of you, last week was a challenging message. We talked about economics, Ecclesia Economics, and how God wants to have a church on the earth that thinks like He thinks and does the way He does. So that He can do what He needs to get done on the earth, no matter what the time, no matter what the season. The Ecclesia, the church of the Lord Jesus Christ—the ruling body of the Lord Jesus Christ, the church, I’m using these words on purpose. Ecclesia is a ruling body; it is a governing people. If you are talking about people that come together and meet in church, they are people that are just potentially believers that come to church and meet.
People, believers that come to church, that understand that they are a governing authority, put on the earth by God for His will to get done, that’s a completely different level of believer. So, that kind of Christian is, even in the times of the disciples, even in the times of Jesus, that kind of disciple was rare because even though the church grew daily, and even though the church there was many signs and wonders and miracles, that was evidenced in the church, the understanding of a governing Ecclesia, as the body of Christ.
The Apostle Paul reveals to us in many of his writings, and the book of Acts that there were not that many people that fully understood what it was. Certainly, even the early apostles, the early disciples, they were coming to terms with how do we run this new thing called church, which is the body of the Lord Jesus, in Jerusalem, where Jewish people were, and many other people were coming to the Lord. I mean Jewish people from different places were all coming to know Jesus as Messiah is our Saviour, and so they were coming to terms with that.
Even for us today, we have to come to terms with the fact that believers have a greater calling than just being a believer. We have this tendency to think that the highest calling that we can reach as a believer is to preach the gospel and get someone else saved. Well, certainly, that’s one of the things that God wants us to do, is to be preaching the gospel to the unsaved, but it’s not the only thing that Jesus wants us to do. That’s not the only mandate that He gave His disciples. He said, “Go and preach the gospel and make disciples.” That was a twofold mandate. We need to be in a place where we can both preach the gospel and be the light, be the salt, and make disciples. The making of the disciples requires that you are living out your walk with God; you’re living out your Christianity in everyday life.
So, when we talk about the Ecclesia, then you begin to be someone that is a living disciple of Jesus Christ. If you live like Jesus did, then you will begin to function in a level of authority; necessarily, you have to do that. Because when Jesus was on the earth, He cast out demons, He healed the sick, He never had any financial problems. There is never any case that you can refer to in the New Testament, in the Bible anywhere, that Jesus had a financial problem. Many people misquote and infer incorrectly when Jesus talks and He said, “The Son of man doesn’t have a place to put His head, He doesn’t have a place to stay.” He wasn’t referring about His wealth status, He was referring about the fact that he was so journeying through this land, and He was here for an assignment.
He wasn’t here to build for Himself a kingdom or to accumulate assets. He was here to serve people. Other than that scripture, you can’t find anything in the New Testament where Jesus lacked for anything. Whenever there was a need, he was able to meet it under the power of God.
For those people, just by the way, this is just a side note here, for those people that have a problem with preaching prosperity or listening to people that preach about money. I say, “Okay, I’ll hear your side of the story, but then, you have to have all your needs met every single time by the power and the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ the way He did.”
Because if we’re going to follow His example, then Jesus if He had a tax problem, if He had a need that He— and I’m going to talk about some of these things in a while, where there were 1000s of people that He was moved compassion, He wanted to feed them, He instantly fed them. He talks about our behaviour pattern that we should be the same. Everything that Jesus needed to solve a problem, if you want to call it that, every financial need that He had was always met. There is no place in the New Testament where you read that His disciples had to do without money or to do without food for a while because they didn’t because Jesus ran out of money.
There just is nowhere you can read about it. So, if you want to understand Ecclesia Economics, you have to understand that Jesus had a relationship with a heavenly Father that whatever circumstance He was confronted with, He was able to meet it every time. There was never a circumstance that He had that He wasn’t able to meet the need. That’s a whole revelation all on its own.
I want to refer you to a reading in the book of Luke chapter 10, and I’m going to read from verse 25 because I think this way, and I hope you think this way. When I read the Bible, I read the Bible with questions. I always read the Bible with questions.
When I read something in the Bible, I read something, and I would say, “Oh, Lord, how does this work? Or what do you mean by this? Or can you show me?” and I have this dialogue with the Holy Spirit, “Can you show me or just minister to my spirit, some revelation about this, that I can get a full understanding?” Even though sometimes I’m not necessarily speaking that out aloud to the Lord, it’s in my heart, and it’s in the way that I study the Bible and read the Bible. I’m going to show you that there were people around Jesus, following Jesus, listening to Jesus that did the same thing. This is not a bad thing. This is a good thing, but then you have to deal with the truth when it comes to you.
