Psalm 119 and Televangelism Scandals

Psalm 119:80 – “May my heart be blameless toward your decrees, that I may not be put to shame.”

The news came across wires all over the world yesterday. The ministries run by Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Benny Hinn, Eddie Long, Joyce Meyer, and Randy and Paula White were being investigated for possible misuse of donations. Apparently these ministries are set up to run as churches, not the typical Christian non-profit ministry. Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa has called for a congressional investigation into these ministries which have been allowed to run in a veil of secrecy all these years. This comes just a couple of weeks after the news broke of possible misuse of donations by Richard Roberts, the President of Oral Roberts University. And, the hearts of those who are followers of Jesus Christ break.

It’s not that we are surprised. Anyone who has followed these “ministries” over the years knows about the false doctrine of “prosperity theology” that so many of these ministries propogate. Those who preach that God wants you to be rich, live like . . . well, they frankly live like they are rich; filthy rich. I watched the CBS Early Show today as Creflo Dollar tried to answer a reporter’s questions about Rolls Royce automobiles and a $1,000,000 40th anniversary gift to Kenneth Copeland. And, I hurt, because these people, who I pray began their ministry with sincere hearts, have lost touch with the world around them. I don’t know any of the people that I am writing about. And, I want to be careful, because I am talking about the body of Christ here. But, if these allegations are true, this is so sad. David knew the potential of being put to shame. It comes when we are not blameless towards God’s decrees. And, all of us are guilty of that, every time we sin.

So, if our brothers and sisters in Christ are guilty, they may very well be put to shame. And, if they are, our role as the body of Christ is to in humilty seek to help restore them to the faith. Not to a position where they can misuse donations, but to where they can in humilty remember the God who motivated them to follow Him in the first place.

Dear God,

Help us to remember You. Help us to remember why we follow. Help us to remember that our purpose in life is to love You first and others second. Help us to remember that the love of money is not on your list of commands. You warn us about that love. And, most of us, including me, struggle with that love. Help us to remember that the answer to life’s problems does not come from a huge paycheck, but from You. Help us to shower the world with Your love.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

United

Psalm 119:79 – “May those who fear you turn to me, those who understand your statutes.”

This afternoon my wife and I were talking about the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus spent a lot of time talking about the Kingdom. Often times when you talk to Christians their idea of the Kingdom is that it is Heaven. It’s something that we wait to see until we die. It’s where God is.

The Kingdom of Heaven is not just a future reality. God rules His kingdom. The kingdom isn’t like some palace that God sits in. It’s those who He reigns over. It’s you and me. It’s those who are followers of Jesus Christ. He will rule over His Kingdom forever and ever.

If you are my brother or sister in Christ, you belong to that kingdom. The New Living Translation translates Psalm 119:79 this way, “Let me be united with all who fear you, with those who know your laws.”

What a beautiful picture. There is something fabulous about being united with one another. When we join together to accomplish God’s great purposes on earth, outstanding things happen. Kingdom things can happen! And, we truly get a glimpse of what it means to do that which God is passionate about.

Dear God,

Help us to join together with other believers, united, to accomplish Your great plans. May we be so in tune with You that we can discern the times that we live in and join You in that great work. May Your Word, which we have been studying these past 79 days so envelope who we are that we live and breathe for Your great pleasure.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.