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Remember when Saul became king? It was human effort and human will. The prophet Samuel knew it wasn't right, but God allowed it anyway, to teach the Israelites a lesson about choosing man's will over God's will. At first, Israel was blessed with King Saul. The rest is history.
Jesus fed 5,000 men. If we include the women and children, it probably numbered 10,000. Imagine feeding that many. The available resources were just few small loaves and few fish. He needed an increase. So what did he do? He didn't use human effort, wisdom, talent or skill. He just looked up to heaven and thanked the Father.
You see that? Few people have the spiritual eyes to see that. It's unseen gospel to many. Here was a situation needing huge urgent increase. From meager resources, Jesus' ministry needed exponential increase. We find ourselves faced with situations like that in ministry. We have little resources but are faced with gargantuan tasks. What do we do? Often, we solicit money. We beg. Church is so comfortable with that.
Or, we do a concert and sell tickets. Just like what the world does, especially show business. Some churches even go to politicians and ask for money, especially during election season. And these things work. They're effective. I know a church that built a huge building structure via solicitations. See how effective?
But Jesus NEVER did any of that.
When he needed an urgent increase, he simply looked up to heaven and thanked the Father. And somewhere, he said, "Anyone who has faith in me will do the same things I am doing." Well, so far, no church has ever done that. They all beg money or solicit when they need a huge increase. It only means one thing---they do not have faith in Christ. They serve him but do it with their own effort.
How do churches increase membership?
They usually exert desperate efforts to grab as many people as possible into their membership. I know churches that give dole outs and later collect back from their recipients. They give but later require people to attend their churches. Some offer "free" services but later collect the names and addresses of recipients for "follow up" later. These are all effective. They do increase membership. But problem is, Jesus and his apostles never did them.
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And we should take a hint from Jesus. To get God's increase, he merely looked up to heaven and thanked the Father. Ministry is designed by God to be simple, all by faith. Jesus proved it. Do you see it? Or is this an unseen gospel to you?
UNSEEN GOSPEL: And even if our gospel is unseen, it is unseen to those who are perishing. [2 Corinthians 4.3]