Verse 25, 25And then a certain lawyer arose to try (test, tempt) Him, saying, Teacher, what am I to do to inherit everlasting life… I want you to understand; I just want you to just think about that phrase for a minute. A certain lawyer arose to test Him or to try Him. So he asked him a deep question. Very, very thoughtful, very meaningful, very purposeful question. Which Jesus immediately recognises the substance of the question is worth answering. 26Jesus said to him, What is written in the Law? The lawyers asking him, he’s asking him a legal question, What is written in the law? How do you read it? 27And he replied, you must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbours, as yourself, or your neighbour as yourself.
28 And Jesus said to him, You have answered correctly; if I can put inverted commas here, “You have answered correctly, Mr Lawyer. You have the right legal answer, Mr Lawyer.” …. do this, and you will live [enjoy active, blessed, endless life in the kingdom of God]. The Amplified Bible says you will have endless life in the kingdom of God. 29And he, determined to acquit himself of reproach, said to Jesus, … He asked him the legal question, got the answer right and then Jesus says to him, “You got the right answer, go live it.” Now, he’s under pressure, because the standard that he has just put out there is no longer a standard of law. It’s a standard of life. Jesus immediately said to him, “You want that? Here’s how you get it.”
29And he, determined to acquit himself of reproach, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbour? Now, he’s asking Him another legal question because he doesn’t want the responsibility of having to live the standard that He’s just said. He goes back to a legal question. Who is my neighbour? 30Jesus, taking him up, replied, A certain man was going from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him of his clothes and belongings and beat him and went their way, [unconcernedly] leaving him half dead, as it happened. 31Now by coincidence a certain priest was going down along that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. (Luke 10:25-31 AMPC)
The priest saw this man beaten in a bad state, and for ceremonial and legal reasons, he was not going to touch someone that was in that condition. 32A Levite, Priest and Levite come from the same tribe of serving people, that’s their job to serve people before God. 32A Levite likewise came down to the place and saw him and passed by on the other side [of the road]. 33But a certain Samaritan, the Samaritans were, and the Jews just never met together. The Jews considered them Samaritans as an illegal group of people that thought that they had a covenant with Jehovah God but refused to acknowledge them as people that had a right to have a covenant relationship with Jehovah God.
He came by and he passed by on the other side [of the road]. 33But a certain Samaritan as he travelled along, came down to where he was; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity and sympathy [for him], 34And went to him and dressed his wounds, pouring on [them] oil and wine. Then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35And the next day he took out two denarii [two day’s wages] and gave [them] to the innkeeper, saying, “Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I [myself] will repay you when I return. 36Which of these three do you think proved himself a neighbour to him who fell among the robbers? 37He answered, The one who showed pity and mercy to him. And Jesus said to him, Go and do likewise. (Luke 10:25-37 AMPC).
Jesus is giving us a lot of information in this story. I want you to note that Jesus talked about a certain man going from Jerusalem down to Jericho. Jerusalem was the religious capital; if you like, it was the epicentre of where the high priests were and where everything came from in terms of the whole of the Jewish nation. Moving from the epicentre of the Abrahamic, the Moses, the prophetic words of all of the Jewish nation, the priest and the Levite, coming from Jerusalem, going to a journey of Jericho. Jericho is not mentioned here by coincidence; in previous conversations that you have listened to with Pastor Sharon, Pastor Christi, Jericho was the first fruit of the children of Israel when they came out of the wilderness into the promised land.
There is a great significance of someone that is going from the centre of religious teaching, ceremony, on an annual basis, people would come to Jerusalem on the Sabbath, and come on Passover, and come and give their offerings and come and have an entire ceremonial time with God. The priest and the Levite that were in service in Jerusalem, we’re going to Jericho, which was the first fruits of God, from the beginning of time, from the beginning, when He was liberating His people. These two are travelling, someone is in a bad way on the road, both of them walk past the neighbour. The Samaritan is also used by Jesus, for a reason, it wasn’t, he didn’t say there was a Greek, there was an Arab, there was a Roman, he could have easily used, anybody else used the Samaritan because of the disregard that Jews had for Samaritans.
