If the Lord is the priest’s inheritance, when the priest is provided for, you certainly experience the Lord in your house. If the priest quits because he cannot support himself and his family as he serves in the ministry, then where does he take his inheritance, which is the Lord Himself, he takes the Lord elsewhere. The Lord makes another community His dwelling place. He will make the community that feels the need to support the His work His dwelling place.
The pattern has already been laid down in the book of Numbers. Material support for the priest should be generous. Sometimes congregations seem to think that the best way to keep their minister holy is to keep him poor! However, it does a disservice to God. God is the ultimate Boss of the minister. Does this mean God does not intend to compensate His workers handsomely? Is the CEO of the multinational company a better boss than God? If the CEOs of these multimillion dollar companies are able to bless their front- liners with a competitive salary, why do we frown upon pastors with nice cars and nice houses? Do you think God intends for them to be poor and miserable? By nature, God is good and abundant. What kind of boss do you think He’ll make to His ministers when they are working fulltime to carry out His work?
If the people did not faithfully tithe, the priests would certainly have found their means of support very limited. That was not God’s design for them, however. God wanted his servants to be more than adequately sustained, and as long as his people were faithfully honoring the Lord, they would also honor His servants and provide abundantly for their financial needs.
The abundance of the minister reflects the glory of God. If the pastors are poor, what does that say about God? If I were a new member of a church and I see my pastor struggling to make ends meet, would I believe him when he says, “God is good, give your tithe, and you will be blessed!” Of course not! I would think, if he who does the work of God directly is not even blessed, how would this God bless me, who is in the secular industry? God’s blessings on the elders and church leaders are a glimpse of the blessings that God would pour out on the people they are leading.
How can the senior pastor mentor others to be generous when he himself does not have the means to be generous? God is the priest’s portion, and because of that, they experience abundance and they are capable of extreme generosity.
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Have you ever felt that it is unfair for the offering to go the pastor’s livelihood? Why do you think you feel this way?