Is it OK for Pastors to Be Rich–and Fine? Let’s Rev’ up!

“He’s so fine.” I heard a young woman sitting behind me say of a certain pastor who arguably looks like Leonardo DiCaprio. He’s full of charm and charisma, slick hair, decked in shirts that tease some chest and flaunt buff biceps, tight Kim-Kardashian-for-guys jeans, I couldn’t deny I, too, found myself having to fight off similar thoughts and focus instead on what he was saying.

This incident happened over six years ago, and it wasn’t even a year before I packed up my spiritual bags and left that club-like environment that initially drew me because of its youthful “passion for Jesus,” but eventually left me hungry for a more authentic reflection of what it means to have a relationship with the Holy, Holy, Holy, God Almighty described in the book of Revelation, of whom often, when He’d appear to believers, would cause them to drop almost dead in fear and awe of Him.

The Church says we want a revival of those coming to Christ, and that is great, but what about those who have already confessed Him as Lord, but are wallowing and drowning in sin? Reverence has become taboo at best and downright offensive and altogether avoided by many in the Church. But sisters, if a Church tiptoes around or evades entirely the topics of holiness, sanctification, hating evil and loving good, then you are on a spiritual diet that is highly lacking in necessary and beneficial nutrients for growth. Please indulge me a little longer.

Is your character stagnant? Do you find yourself struggling with the same sins, feeling very weak, vulnerable, tempted, etc.? What are your Christian leaders like? Is everything “positive and uplifting?” Is Church service this fun time that’s full of inspirational jargon?

Encouragement isn’t evil–but in the wrong hands it’s deadly. In fact, what you’re hearing at many pulpits is actually flattery and deception. We are not even close to being worthy of God and His forgiveness and love. It is by His grace, which means “UNDESERVED FAVOR” that we have been saved. There’s nothing we can boast about regarding ourselves yet many pastors will parade on a stage like they’re all that and tickle your ears or flat out tempt you with their “spiritual” sensuality. You know, those pastors who are evidently very concerned with their outward appearance because they spend hours in the gym, always have their hair cut and styled on point, and “dressed to kill” as my grandma says.

Do you know what Paul said about himself and the other Apostles, the head honchos of the first church?

For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? You are already full! You are already rich! You have reigned as kings without us—and indeed I could wish you did reign, that we also might reign with you! For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! 11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. 12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure; 13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.”-1 cor 4:7-13

So many pastors are living like kings–and far from being “poorly clothed–spending a million dollars on a home when they could still very comfortably live off quite less and give more. These career pastors often “preach” messages that are universally accepted, easy to tolerate, and relatable to the majority. Yet biblically, we see the gospel and the standards for Christians as taught in the bible are focused heavily on living for God, pleasing Him, loving, serving, and honoring others. And how can you know if you’re pleasing to God or “acceptable” to Him if you aren’t reading His Word much, but heavily relying on your pastor’s word? How can you know if your pastor is teaching you how to please God, or if he’s teaching you how to please yourself?

See, these pastors and teachers enjoy making the bible seem secondary and optional at best. They love this because then, in your hunger for spirituality and positivity, instead of finding it in the Bible, you’ll buy their books. Think about it: they make a profit off of teaching you “spiritual truths.” If, in your search for answers, you relied heavily or solely on Scripture, then you wouldn’t need their books and then there goes their millions.

These guys are smart. There is a successful business model in pursuing a pastoral career. Make yourself look good, be charismatic, don’t preach or emphasize the bible too much, be as cool as possible, as positive as possible, flatter as naturally as possible, give out free coffee, and your church will grow. When you’ve got a big following, then you pump out and market your books to them and bam, your chances at becoming a millionaire are deliciously accessible.

