Trusting the Team

Trusting the Team

Words of Faith 11-16-17

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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2 Corinthians 8

   [22] In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you. [23] As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ. [24] Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that the churches can see it.

 

        There was one more usher that Paul appointed to the team. In addition to the previously mentioned brother and Titus, Paul sent another partner and fellow worker to join the collection team. He was apparently an appointee of the Macedonian churches.

       We don't know much about this fellow except that he was zealous and he was "an honor to Christ.” His presence served both to help buffer Paul from accusations of personally profiting from the collection and also to spur the Corinthians on toward completing their project. By receiving the collection team and responding generously, the Corinthians could demonstrate their love.

         All of this called for trust. The Corinthians lived in a world in which it was much easier to mistrust than to trust. While they may have known of Titus, they didn't know these fellows who were coming to help take up the collection. They didn't know their names or their families. They had not heard the testimonies of these workers. They had not done any background checks. They had to trust the recommendation of their founding pastor and know that these men were trustworthy and an honor to Christ. If they allowed mistrust to creep in it would have a ripple effect on the other churches.

        We live in a very similar time. We hear about breaches of trust and falls from grace and we are tempted to pull back and not trust those that God has put in place to serve us. In reality, the breaches of trust are miniscule in comparison to the generations of faithful servants who have received and faithfully delivered offerings. The local church is very capable of putting safety protections into place like those implemented by Paul but at the bottom line, we are called to trust our brothers and sisters put into place with the guidance of a pastor.

         I have sometimes wondered why it is that God chooses to work through the Body of Christ to supply the needs of people, ministries and missionaries. God is sovereign and all powerful. He could certainly just arrange for transfers of wealth without funneling finances through the Body of Christ. It is probably the case that the Lord wants to teach us something of Himself through the process of receiving and giving. Giving from our plenty helps us to be captured by the heart of God and experience the joy of generosity. It also teaches us to trust.

       God chooses to use His church as the conduit of blessing to His missions, ministries and points of mercy. This builds both trust and trustworthiness within the Body. Faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit that God desires to develop in His Body and this is one of the primary ways that He does this. Love is the fruit of the Spirit and "love always protects and always trusts" (1 Cor. 13:7). The goal is to build a Body of integrity and trust.

         I have found that sometimes the hardest things about giving is just letting go. Trusting. God calls me to let go of the tithe and trust that it is God's and trust that 90% will be enough for everything else. I am called to let go of the offerings God has provided and entrust them to the hands of faithful brothers who have been appointed and approved. When I try to control the offering that belongs to God and is intended for a purpose He has planned, I often miss an important part of what He is trying to teach me.

 

       God, teach me to trust. Teach me to trust You-- that You are God and You are in charge, not me. Teach me to trust those You have put in place to faithfully transmit Your blessing. In Jesus' Name.