Good morning all!
Father, we are truly grateful for the season that you have given us this day. I pray you would open our eyes to see all that You have given us and that we would see the opportunity in Your kingdom all around us, let us bless those as you have blessed us, Amen. Isn’t funny how at this time of the year we all become givers, the question usually is what to give, right? You want it to be special, you want it to be a surprise and that is a God thing. What to give?
Act 20:32 KJV – And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
Today, brothers, I commit you to God and the word of His grace, which will strengthen you and to give you the inheritance of the ones that are sanctified.
Act 20:33 KJV – I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.
I have no desire to take your money or fancy clothes.
Act 20:34 KJV – Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
Yes, you know that I have worked hard to provide for my own needs as well as those that worked in the ministry with me.
Act 20:35 KJV – I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
I have SHOWED you all things, how we are to work hard to support those in need and remember the very words of Christ, it is MORE blessed to GIVE than to receive.
Paul didn’t minister to get, in fact, he actually worked so he could earn a living and GIVE.
Act 18:3 NLT – Paul lived and worked with them, for they were tentmakers just as he was. Each Sabbath found Paul at the synagogue, trying to convince the Jews and Greeks alike. What was Paul doing Monday- Friday? WORKING making tents. What did he do on the weekends? He went to church and preached the message of Grace to both Jew and Gentile…he loved everybody. Now which came first, the preaching or making tents? He went an earned a living first, and then he preached the message. Paul wasn’t going to be a burden to anyone, least of all the church. Now, let’s not get confused about our priorities here, the grace of God always comes first not our jobs. And you can see that by Paul’s own words, he didn’t work because he coveted the money or anything fancy for that matter (boy I got some work to do here…oops, personal thought…sorry). No, he worked with joy so he could help SUPPORT the weak. This is the true gospel of grace, yes he preached the word of God to set people free. However, you ask the hungry man which one was better the message or the steak? Well, you get the point. I believe we should do both just like Paul, support the weak and convince others of the gospel. That word convince in the Greek means to win one over. How do we win others?
Phl 3:8 KJV – Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ. One of my favorite verses in the bible, it is packed with the power of God. We win CHRIST. Paul wanted Jews and Gentiles to have the same relationship that he had with Jesus Christ. And when you stacked up all the paychecks, houses, cars and maybe even boats that Paul lost, how did he view the loss of ALL things? He said it was like losing DUNG…he didn’t see any value in those things even when all were lost. What did he see? Winning
Christ. The gospel of grace doesn’t rest on its laurels sort of speak, it’s the exact opposite it works harder so the it may win others to Christ…that includes both work and church. This is why Paul commits the church to both God and message, having the message and doing nothing with it doesn’t work. But to those that believe
in the message of grace we keep working and we will receive the inheritance.
Heb 6:12 NIV – We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. God says it over and over again, and I love God’s definition of lazy…which is… when I don’t IMITATE faith and patience so if we’re missing one or both…you lazy! Who are we really imitating?
1Th 1:6 NIV – You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. We imitate Christ. How? When we welcome the message of grace even though we may face SEVERE suffering with JOY…(once again I find myself with more work to do). And what is the last thing Paul tells them here? Remember what Jesus said, it is MORE blessed to Give! What did Jesus take? Really nothing. What did He give? His life…this is the gospel of grace…go give something to someone today…Jew or Gentile.
Point to Ponder
How much should we give? Luk 6:38 NIV – Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. We should give a GOOD measure. How do you measure the Christ in your life? A little or a lot?
Let’s all give the full measure, In Him Phil
Faith – Family – Friends