2 Corinthians 9
Giving IS service! Notice how Paul deals with the Corinthians on this matter. What is becoming abundantly clear is that there were promises made and he wanted to make sure that they were promises kept. Notice that he equates giving un-begrudgingly with godliness! in many ways Paul appears to their pride as if he expected to be disappointed if he did not send representatives ahead of the time of collection. Regardless what the situation, we get great insight into the expectations of Christian giving. Also notice that God will bless those who give to the care of those less fortunate. You have heard me say that I believe that giving as a percentage of gross income to be a near perfect surrogate for a person’s true level of faith. I firsthand know how hard ministry is financially. Believe me when I say that global ministry is far more difficult than that. It is humbling for preachers like me to keep asking but it is a weeding mechanism separating those with impure calls from those with true calls to serve. Reading the Word and doing nothing to change one’s own life is like having faith and doing nothing. Please understand that faith without doing is NOT faith at all. Why? Because in Hebrew and Greek, original languages of the Word to humanity, the word for faith is the same word for faithful. So it is impossible to have faith without the work or deeds of faithfulness. This concept is lost in English, but to those studying the Bible, this statement is incontrovertible! If you say you have faith and are not giving to its ministries, you are lying to yourself and in jeopardy of the 2nd death! This IS the WORD of God! To the ones who have ears, let them hear what the Lord is saying to His people. Amen!