2 Corinthians 12:13 Strong, Giving and Generous

2 Corinthians 12:13 (KJV)
For what is it wherein ye were inferior to other churches, except it be that I myself was not burdensome to you? forgive me this wrong.

The very next verse Paul says he still refuses to be a burden to this church. This is not meant to be a blessing. I see it as more of a rebuke against them.

A church that doesn’t carry the financial burden of their preacher (and of missionaries) is a substandard church. They are less than what they God intends them to be. It is the grace of God that moves upon a church to provide for their preacher, even at great sacrifice for themselves, it is not a “good and perfect” gift from above when the financial support has to come from other sources.

The pastor must weigh his own situation of course, but he wrongs his church when he seeks his support from outside. He weakens the health of his church when he keeps their burdens light through burdening others.

Somewhere some pastor has led his church to be

  • Strong,
  • Giving and
  • Generous

For others to depend too heavily upon them is to condemn their own ministry to weakness.

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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2 Corinthians 12:13 Strong, Giving and Generous

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Ezra 7:15-18 When We Give

Ezra 7:15-18 (KJV)
And to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counsellors have freely offered unto the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem,
And all the silver and gold that thou canst find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem:
That thou mayest buy speedily with this money bullocks, rams, lambs, with their meat offerings and their drink offerings, and offer them upon the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem.
And whatsoever shall seem good to thee, and to thy brethren, to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, that do after the will of your God.

The king’s offerings were to be used:

To speedily buy
The purpose was so there would be no hindrance in buying and doing what ought to be done in the house of the Lord. They had already waited. This offering was meant that no delays should continue.

To provide offerings of all sorts in God’s house
The work of God has many facets. We:

  • Preach
  • Sing
  • Worship
  • Evangelize
  • Welcome
  • Encourage
  • Assist

All of these in alignment with our commission. All of them require financial resources. All of them are to be supported by the freewill offerings of God’s people.

To do what seemed good
The king’s offering was generous and would certainly cover the necessary things. It was anticipated that it was also generous enough that there would be money enough for things that were unanticipated. In that case it had been released to be used at the discretion of Ezra.

See here lessons in our own offerings to God. We have been made not only priests, but kings. We give not of necessity but freely. When we give generously as we ought, our offerings are meant to meet the needs of the house of God and the rest to be used at the discretion of our preacher for the good of the ministry.

(More applications are found throughout the rest of the chapter)

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

 

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others

Ezra 7:15-18 When We Give

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More Than A Gift

Philippians 4:14 KJV

Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.

 

Sometimes the smallest little phrases can carry a huge amount of instruction.

 

Paul had expressed his contentedness. He was not in any spiritual way distressed over his circumstances. God’s hand upon him, in times of great supply and in times of great want, was all he really sought. However, after expressing this contentedness, he did commend the Philippians for, as he puts it, communicating “with my affliction.” He was not spiritually distressed but there was no question that he was physically suffering. Gill put it, “…he was in prison and penury”.

 

The believers in Philippi had reached out to do something about that affliction:

  • They sympathized and cared
  • They sent Epaphroditus to minister to him and
  • They sent with him things that could be a help in comforting him

Notice how Paul phrases this, “ye did communicate with me affliction.” They did more than just giving to Paul. They became sharers in the affliction. They took it on as their own.

 

This can be illustrated by considering the family of a missionary who is captured on a foreign land.[1] Those who hear of it

  • may become highly interested in the details about it; they
  • may think it is too bad and they
  • may pray for the one who is captured

But the family of that missionary shares in the affliction. Though it is a different sort of suffering than the missionary is experiencing, they suffer nonetheless. They suffer

  • with the missionary
  • at the same time as the missionary and
  • for the same reason as the missionary

 

Paul says of the Philippians that they had well done in not only communicating to him but with him.[2]

[1] Something we frequently hear of, even in our time.

[2] This lesson may be applied not only to communicating with another’s affliction but with their vision, with their calling and with their ministry. Some may give to a ministry; it is so much more helpful when the join with that ministry.

For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2007.

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