• By Rev. Joseph A. Bias

Not another message about giving?


“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.” 2 Corinthians 9:6

Most of those reading this devotional may be inclined to think another discourse on the subject of giving is perfunctory, because it, like so many others, has probably been heard so many times over in the past. How many ways can you say giving small is good but giving big is a lot better?

I get it! So, tell me something new.

Some may even have become numb to the effects of hearing yet another person talking about giving. They might endure hearing it, but it will just wash over their thinking like the proverbial “water off a ducks back.”

So, I’m prompted to share with you from a different perspective on this passage by comparing it to two others. Here we go.

“For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?” 1 Corinthians 9:9

And this.

“Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.” 1 Timothy 5:17-18

Now, I don’t want to belabor the obvious. But simply stated, the Apostle Paul is saying by the leading of the Holy Spirit that there is a practical economy of provision for those who serve in ministry. It is good and right to share with them the blessings you receive from God through your physical work as they share with you in spiritual matters of life and maturity in understanding and appropriating the things of God for you and your family.

Now, I know most Christians are well meaning in their agreement with these admonitions from the Scriptures, but many are not minded to be intentional about following through on them. Even in Paul’s day this was the case. So, he said to the Corinthian church,

“And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.” 2 Corinthians 8:10

So then, we want to be sensitive to the needs of those who serve in ministry, who labor in the Word and in doctrine, who minister to the spiritual needs of the body and account them worthy of double. That is what the Scripture admonish us to do.

Now, having said that, I know of no one among those with whom I serve and have served in ministry who would ever put a price tag on the proclamation of the gospel or on ministry to the spiritual needs of believers and none believers alike. The price for the Gospel has been paid in full by the blood of Jesus Christ. It is now free for the taking and we who serve know that our “employer” is Jesus. He has ordained and charged us with the teaching, exhortation, comfort, encouragement and empowerment of the Gospel to all who will hear it without charge or condition of reciprocity. And may it always be so.

If we receive anything it is a gift of grace and is humbly accounted a great blessing indeed. If we receive nothing we would not cease to proclaim the Gospel and minister to all to whom we are called by the Spirit of God.

But God is gracious toward us in that He has sent you and others like you into our lives to lift us up and to provide for our material needs as we serve your spiritual needs and the needs of others.

One thing is true, though rarely said, Christian ministers, myself included, find it often agonizingly difficult to approach the subject of giving especially where we may be the recipients, because it is so volatile a subject in the minds of a great many people — in part because of the abuses and manipulations of some Christians in leadership who have defrauded and taken advantage of people’s generosity for their selfish desires to be rich and lord over others by their wealth and power.

But, for the great majority of those who serve, our only desire is to be as best equipped as we can be to be the most effective in being a blessing to the Body of Christ and most importantly glorifying the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So, with humility and a sense of being obedient to the economy that God has established for His people, I am asking you, as you are doing your year-end giving to think of those faithful servants in ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and as God has blessed you that you send a blessing to them to help to meet their needs and provide for their families.

I also ask you to prayerfully consider giving an offering as you are able to Joseph Bias Ministries You may do so online at our website,

www.josephbiasministries.org

or by check to:

Joseph Bias Ministries, P.O. Box 52355, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74125.

Thank for your prayers and support.

I will be taking a little time to rest over the next few days, so I will not be posting a devotional until this weekend.

The blessings, peace, joy, health, comfort, prosperity, wisdom and understanding of God our Father, Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord and the Holy Spirit abound to you now in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever, Amen

#Giving

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