Since you excel in so many ways- in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us- I want you to excel also in this gracious gift of giving.
Paul is encouraging the churches to raise funds to help the church in Jerusalem. He points out that the church in Corinth excels in all kinds of ways (although he might be being a little sarcastic here) and now they need to add to that list by excelling in the gracious gift of giving.
Christ was generous to us, giving up all He had for our sake. So the Corinthians should now imitate Him by finishing what they started the year before. They were eager to help in the past and should once again be eager to give.
To be vibrant and growing, a church must develop a culture of giving. I know of congregations that are focused on their own needs. While they seem to thrive in the short term, they eventually grow stale and decline because they have not learned to give generously as Christ did.
The Bible teaches that there are four main responsibilities for churches to steward their finances:
ministers, pastors and teachers must be supported
the needs of the poor in the congregation must be met
local mission and evangelism
mission beyond the local area
If we fail to adequately address these responsibilities, either corporately or individually, we fail to imitate Christ.
Churches and individual believers who learn to live lives of generous giving become strong in other areas of their lives also.
It is not about the money but about the attitude that we have towards money. We must always remember that everything that we have is the Lord’s to use through us.
Take my life and my possessions to be used entirely for you Lord. Amen.
“Why were you not afraid to kill the Lord’s anointed one?” David asked.
An Amalekite comes to David with Saul’s crown and armband. He tells David that Saul and Jonathan are dead. He found Saul fatally wounded and killed him at Saul’s request.
David is mortified when he hears this news. He and his men weep all day for Saul and Jonathan.
David asks the man, “Why were you nt afraid to kill the Lord’s anointed one?” He then has the man killed.
Despite years of running from Saul, David was grieved by Saul’s death. He asked the Amalekite twice, “Why were you not afraid to kill the Lord’s anointed one?”
This verse is often used as a justification for some high profile ministers to be above any form of accountability. “You must not touch the Lord’s anointed,” they say. They then are allowed to commit all kinds of sins of greed, sexual immorality and arrogance.
In the other hand, some ministers seem to be hamstrung by people who think it is their job to humiliate, criticise and judge them.
So how do we rightly interpret this verse? We should start by noting that even though Saul was sinful and out of God’s will, to the point that the Lord had removed His Spirit from him, David refused to kill him, and refused to rejoice in his death.
When we become aware of a preacher’s sins we should first confront him alone and plead for him to repent. If they refuse to repent, we should withdraw from their influence, possibly changing churches. We should continue to pray for him, honour and respect him and allow God’s judgement to work its ways.
Finally, we should never rejoice in the fall of a minister, because that is always a victory for the enemy and a wound to the Kingdom of God.
Lord I pray for all ministers whom I know. Please protect them from the wily temptations of the Evil One. May they remain in your anointing and in the path of holiness. Amen.