Church servant counselor doing spiritual counseling to a young man studying the Bible

Now, I am sure that you, like me, must pay bills to make a living. I worked very hard to be debt free, but I still need to buy food, pay the electric bill, the water bill, the gas bill and so on. The day only have 24 hours; so how do you make a living and do ministry free of charge? You trust God just like you trust God for everything else. You do what he tells you to do; not more, not less. The moment you start charging people for ministry you are out of biblical order. In Matthew 10:5-8 Jesus sent the 12 original apostles into ministry with very specific instructions,

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. Matthew 10:5-8 (NIV)

Think about this for a minute, if you have a close friend or a close family member like your mom, dad, brother, sister, wife or children and they find themselves in need of ministry; would you charge them? No, it is a ridiculous thing to do. So why are we manipulating people into giving in exchange of ministry or as a condition for a miracle or a breakthrough in their lives? 

The book of Acts tells us about a man by the name of Simon. This man is introduced in Acts 8:9-13,

But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. 10 They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” 11 And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. 12 But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed. (ESV)

Simon was a fraud; I do not doubt that the devil gave him powers to perform signs and wonders, but he presented himself as a man of God. The Bible states that for a long time he amazed people with his magic. This man knew how to fool people and is very logical to think that he knew how to make money doing it.  Simon heard the message as preached by Phillip and the Bible tells us that he believed and, after he was baptized, he was very close to Phillip. The story continues in verses 18-23, 

Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” (ESV)

Peter spoke some harsh words to this man. Peter corrected Simon by 1) correcting his thinking that he could buy the gift of God with money. 2) Establishing that his action disqualified him from accessing such power. Ever wonder why we don’t see God’s power manifest as in the days of the Book of Acts? Perhaps many ministers are operating under the same spirit that Simon did. 3) Peter let Simon know that his heart was not right before the Lord. 4) Peter told Simon to repent of such wickedness. 

The word wickedness here is the Greek word kakía; meaning, “An evil habit of the mind.”[1]  This is an issue of the soul, the wrong mind-set concerning the matter at hand. 5) Peter continued by telling Simon to repent for the intentions of his heart as they were not in harmony with God’s. 6) Peter tells Simon that he was filled with bitterness. 

Bitterness here is the Greek word pikría; meaning “Extreme wickedness, highly offensive to God and all good men, likely to be hurtful and destructive to others, for which much suffering is reserved in the world to come for unbelievers [cf. Deut. 32:32]). A “root of bitterness” in Heb. 12:15 means a wicked person whose life and behavior is now offensive to God and obnoxious to men.”[2]

Lastly, 7) Peter tells Simon that he was joined together with iniquity. The word iniquity here is the Greek word adikía; meaning “Unjust. Injustice. What is not conformable with justice, what ought not to be, that which is wrong.”[3] In Luke 9:1-2 the Bible also gives us another strong biblical support regarding the fact that ministry MUST be free of charge,

And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseasesand he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. (ESV)

The word cure is the Greek word, therapeúō; meaning “To attendant, servant. To wait upon, minister to, render voluntary service, heal, but primarily signifies to serve as therápōn.”[4] Therápōn is an attendant or minister.”[5] This is obviously where we get the word therapist (therapy).  This service, according to Scripture, is rendered voluntarily… at no cost.

The word diseases is the Greek word nósos; meaning “Sickness. Metaphorically, pain, sorrow, evil; to be sick.”[6] This word gives the implication that we are dealing with emotional pain and sorrow. The word heal is the Greek word iáomai; meaning, “To heal, cure, restore to bodily health.”[7] Obviously here we are talking about sickness of the body. 

These services of healing the body and soul MUST be done in a voluntary basis. If you keep ministry simple, with God at the center, you will be amazed of how much money we don’t need to do God’s work. I think that many sectors in the church exchanged the power of God for buildings and money. They have a form of godliness, but obviously denying the power of God to heal, to cure and to transform lives. Paul said it this way,

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3-5-7 (KJV)

Manantial del Valle is committed to continue to render our services free of charge and we continue to trust God to meet all our needs.

[1] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[2] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[3] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[4] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).


[6] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[7] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

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