Trusting the Team

Trusting the Team

Words of Faith 11-17-17

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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2 Corinthians 9

   There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the saints. [2] For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. [3] But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. [4] For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we--not to say anything about you--would be ashamed of having been so confident. [5] So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.

 

       Paul was blessed that he did not actually have to write to the Corinthians about the severe need in Jerusalem. The Corinthian believers had responded enthusiastically. Paul had a careful plan for the offering to be gathered by this team before he even arrived. This way he would not be directly involved in receiving the collection and his enemies could not accuse him of exploitation.

       But Paul did remind the believers of their eagerness to be part of this collection and the generous gift they had promised. The Bible generally does not talk about individuals making pledges except when the Temple was being built. But here, the church had made a commitment to this point of mercy in Jerusalem, and there was a sense of obligation to see that commitment through.

       Paul presented all this in the most positive sense. He had boasted about the generosity of the Corinthians to the churches in Macedonia. He genuinely hoped to see that generosity expressed in just the way he had talked about it. His hope was that everything would be taken care of before his visit and there would be no need for him to deal with the offering directly.

       The pattern Paul presents is not mandatory but it is exemplary. It is always a good thing if the pastor does not have to talk about offerings. It is a wonderful thing when the Body of Christ responds enthusiastically and is eager to give what is needed for a particular ministry of point of mercy. Teaching on finances should be as common a topic as it appears in the Scripture, which is a lot. But Paul shows us a pattern that carefully seeks to avoid any sense of manipulation.

         Some good questions that come out of this are… Am I enthusiastic about giving? Am I eager to bring an offering to God? Am I prepared in advance so that there need be little ado about giving? Am I ready to be generous in giving, not grudgingly give?

 

       Father God, I am so grateful for all that You have given. I am grateful that you were not begrudging in the gift of Your Son. I am grateful that You have poured out grace, mercy and provision into my life. Teach me to give like You give. Teach me to the eagerness of giving. Teach me the enthusiasm of sharing. In Jesus' Name.