I mean, this Samaritan story is significant in so many ways. The Samaritan is the one who takes care of this man. When he comes across this man, he has no question in his mind, about how much is this going to cost me. That is not even something that came to his thinking. His only thought was, “Here’s my neighbour, who’s in a bad way, I must serve him.” So, he takes his personal energy, his personal time, his personal resources that he had with him that he was travelling with— oil, things that would be required to help somebody in trouble and also to provide for himself. He takes these things that he was travelling with to provide for himself; he uses these provisions to help someone that was in a bad way.
He takes this person, and he puts him on the beast that he was travelling with, and the beast is representative of more resources, more capability, more possibilities in terms of potential. If you had a beast with energy that worked for you. This would indicate that he wasn’t a man that travelled without help; he was traveling with a beast, he was a man travelling with resources, he was a man that had assets and things that was with him. He immediately makes all these assets, all these resources, available to someone that is in trouble. He takes this one to an Inn because this person that he’s helped needs recovery. His wounds need to be given time to heal. He needs recovery time.
I want to give you something to think about because, in the story that Jesus is telling, He says here, 34And went to him and dressed his wounds, pouring on [them] oil and wine. Why would he use oil and wine? Well, wine was a kind of antiseptic. It was a cleansing agent, and he poured oil on him, which is a renewing agent and an agent that would keep germs and disease out after it was cleansed. If this is not all full of messages that God is really talking to us because this man is using his resources to cleanse a man’s unfortunate circumstances, but after the cleansing, he puts healing, restoring, protecting capability on the man. Then he takes the man, puts him on a resource that takes him to another resource which is an inn, and he himself and I want to say to you, I want to read it from here; Then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn and took care of him. (Luke 10:34 AMPC)
He personally took care of him. He didn’t say, “Hold on a minute, I’m on a journey. I’ve got a time schedule. I’ve got business appointments. I’ve got somebody waiting for me. I’ve got business to do, people to meet, places to go. I’m just going to leave you here and leave you to your own devices.” He took time out, he took his own personal energy, his own compassion, his own sympathy, and I use those words meaningfully because even though we depend on the life of God to give us the right perspective of sympathy and he had the right perspective here because sympathy is not a feeling, sympathy is something you act on. It’s something that you do. If you have what some people call sympathy, it’s most often something that people would use is empathy or pity. You feel sorry for somebody. Well, he didn’t just feel sorry for him. Whatever he did, his sympathy, he acted on it.
He took care of this man personally. He allowed himself to be engaged with the unfortunate set of circumstances that this man found himself in. I want to backtrack just for a moment, and I want to say that the story starts where the man is set upon by robbers. I ask you, what does Jesus say about what He comes to do and what the devil comes to do? Does the devil not come to steal, to kill, and to destroy? What did these people do to this man? They came to steal from him; they would have killed him if the Samaritan didn’t come along. He would have probably died on the side of the road and that would have destroyed his future, his life, and all those that he would be connected with.
When we read the story, the good Samaritan is a reflection of the Ecclesia. The good Samaritan is a reflection of the Church of the Lord Jesus. That we must undo the works of the devil who have come to people’s lives to steal, to kill, and destroy, it’s not just something that we do, “Here’s my money, you do it, Pastor John.” This is something that we must engage with the Holy Spirit and allow the Holy Spirit to work on our hearts so that we allow ourselves to be meaningfully engaged in the works of Jesus. Not just, “I’m a financial provider.”
Now, I understand that people have different gifts and different callings, and that is the primary focus of what their lives become. It was clear, well certainly to me, if you study the Samaritan thing, that the Samaritan was reasonably successful in business, which is why he was travelling, which is why he had assets, which is why he was able to go and pay for the inn that he stayed at, for himself. Let me just show you that the amount of assets that he spent was at least doubled than what’s mentioned in the Bible here, in this scripture, because he stayed the night; he paid for a night for the man that was robbed. Then he paid for two more days’ worth of care in the hotel or the inn.
It only talks about the two days here that he was going, but remember he stayed the night and he paid for the night for the other guy. The man was taking a significant amount of a month’s worth of work, in our terms, in terms of a week, or a time period, four days’ worth of wages. This is, this is a significant amount of money; if they’re talking about a day’s wages, what that means is that you work with your physical body for an entire day to earn that amount of money.