Caveat: Recently, I pulled my own spiritual books off of Amazon, leaving just my fantasy novel, and posting the relationship advice ones for free on Wattpad. I’m just not comfortable selling spiritual advice. The apostles said it was okay to survive off of the gospel, but that’s for missionary men and women to have their needs met, that wasn’t an affirmation for inspirational “pastors” to become rich off of the gospel, teaching and making disciples, and then living lavishly. In fact, Paul said specifically in his day there were many peddling the gospel and preaching for “dishonest gain” (2 Corinthians 2:17, Titus 1:11). And, there’s still lots of them today who hypocritically say, “Well, I got rich off of my books, not church tithes, so it’s okay if I spend this money lavishly on myself.” Can you imagine what Paul would say to some of these men? And many of them come out as having some serious sin or accept really, greedily high salaries.

See, there’s no reverence. There is no fear of God, which the bible says is the beginning of wisdom. Many in the church are walking around just as Paul warned us not to: foolishly, when he told us to be wise, knowing what is acceptable to the Lord (Ephesians 5:10). Many don’t even know these warnings about walking worthily (Ephesians 4:1; Colossians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:12), seeking if you’re behaving acceptably to God, even exist in the bible. I make my case: these men don’t want you to know they exist! Because then you might become “woke” to their fake-ness and greed, having the biblical discernment to see right through them and then totally pass on buying their books and other goodies.

God wants us to, “work out our salvation with fear and trembling,” (Philippians 2:12) because it’s “a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God,” (Hebrews 10:31).

Jesus said the path to destruction is wide and there are MANY who travel it, but the road leading to life is, “narrow and difficult” and there are “few who find it,” (Matthew 7:13-14).

I pray in Jesus’ name that you–and myself–are among the latter.

Is Christianity the Most Beautiful Religion?

Christianity is soooo beautifully simple AND practical!

If one were to just read the book of Matthew or John to see what Jesus said and did, or read one of Paul’s letters to the early church, Colossians, or Philippians, you’d see how…different Christianity is from other religions which are huge on either mystical, elusive, and abstract concepts and thoughts, or food-chain, climb-the-ladder type exaltation of participants, or severe bodily rejection and repetitious, ritualistic behaviors.

But not Biblical Christianity. Not the Christianity you find when you read the New Testament. The admonition and commands on how we ought to love one another and what that looks like practically are just so easy to grasp and refreshing and totally sensical and observable.

Indeed, it’s not like, dare I say, reincarnation, a mystical, never before observed idea. Even Christianity’s claims of resurrection from the dead has been observed time and again throughout history with people praying in Jesus’ name for life to return to someone who died and then it does.

So all this to say, I love the whole of Christianity, of what its Founder, Jesus, teaches. If there is anything more beautiful, more good for mankind, please, show me. It is for such teachings as these that I am totally unashamed to say I follow Jesus and His ways as recorded in the Bible:

“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.” –‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:12-17‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Don’t worry about what people may think if you proclaim to be a Christian. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. Our God is so good and wonderful. Get to know Him better so your confidence in that fact can be assured and you can more boldly share His love unabashedly with others. At the end of the day, it isn’t about whether or not someone likes you, it’s whether or not you loved Jesus and that person despite.

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What You Hope and Dream For Doesn’t Really Matter in Light of…

Christian, what matters more than what God will do for us in this temporal life is what He’s already done for us in eternity.

We may be desiring and hoping God does some things in this earthly realm; we want a certain job or opportunity; we want a degree of success; we want a husband, a family; but if those things never happen, can we remember and trust that Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God on a throne, and awaits to embrace us forevermore? That He Himself will wipe away every tear from our eyes and we will NEVER have to worry or experience pain again? Evil people won’t be able to harm us anymore, disappointments will no longer exist, unfulfilled hopes won’t matter at all because we are living and seeing things so amazing they’re indescribable with human words.

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.- 1 Corinthians 2:9-10

So instead of longing and hoping for something that’s temporary, something that won’t last forever, why not focus more on what’s already been given to us, on the incredible blessings and eternal promises we already possess?

Not familiar with what those things are? Get into your Bible. Read the book of Ephesians and check out all the “spiritual blessings in the heavenly realms” that God the Father through Christ Jesus has blessed us with. It’s awesome and really blows away any earthly hopes we can come up with.

