I lectured on John 10 a couple of weeks ago about the aim of Jesus' coming into the world so that those who believe in Him may have life and have it abundantly. There is no Scripture in the New Testament that praises the rich or that Christians will be rich in any sense of the word but there is also no Scripture to say we should boast about poverty as if it is a badge of honour in following Christ as the poor of this world. I told my students that in our denomination's context where 99% of their pastors are poor that we do well to consider Jesus' offer of abundant life which must include material blessings to survive in this world with a measure of dignity and honour. I could testify since I entered full time ministry 24 years ago, the truth of Matthew 6:33 that if you seek first the kingdom of heaven and his righteousness all these things shall be added to you.
I have never felt any lack whether I was earning RM700.00 a month or SGD5,625.00 per month with 13th month salary, bonuses and love gifts besides. To me it was and still is doing God's will and obeying His leading whether that situation demands that I live and serve in want and in abundance. Once we follow Christ, we have the light of life and we don't walk in darkness. So many people and Christians give the Lord the crumbs and not the best portions. I entered into full time service in the prime of life, 30 years old. I returned to Sabah after my stint in Singapore at 50 years old full of experience and knowledge to reenter the interior ministry of the tribal peoples of Borneo. Perhaps they can now appreciate what I can offer to serve among them. I never restrict myself to one group of people or ethnicity or even nationality but every man and woman in the world is my target audience and it is my job to reach them for Christ and if they know Christ it is my job to bring them into full maturity (Ephesians 4) and present every man complete in Christ (Colossians 1:28).