Recognize please, for a moment, that if I go and work a whole day, and labour, and I earn money for that, a whole day’s worth of labour. In our modern-day world, so much of what we do, we don’t necessarily, a lot of people don’t necessarily come to terms with that work for pay kind of environment. There’s a lot of people that do, and they have a better understanding of actually living on the breadline and living for a day’s wages. This man thought absolutely nothing of it, to take four days’ worth of work and say, “I’ll take care of this man.” This is significant because he never even thought about the implications of it, of four days’ worth of work. In his mind, and in his heart, he was driven to serve with his assets.
In our heart, the way that we need to see God and we need to see the people around us and the way we need to be as a church, is that we carry the heart of God with us, undo the works of the devil, who comes to steal, kill, and to destroy. Our assets are tools in the hands of God, we should never equate a value of, “Well, I’ve given this much money to the church already” or “I’ve given this much money to help out people” or “I have given this much money to missions” or “I’ve given this much money to this” or whatever, so “That’s enough.” This man was so past what the value of money was to him, compared to what it was doing. He even said to the innkeeper, and whatever else needs to be paid to make this man whole, when I return, I’ll pay it. The cost is not even a question. I mean, that’s a blank check. That’s a blank check. Whatever it takes, meet the need.
When Jesus comes to the end of the conversation, remember the beginning of the conversation was, “Teacher, what must I do? What must I do to inherit everlasting life or to inherit, or to partake of eternal salvation in the Messiah’s kingdom?” So, when Jesus has finished talking and going through this whole conversation with the lawyer, He answers him, and He said, 36Which of these three do you think proved himself a neighbour to him who fell among the robbers? (Luke 10:36 AMPC). Remember, that when He replied, He said, “Love the Lord.” I’m going to just go through it again. It is written in the Law that 27…You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; (Luke 10:27 AMPC).
This is your walk with God because if you love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind, then you will love your neighbour as yourself. Why? Because your walk with God will now reflect yourself properly, and you will not take for yourself which you should not be taking. You will understand that yourself is not the important thing, but your walk with God is, and your neighbour is. Yourself becomes a clay vessel in which God reflects who He is. Then right at the end, 36Which of these three do you think proved himself a neighbour to him who fell among the robbers? 37He answered, The one who showed pity and mercy to him. And Jesus said to him, Go and do likewise. (Luke 10:36-37 AMPC).
In other words, wherever you go, have the love of God in your heart, in your mind, in your soul and in your strength, have that love, then love yourself the way God shows you how to love because that’s how you’re going to love your neighbour. This is not a love yourself, like “Hmmm, I don’t think…” you know? Get over yourself, kind of love. That’s not what this love is about. This is having an understanding of how God loves you, and you love God. When you understand God like that, and you have a meaningful relationship with God this way. We’re all good to go, then you can love anybody. You can serve anybody.
He says to this lawyer, “Go and do likewise.” To me, I like this idea that it’s a lawyer asking the question because it means he was asking a legal question on a matter of law, and he was a student of law. Remember that in those days, the law of life was also the law of God. The law of the Levites, the Levitical law, the Moses law, these were the laws, the ten-commandment law; these were the laws by which the covenant people of God lived by. But Jesus didn’t say, “You got to keep all of these laws” He just said, “What’s the most important one? You can do that one, the rest comes.”
I trust you understand from this that Jesus, in having this man identify with the Samaritan, he was not asking him how much money was involved. It wasn’t about whether he should have money. It wasn’t about how to get the money. It wasn’t a prosperity message. It wasn’t an economic message. It was a people-serving message. The money was just a product. It was a service. It was a tool. The story is not about the money, although the money was the thing that he made available. It was about the man’s heart. It was about the man’s service. It was about the fact that the man didn’t care how much money was involved.
The last couple of weeks, we’ve been talking about Ecclesia Economics and this one, we’re still talking about Ecclesia Economics, but in this case, we’re talking more about how God wants us to use our financials and our resources and our assets. One of which is ourselves. It’s about how God wants us to use it, not “Why?” or “What if?” It’s “How?”
I would like to refer you to another passage of scripture, which is John Chapter 12, verse three. This is a very controversial event that takes place, and hence I bring it to you. So, where are you sitting in your lounge right now or wherever you are, wherever you’re watching, are you still with me here? Just making sure you’re still with me? I am making sure that you’re not somewhere making tea now while I’m talking. Because this is an important thing, if you thought you’re going to go and make tea, you should treat this as a church service. Let the Holy Spirit minister to you.