My prayer is that we begin to want earthly hopes and dreams less and less, and rejoice in the eternal gifts and inheritance we received once we gave our hearts and minds–our lives–to Jesus. But there is no rejoicing if you’re unaware of what you have. So go on and begin discovering today. ❤

A Quick Word of Wisdom from God

And so what happens when you speak first and read the Bible second; God is like, actually, you need to do this instead:

Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return.
    Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt.
 So don’t bother correcting mockers;
    they will only hate you.
But correct the wise,
    and they will love you.
 Instruct the wise,
    and they will be even wiser.
Teach the righteous,
    and they will learn even more.-Proverbs 9:7-9

And so that is my biblical/God-given wisdom to share with you today. Though sometimes your mind is in disbelief, you know the truth, and just wanna shake some people and be like, “Snap out of it! You’re destroying yourself!” God would rather you spend that time and effort correcting the wise and those who actually want to follow Him instead. For to whom much is given, even more will be added to them. If you seek to understand God and obey His commands, He makes you all the wiser.

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Let Jesus Save You From Your Whack Boyfriend

Jesus isn’t trying to rain on your parade; He simply desires to protect you from the storms that come from disobedience.

God is Love. Every single thing He does and says is good because He is Love. When He commands you not to be with an unbeliever (2 Corinthians 6:14-18), He commands it from love. He knows every outcome, and desires to spare you from that so you won’t die. Sin, which is disobedience to God, ends in death.

When your heart is broken by this man, you may despair, or become bitter, and then never come back to the arms of True Love because you don’t believe a real, pure love exists. Or you get so caught up in the emotions of fake love (infatuation) that you’re distracted from the all-amazing, all-consuming Real Love; Jesus Himself.

If a man isn’t pointing you to Christ, chances are, although he genuinely may not know it, he’s pointing you to himself and ultimately, to Satan. You might’ve gasped right now, but please allow me to explain.

All sin is rebellion against God. Satan rebelled against God, and the Bible says he was cast out of heaven and into earth. Paul writes to the Ephesians:

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:1, 2)

So Satan is at work in the lives of those who are in disobedience to God. It’s very serious because Jesus taught that the enemy is the father of all lies, and that he comes to kill, steal, and destroy.

When you’re with someone under that influence, they may not literally murder you one day, but what you have is a lie. It’s not real love because God is Love and one cannot give true love, Jesus’ love, unless he has Jesus. All he can give is a counterfeit version of love, a worldly version which focuses on personality compatibility, physical attraction, and sexual gratification.

Whereas, when a man who has, knows, and loves Jesus loves you, he loves you with patience (he’ll wait for you till marriage and want what’s best for you), he will love you with kindness: he won’t put you down, he’ll build you up (please don’t confuse kindness with charm which is deceptive. Charm is seductive, flattery). When a man who is a true disciple of Jesus loves you, he will not look out for his own interests, but truly sacrifice for your best interest. He doesn’t boast in himself or his accomplishments, he boasts in who Jesus is. He doesn’t envy anyone, he doesn’t spend himself on trying to get fame, a title, or recognition. He is completely content and satisfied with whatever he has because he knows Christ is more than enough. He is not conceited, but humble. He will not applaud wickedness, rejoicing when others do sinful things, but he will rejoice when the Truth of Christ wins out.

My dear sisters, please deeply consider your relationship. If you know this man doesn’t love Jesus, how can he truly love you? I fear for you, that you will miss out on true love because you’re so distracted and trapped by the counterfeit love, and would even forfeit your soul for this fake love, choosing to continue in it rather than forsake it and run into the arms of Love Himself.

Love isn’t a feeling. It’s a person, and that person is Jesus. Anyone who does not have Him, loves you in a worldly, sensual way that is pleasing to the senses, but not satisfying to the spirit. Why? Because it is an earthly love, not a perfect heavenly love. Why would you compromise a divine, true love for a worldly lie?

I pray that you forsake all lies in your life and run to Truth, run to Love.

Run to Jesus.

To my beloved subscribers

I just wanted to thank you all for being so awesome in allowing me to encourage you, and for sharing your encouraging words via comments. I read every one and I am so blessed by your transparency and encouragement.

