I can identify with The Apostle Paul who was a tent maker by day and a controversial synagogue frequenter by night. As a man and an Apostolic Father he was always working and ministering. Now sure as a teacher of God’s Word I would love to have a paid salary that I could live on and take home to The Family (like many Ministers do) but personally I was just never very successful at fundraising, rallying financial support or gathering a group of faithful and committed tithers to support my concerns and causes!
Therefore, as a minister I have always had to work other jobs to provide for my family!
A little disheartening at times as I have heard it said and insinuated by many others in this field that what actually constitutes a successful ministry is whether or not it is making enough money to support it’s ministers.
If that is what determines a ministries success then I would have to humbly admit that we are a failed ministry.
As a Minister of The Lord though who grew up with deep convictions and an earnest desire as a young man to seek “God’s Wisdom” over “Wordly Gold.”
My heart (who deeply loves Jesus) has always led me more toward putting the needs of other people first while I have learned to solely trust and see God provide for me and my own.
Now please don’t misconstrue what I am trying to say here. I am not talking about neglecting my family for a mean spirited and angry God in the sky that demands a tithe or burdensome sacrifice.
No, not at all… Just the contrary.
“I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.”
~ Matthew 9:12-13
As I have looked out like Jesus over all the wandering people I have known in this life. It has been mercy crying inside of me that has begotten my own personal choice to sacrifice.
Mercy loves to see people who don’t have it get access to clean drinking water!
Mercy Loves to see the dirt poor being clothed with nice clothes.
Mercy Loves it when the hungry are fed and the hurting are comforted!
Mercy loves to see the weight of debts lifted and the captives set free.
Mercy loves to see the sick healed and the down trodden lifted.
Mercy to me is a deep, God birthed compassion in me that just simply sometimes finds myself putting others needs before my own wants.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…” Phillipians 2:3
When I walk into a place and mingle with people who maybe in great need. Perhaps even sit with people whom other “Good Christians” would never dream of associating with! What I can honestly say I have found there is nothing less than great people!
People who I can relate to! I myself always needing The Lord Greatly in my own life!
It seems to me like no matter where I have been or who I have done life with God has always graced me to find great value there. Great worth and value! Enough to send His own Son for!
… and by choosing this path in Ministry that my wife and I have chosen. When we chose to go out to the highways and byways and bring the sick, the lame, the brokenhearted and bound into our services…. No, we sure didn’t make much money but I don’t feel as if we have failed at all in our calling as Minister’s!
Neither do I feel that Our Church (The Potter’s Church) has failed in anyway!
My wife and I may not receive a salary for our work and service
(and let me tell you we work hard.)
We may not have a group of faithful tithers that weekly give financially to support Our Work and Service for The Lord and trust me I have tried!
At one point I was practically even begging for help!
We may have to work day jobs to supplement our income but we are still Children of God serving Our Heavenly Father here on this Earth and we are blessed to still be growing, learning, advancing, loving, serving and Ministering to others as best as we can and as God continues to enables us to.
Quite Honestly, for as small of a group that we are. I would put our faithful and consistent work for Our Lord up against any ones.
The lives that have been touched and transformed by the continued grace and giving of ourselves to His Kingdom and people.
The long hours being ran on God’s Supernatural Love, Joy and Strength.
The long suffering sacrifice and continued giving away of it all… because of our desire to lift the load off of others.
Staying spent for our Lord with everything in and years now of our own Faithful, Hard Work, and Consistent service and Love.
I could easily go on and list a whole array of local and global accomplishments and impacts we have been graced by God to have had over the years but I will refrain for the sake of not wanting to boast.
Just let me conclude with this.
Although we don’t receive a salary as Ministers of Our Lord.
We still serve The Lord here at The Potter’s Church, The Potter’s Hand and The Potter’s Field Ministries with an endless love and zeal.
Some have asked me “Is it worth it? All of The Work you do in the community and abroad for such little financial gain?”
I have asked myself the same question.
“Are we a failed Ministry Lord, because we aren’t making any money?”
Yet through other less conventional church means, works and “Wisdom.”
God has continued to faithfully provide our needs and make a way for us as we have remained faithful to all we believe he has called us to.
“My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” ~ Phillippians 4:19
Staying spent for The Lord like this with it all in. Going without certain creature comforts and luxuries in our life so that others can have it easier in their own.
The Giving of ourselves sacrificially so others can have the burden on themselves lifted a bit….
No, I can’t expect everyone to understand why we do what we do.
I couldn’t even understand why we have been doing like we do and that’s when The Holy Spirit whispered this to me.
He said “It’s Mercy.”
Living in this place and learning more and more about God’s Mercy which begets our own sacrifice for over 12 years now… I can say that these following truths have helped and continue to compel us!
“Mercy triumphs over judgment.” ~ James 2:1
Our judgments of others often justifies our choice to not help them but Mercy speaks much louder and deeper. Mercy says “It doesn’t matter why they are in the situation they are in. You love and you help them anyways.”
Judgment says they are wicked and deserve the mess they will now have to figure out for themselves.
Mercy says like Jesus said to the disciples overlooking the multitudes with a small child’s lunch… “You feed them.”
Judgment says with all of its accusing fears why we shouldn’t help those who won’t help themselves.
Mercy comes in singing a song of love, understanding, empathy and compassion comforting the lost the way a Mother would sing a crying child to sleep.
Mercy always triumphs over judgement and Mercy is what The Lord desires…
“God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” ~ Matthew 5:7
Now let me say that when we are being merciful and compassionate and helping others there are boundaries that should be kept. Boundaries that foremost protect the sanctity and well being of the ones God has entrusted to our care. In all of our Kingdom exploits enough can not be said about putting our families first. Unfortunately this has been skewed and taught incorrectly to many of us growing up in the faith. In my passionate pursuit of seeking God’s Kingdom first I have found My Heavenly Father who has sat me down and told me that in all these things you will be graced to steward over… always remember your family first. They are your first ministry and they will go on long after you to carry this torch.
Putting our Families first is a Kingdom Principle. Strong homes make for strong communities and strong communities make for great nations! Great Nations unifying under God’s Big Banner of Love sounds like His Kingdom here on Earth to me!
“The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.” Psalms 145:9
Jesus said “I desire mercy.” My gratitude and prayer for all that have taken the time to read this would be for God Our Father to deeper reveal his mercy to us all and then to even further overflow His mercy to us all!
If mercy is what Jesus desires…so then let mercy be our desire!
Mercy triumphs over judgement! Under the law people were judged without mercy. Condemned, stoned and tossed into the village dump. Under Christ we are forgiven, loved, corrected and restored!
Oh Father teach us your loving kindness and mercy that we may extend your loving kindness and mercy as we represent your heart and will for your creation and continue to preach The Good News of your Kingdom here for us on this Earth… Amen
In His Love and Mercy, Pastor Scott