John 12, verse three, 3Mary took a pound of ointment of pure liquid nard [a rare perfume] that was very expensive, and she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair. And the whole house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But Judas Iscariot, the one of His disciples who was about to betray Him, said, 5Why was this perfume not sold for 300 denarii? (John 12:3-5 AMPC). We just got to be talking about this good Samaritan and that was four denarii. Two he left, two he spent, four denarii. Judas is talking to Jesus, about 300 denarii, meaning about a year’s worth of wages.
Why is 300 a year’s worth of wages? Well, in the Jewish order, every seventh day was a rest day, not a working day, not an earning day. Even though there were 360 odd days in the year, remember that there were all kinds of ceremonial reasons why they had to take days off. Given a year’s worth of weeks, you’ve got at least 52 days that are non-earning days.
Come on now. You got to think about some of these things. So, you get an understanding when they say a year’s worth of wages. You can see the Samaritan gave a day’s wage of one denarii, and here, Judas is talking about 300 denarii. He’s talking about literally a years’ worth of daily working time, hard earned wages. A year’s worth of wages for an ordinary workman. Why not sell it, and give the money to the poor or to the destitute? Now, he did not say this because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and having the bag, the money box, the purse of the twelve, he took for himself what was put into it. In other words, he was stealing the offerings; he was stealing the collections.
Well, I can tell you right now, I learned this from other preachers that have been around a long time more than me. They taught me one of the quickest ways that a preacher can undo the work that God has called him to do, is to unlawfully take money from the church. Therefore, I don’t deal with money; I don’t count money, I don’t work with the money, I don’t have access to the money accounts. I have people that do that so that we keep a level of integrity.
Here, Judas was obviously tempted by money. He was obviously taking money for himself. Here’s a story that I want you just to think through it: 300 Denarii – it’s an evaluation – if he knew what this perfume cost, being a very expensive perfume if he had an understanding of what this perfume cost, it meant that he was a man who knew what things in the world cost.
If I came to you today, and I said to you, “I’m going to hire a private jet, and I’m going to fly from South Africa to America with a private jet, and it’s going to cost about R300 000.00.” Well, how would I know it’s going to cost R300 000.00? Because I’ve done some work on it. I’ve thought about it. It’s been something that’s been on a radar that I could look at. Or I could tell you; I’m going to fly business class or first class to wherever and I will tell you how much it cost. Why? Because if I’ve asked the question, it is because I want to know that, because it’s a possibility to me.
For Judas, he understood immediately: this perfume that she’s putting on Jesus’ feet is a very expensive perfume. It cost about this much money; it has this much value. He’s into the money transaction business – value, money. How do you use the money? This is not an appropriate way to use money, that you use money like this.
That was his whole evaluation system. He didn’t care about the poor. That’s what the Bible says. He didn’t care about what was happening to Jesus. He didn’t care about what is happening in Mary. He didn’t care about anything. Everything that he was doing in his life, he was seeing through the eyes of money. How much did it cost? What’s it worth? How much value is happening in this transaction? It’s not worth it. This is absolute nonsense that’s going on here.
7But Jesus said, leave her alone, let her alone. It was [intended] that she should keep it for the time of my preparation for burial. [She has kept it that she might have it for the time of My embalming.] 8You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have Me. (John 10:7-8 AMPC). This engagement here is extremely valuable for us, because Jesus is answering Judas on a money matter. He is saying: “I understand Judas that you think about money as a value or return on investment, that you think about how much it costs to get the money, and how it’s spent. I understand your whole transaction of your value system that’s going here. I also read into your transaction value system, that you don’t really care for the poor, and that you don’t really care about the work of Jesus and what Jesus is doing here. You’re only doing this about money.”
Now Jesus answers him and He says: “The poor you’re always going to have, but you’re not always going to have Me.” In other words, Jesus is answering Judas and He said: “There are things that are happening that are based on assignment that you cannot put any value on it.” He’s saying to Judas: “You don’t understand Judas, that what is happening with Mary now, is that she is doing an act of prophetic value, that you have no, you cannot even begin to understand what she is doing. He gives all of us a glimpse into it, but Judas couldn’t see it, but He gives us a glimpse into it. He says: “Because she’s doing something for My burial, that there is going to happen an event that nobody is going to consider Me worth any value at that point.” What is happening now is a point of worship that God is taking care of. It is a point of prophecy. It’s a point of worship, it is a point of Mary’s investment.