You all are beautiful children of God, and I am so grateful He led you to my blog.

We all need each other. We all are the body of Christ. So please do continue to give your encouragement and share your testimonies. The Word tells us in Revelation it is by the blood of Christ and the Word of our testimony that we defeat the Enemy.

By your words of encouragement you are honoring God by, “building one another up and spurring one another on to good works and love.”

Words are very powerful. Remember, Apostle Paul wrote letters to the churches, and they were very blessed and encouraged by them as we are to this day—two thousand years later!

So keep it up, beloved. Much love to you all and thank you so much again for reading and sharing.

Ladies, Is His Love Enough For You?

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Before starting on this post, I asked God what He wanted me to write to you ladies, and I heard Him whisper, “Just tell them about my love for them.”

I wrote a blog on my author website that focused on some truths I knew I should share with you. So I tweaked them as the Spirit led to hopefully shed light on just how intimately the Perfect Man in existence knows you and how fully He loves you.

1.) God thinks about you … all the time.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.-Psalms 139:17, 18

The God of the universe, the universe that contains billions of galaxies and stars, galaxies like the Milky Way which in light years (the length travelled by light in one year which is equal to 9,460,000,000,000 km) is 100,000 of those across, this God has you on His mind constantly.

2.) God watches you all the time.

You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways.-Psalms 139:2, 3

He sees everything you do and everything you go through. He cares about your every breath and your every step. He literally catches every tear from the amazing eyes He gave you:

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.-Psalms 56:8 NLT

3.) God listens to you.

When Christ, the perfect Son of God, died on that Roman cross at Golgotha 2,000 years ago and then rose from the dead three days later (witnessed by over five hundred people alive during that time), He became the Mediator, the High Priest by which we humans can enter the presence of Almighty God and make request of Him.

So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.-Hebrews 4:14-16 NLT

Not only does God listen to you, but check this out:

And when he took the scroll, the four living beings and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp, and they held gold bowls filled with incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.-Revelation 5:8 NLT

Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s holy people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out.-Revelation 8:3, 4 NLT

Your prayers are so precious to Him, He has them presented to Him in golden bowls by angels, and your prayers are mixed with amazing smelling incense.

4.) God knows you intimately.

When a woman says: “no one knows me better than my husband” she is wrong.

There is no greater, no deeper kind of intimate knowledge than the knowledge God has of us.

He knows every centimeter of your outer frame:

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.-Luke 12:7

He knows every centimeter of your inner frame:

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb.-Psalms 139:13

And He declares you beautiful:

You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.-1 Peter 3:4 NLT

Listen to me, O royal daughter; take to heart what I say. Forget your people and your family far away. For your royal husband delights in your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord. The bride, a princess, looks glorious in her golden gown. In her beautiful robes, she is led to the king …-Psalms 45:10, 11, 13, 14 NLT

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.-Psalms 139:14 NLT

He knows your every thought:

You understand my thought afar off.-Psalms 139:2

For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.-Psalms 139:4

But Jesus knew their thoughts …”-Matthew 12:25, 9:4, Luke 5:22, 9:37 (and several more!)

And He knows your heart:

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”-1 Samuel 16:7

And Jesus said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts.-Luke 16:15

And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.-Hebrews 4:13

5.) God loves you

Your Heavenly Creator sees your every move, hears your every word, knows your every thought and motive yet still He loves you.

Can you imagine if you had a projector strapped to your head that was able to expose your every thought and motive 24/7 and you had to walk around with it and could never take it off? How many people would still love you? Maybe a few people would last a while, but what if they had to live with you 24/7 and go everywhere you go, in public and behind every closed door? Would they still love you then? Would they die for you?

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.-John 3:16

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.-Romans 5:6-11 NLT

Jesus loves you. You are His most prized possession. Sit in His presence today and just ask Him to please help you understand more fully the depth of His intimate love for you.

For more on all that Jesus has done for you, check out this post .

Please feel free to share your thoughts in a comment. I love hearing from you princesses.