This year began with the Kingdom Finance Conference at the Houston Revival Center during the week of Jan 29th through Feb 3rd. I was blessed to be one of the speakers along with Pastor LaRue Adkinson, Pastor Dave Roberson, Tim Stemple, Russ Gressett, and others. I had been warned in a dream prior to the Conference that it was vitally important that everything concerning the Conference be "holy unto the Lord." I shared this dream with the other speakers and we were all in agreement in advance to be especially on guard against wrong motives and personal agendas regarding our own conduct to set an example for the body of Christ.
As the week progressed we were all amazed as we watched how the meetings seemed to be guided by an "unseen hand." None of the speakers had conferred with each other regarding what we would be teaching, yet each message seemed to be dove-tailed with those that came before and after it. Through many voices the Lord was weaving together a tapestry of what He desires regarding finances for the Kingdom of God in these last days. A tapestry bears an image, like those that are sometimes hung on a wall to decorate a home. The image on this tapestry is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
About midway through the week, as Sue and I were returning to the Houston Revival Center after lunch, we parked the car and were walking across the parking lot as we noticed two of the ushers carrying out large bags of trash from the Conference to the dumpster. I am trying to describe the scene in enough detail so you can "see" what we saw. Both of these ushers were big, burly men whom you would not want to meet in a dark alley if they were not born again. The bags of trash they were carrying in each hand were big and heavy. Yet they were obviously enjoying what they were doing. They were talking and had big grins on their faces as they did what seemed to be such a menial task … taking out the garbage.
As Sue and I continued to walk toward the building I heard the unmistakable voice of the Holy Spirit say, "Holiness unto the Lord." I thought that was an unusual statement in the light of what I was watching, but I have trained myself to discern His voice for too many years not to recognize Him when He speaks. At the time, I just sort of "filed it away" in my mind for future reference.
The Conference concluded and all of us were in agreement … the Lord got what He wanted. We never heard of anybody attending the Conference attempting to market his or her own business among the attendees. None of the speakers attempted to "make merchandise of the sheep" by using scripture to ring money out of them at offering time. No ministers tried to enlarge their own ministry by attempting to increase their mailing list. The Lord wanted the Conference to be holy and that is what He got!
Back home in Tulsa I kept remembering that scene of the burly ushers cheerfully carrying out the bags of trash and the words the Holy Spirit spoke to me at the time, "Holiness unto the Lord." I used my computer software to do a search of those exact words in the bible. I was surprised to find they only occurred three times in the King James Version; once in Jeremiah and twice in Zechariah. I seemed to be drawn to the passage in Zechariah, but at first it did not seem to make much of a connection as I read it in the King James Version. But look at it in the Living Bible:
KING JAMES VERSION
I could hardly believe my eyes. When the hearts of the people are truly turned to the Lord and the needs of His Kingdom, even the trash cans are sacred unto Him. In the parking lot the Lord was telling me He considered the work of those two ushers carrying out the trash to be as sacred and holy unto Him as any message that was delivered from the pulpit during the week.
Notice the last part of the passage in Zechariah; There will be no more "grasping traders" in the Temple of the Lord Almighty! There will be none who are "greedy of personal gain" nor "lovers of silver" laboring in the true harvest fields of the Lord. Those who serve the King in the realm of finances in these last days will truly be … "Holiness unto the Lord."
The body of Christ is entering into a wonderful time of renewal. True holiness will be the mark upon the life of every believer who would serve the King. Not holiness worked from the outside in, but true holiness that proceeds from a heart that belongs to Jesus Christ. No matter what our occupation or vocation in the world, we are to glorify the Lord in all that we do!
1 Cor 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!
Your friend and co-laborer,
Gary Carpenter Ministries|
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P.O. Box 9667, Tulsa, OK 74157