I want to talk about Mary for a minute because it ties into the whole way God views money and assignment. He talks to Mary. I want to show you that what He says about Mary. He says; “Leave her alone”, in other words, “Whatever she spent, however, she spent her money, she is spending it on Me, My body. My body. My body is about to go through things that you have no idea what is going to go through… Her money and her investment and her finances are taking care of an assignment that My Heavenly Father has proclaimed to happen and is a sign to everybody else on assignment before it even happens. You can’t see this Judas.” Neither could any of the other disciples but Jesus is speaking about money on assignment. She takes an entire year’s worth of an average man’s income and in one moment, in one moment she ours it out on Jesus’ feet. She wipes the ointment into Jesus’ feet with her hair. I want you to understand the posture of what is happening to Mary. In order to wipe His feet and in order to be in that place, she had to be, at least, kneeling by His feet. She was in a posture that most likely was a posture of prayer, I would like to say, a posture of prayer and worship; she was kneeling. It was a posture of submission, it was a posture of honour, it was a posture of recognition of the impact that Jesus had on her life. This moment, that is recorded forever, is a damnation curse against Judas, but it is an act that is referred to as one of the purest forms of worship that anybody could ever do, in the case of Mary.
I say to you, believer, member of the Church and the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ, when you bring your money and you have it on proper assignment for the purposes of what the Body of Christ needs to do on the earth, it is like a fragrance is released into the Heavenly realms. In fact, the book of Corinthians talks about your life being a fragrance. It is a fragrance, a worshipping, a fragrance for God, the life of God to the world is the fragrance of death but to God and to the Church it is a sweet-smelling aroma; it says in the book of Corinthians. This fragrance fills the entire place where everybody is seated.
I want to say to you believer, when your money is on assignment and it is used for the purposes of the Body of Christ and for the uplifting of the Messiah, the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ and His Body which is now on the earth; when that comes together, it is a fragrance that fills everywhere and it becomes sweet and it becomes powerful and it, in itself, affects everybody in the proximity of that assignment.
When that fragrance was released, everybody that was in the proximity of that assignment was affected by it. Their senses were affected by it, their visual recognition of what was going on was affected by it and that had such an impact on Judas that what was in him came out. He couldn’t control it; “This is rubbish that this kind of wasteful spending should be occurring when all this money could be given to the poor.” Notice that he hits the one point that everybody still refers to everywhere in the world whenever the Body of Christ, which is on assignment, does things to do with money that they don’t think you should be using money for to be on assignment; they always say “This money should be given to the poor.”
Jesus is saying; “There is some money that needs to be on assignment that no amount of poor people can make up for it, because the poor you will always have with you. But money on assignment is always about right now, right in that moment, it’s needed for what God wanted it to be needed for.” Then it becomes a fragrance, then it becomes something pure and sweet. Often it declares things and makes things and becomes the initiator of things that God wants to release on the earth that is not yet seen by others. What an amazing thing. Again Jesus, not for one second, gave consideration of how much money this was worth. His only issue was “She’s on assignment. She’s on assignment. Her wealth, her body, her life, her tears, her everything, her posture; everything about her is about Me. Leave her alone.”
That’s what I say; when people want to come and criticise the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m talking about an Ecclesia now, I’m not talking about people that are self-serving, and wanting to build their own kingdoms and do their own thing. That’s not for you and I to judge that; that’s up to the living God to assess that.
I’m talking about a people who understand the Ecclesia, who understand who they are in Jesus Christ, and who understand assignment. Mary, it was in her heart and when it was in her heart, she acted on it. I say again; I echo the words of the Apostle Paul. In Second Corinthians, chapter nine, I echo the sentiments and the words of the Apostle Paul, as he writes. And he said, “Never give because you are persuaded to give or because you’re compelled to give or because there is somebody trying to coerce you to give money.” That is never a reason to give money to the church or to anybody. You give because your heart is in it, because God has moved on your heart. You give willingly, not under compulsion, but you give freely, you give with the love of God, you give because God, you understand what God wants you to do with money. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord.
I have one more story to tell you, and I’m aware that on a digital platform, my time is running out. The beauty of the digital platform is that if you run out of time, you can come back and watch this, and I urge you to do that, but I need to tell you the story as I finish. Matthew chapter 15, verse 32. 32 Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, Hmmm, what did we read about the Good Samaritan? Jesus called His disciples. He said, I have pity and sympathy, and I am deeply moved for the crowd. This is the Amplified Bible. I’m deeply moved for the crowd because they have been with me now three days. This again is not a coincidence, three days, and they have nothing at all left to eat; and I Jesus, I am not willing to send them away hungry, lest they faint or become exhausted on the way.
Now, Jesus is talking about the love of God that’s in Him, that has moved Him to be preaching to a group of people that stayed with Him, night and day, for three days listening to Jesus preach. He was healing them. He was touching them. They were there to hear the truth, and they’d run out of food. 33And the disciples said to Him, Where are we to get bread sufficient to feed so great a crowd in this isolated, and desert place? 34And Jesus asked them, How many loaves of bread do you have? They replied, Seven, and a few small fish. 35And ordering the crowd to recline on the ground, 36He took the seven loaves and the fish, and when He had given thanks, He broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. 37And they all ate and were satisfied. And they gathered up seven [Large provision] baskets full of the broken pieces that were left. (Matthew 15:32-37 AMPC).
Other references to this passage of Scripture will indicate there were thousands and thousands of people that were there. And these loaves and fishes. So, the first thing I want to say to you, they did not ask Jesus whether they had the money to go and pay for the food to feed all the people. Theirs was a logistics question. 33Where do we get bread sufficient to feed so great a crowd in this isolated, desert place? Do you know how much it’s going to cost to feed all these people? They did not ask a money question. I ask you, why do you think they didn’t ask a money question? Because they knew Jesus had the money. That was not the problem. They knew Jesus had the money. That’s why He had a treasurer. That’s why Judas understood 300 denarii, a year’s worth of wages. I mean, why carry a treasurer around with you if you don’t need one? Hmm. And a thief one at that.
Jesus, I just postulate to you, I just give you a brief question. There was so much money coming into Jesus’ hands, or there was so much money being managed by Jesus that when Judas was taking money out of the account, of Jesus’ account, that it didn’t even for one minute stop what Jesus had to do with the money that he had to do with.
If you ask someone who’s a billionaire, if someone is taking, ten thousand, whatever your currency is dollars, rands, whatever your currency might be. Ten thousand a month, out of your account, and you’re a billionaire, that’s not going to even begin to phase you. You’re not going to stop buying your jet, or buying your yacht, or buying whatever you want to do or going and buy businesses because someone’s taking ten thousand.
But in anybody else’s life, that ten thousand could be quite a lot of money because of Judas’s stealing, that didn’t even stop Jesus at any given time from doing what He needed to do in God. For the Father. In this case it wasn’t about money. It was about logistics. “How do we go somewhere, fetch the bread, and come and bring it back in this place that’s deserted? How do we do this?” Jesus said: “Is there no resources anywhere? Anybody got resources? Yeah, we got a couple of loaves and fishes here. Bring Me the bit of resources that you’ve got. Come, bring Me the little bit of resource that you got.” “Yeah, but it’s the only thing we got. It’s all we got.” “Bring Me all you got.” What does Jesus do with all you got? He makes it multiply for everybody to have whatever they need to have.
Not only does He multiply it, He also has leftovers if anybody thought that Jesus was anti-prosperity. Why not stop the multiplication of the bread and fishes when everybody was fed? Surely a miracle working God would know when to stop if He knew how to start it. Why have anything left over? Because God is always an abundance God, and when He’s always met your needs, He’s going to give you more than enough so that you can have more than enough.
Again, I want to say to you, this is about assignment. He says, “Give me what you’ve got. Let me use what you’ve got because I have an assignment. The assignment was to teach, the assignment was to touch these people. My assignment was to minister to these people, and they have stayed under the anointing of the Word for all of these days, and I’m unwilling to send them away with a physical need when I know that I must meet it.”
I say to you that whatever your physical need is, Jesus knows it. The Holy Spirit knows it. The Heavenly Father knows it. He knows. He is unwilling to send you away from doing the Word, hearing the Word, receiving the Word, receiving what God wants you to have, and being in a position where you say, “I will be here because I want to know more of You, God.” He is unwilling; He has sympathy for, He is deeply moved by any need that you might have. He will go and ask someone else for resources, so that He can multiply it so that not only is that person fed, or your resources fed, but many, many others can be touched by the resources that you bring. I conclude with this.
There is more that I can say. But I want to conclude with this: When your resources are on assignment. Your assignment will always impact people, the resources will always be a sweet-smelling fragrance to God, and it will be a sweet fragrance to everybody else that is in the proximity of the assignment. I want to say to you, it will always minister to people, it will never be used and abused for anybody else’s personal advantage. That doesn’t mean to say that the people that do the serving, don’t enjoy the same benefits. I put it to you that the disciples ate of the same bread and of the same fishes that God multiplied. In fact, they were the ones that were there to manage the extra baskets. They didn’t even bring the bread. They just managed the bread. They just found the resource and spoke to Jesus about the resource. Jesus said, “Doesn’t matter, there’s a lot here, for everybody and a lot more and whatever that lot more is for, let it be.”
When you are an Ecclesia and you understand Ecclesia Economics, it’s not about how much. Neither is it about “Why should I?” Or “Why shouldn’t I?” It’s about “How?” How do You want to use my resources, Father? Show me how to use my resources? Show me what the skill is, this place that I find myself in. In the case of the Samaritan, walking on this road at this time, I meet this person. That’s how that’s not “Why?” That’s how. In the case of Mary. It wasn’t “Why I should be doing this?” It’s just, “How am I going to show Jesus that this great love in my heart? I’m going to show Him with the best value that I’ve got,” and then it became the fragrance that it was.
I don’t mind answering the question “Why?” We have been doing that for weeks, but in this particular discussion, it’s not about the “Why?” It’s about the “How?” And so for me, I say to you, even when Jesus was multiplying the bread it was; you guys sit down, bring me the loaves and fishes. This is how we’re going to do it. You sit down, bring me the loaves and fishes, we pray, you go and hand it out, it will be multiplying your hands and then the baskets are leftover. He certainly answered the, “Why?” I’m not for one minute suggesting that you shouldn’t ask, “Why?” The Father will always show you that it’s about assignment. It’s about Him. It’s about His glory. When you know the question “Why?” you should also ask “How?” Let God show you how.
Hallelujah, I guess I want to leave you with this. It’s not “How much money?” or “Why I should be prosperous?” or “Why I should give my money, my first fruits, my tithes, my offerings. Why should I be doing that?” No, that’s doing it because you love the Lord your God with your heart, with your strength, with your soul, with your mind. That’s why I have it. I have it, now because I have it, it’s “How do I use it to serve people? How do I use it to serve assignment? How do I use it so that it brings fragrance everywhere?”
There’s a lot more about Ecclesia Economics, there’s a lot more about Kingdom Economics if you want to use that name. Because Jesus says in Matthew 6:33, I quote it to you often. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, His righteousness, His way of doing things and all these things will be added to you besides.” In other words, it’s not about whether the money is coming or not, whether the resources, they will be there. It’s what you do with your stuff. It’s what you do with your heart. It is, what do you do with yourself? That’s where the real difference comes in.
I trust that this message has ministered to you. It’s meant to come from the heart of God; it’s meant to be a fragrance to your life that will help you move forward in what you need to do. To be on assignment. It’s meant to help you, to not have to be a value driven person, but rather to be an assignment driven person. Because the minute you become a value-driven person, then your value is how much and what, and it becomes about “How much energy, how much money, how much do I work for?” In the meantime, God is actually really wanting to bless your life. That’s what He’s always been about. I have not come not to steal, to kill, to destroy; I’ve come to give you life. I’ve come to give you life more abundantly.
I conclude by saying; from this pulpit, we teach about faith. From this pulpit, we teach about a life in God; we teach about the body of Christ. We teach about health and healing. We teach about relationships. We teach about many things. We happen to be in a season of a number of weeks here, where the Lord wanted to minister to you about finances and economics. Because as I said last week, in the last Sunday message, I said, because the world is under economic stress. I want to say it’s like the good Samaritan where robbers have come and beset people’s lives and left them without, dying and wounded. It’s our job as an administrator of the resources of the Lord Jesus Christ that we become the answer to the world. That we become the fragrance to the world, that we become the organisation that can multiply and meet people’s needs. Hallelujah. I thank you for listening.
May the Lord bless you may make His face to shine upon you. May you have peace, may you have joy. I pray that you and your family are protected by the word and the blood of Jesus. That no weapon formed against your health will prosper. No weapon formed against your finances will prosper. No weapon formed against your families and your loved ones will prosper. You are safe and sound and guarded and guided and covered under the wings and under the shelter of the Most High God. In Him, you will find a safe place; in Him, you will find your fortress; in Him, you will find your protection and your wellbeing. I pray that His peace that passes understanding comes upon you and that you are blessed going in and blessed going out, in Jesus’ name. Amen