Oh that the church would “listen” to the “word” of God and the message of “Godliness with contentment IS great gain!” ;As Paul taught (1Tim 6:5-8), as much as the church spends time listening to “teachers” who say you should be giving “to get” so “you” can look better as child of God;
Lets see of the 11 remaining Apostles who God started the church with in Acts… not one EVER taught “give” to get wealth….and NONE of them died rich in worlds wealth, and ALL endured hardship and trials…..And they were disciples exactly like us! ……. What? They died broke or in jail! But? …Read YOUR New Testament.
But I can see all were glad and joyful that the Lord had allowed them to be chosen for the journey, of walking with Christ, as led by His Spirit! And so they rejoiced… even in their suffering and trails. (James 1:2), and yet through out their walk with Christ, they always seem to be given enough for their “basic” needs to live for God another day to glorify Him.
And Paul was an apostle too, and Paul said… Rom5:3-5Nasb-” And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” ….
And notice Paul who wrote most of New Testament! ALSO endured going without much stuff at times, and without complaint..and “by the Holy Ghost” Paul taught the “church” to be willing to do same! Never do you see Paul teach, try to manipulate God (by faith?) for personal gain… NEVER did Paul say send me “seed” money now, to get your special blessing today;
Nor did Paul teach that you need to have more wealth because “you” must give a better appearance to the world of being a child of God, so you glorify our King of Kings as a “Kings kid”, or maybe you lack faith? ….That really is manipulation of you! … But Paul did write THIS in Corinthians for all to see the truth, and see “reality”….
1Cor4:10-16Nasb- “To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless; 12 and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure; 13 when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now. 14 I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15 For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16 Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me. “…. That IS what the “word” says I quoted it! Imitate him…Like that? Yes, even when life is real…Paul was just keeping it real…(By Holy Spirit.)
So if the “word” does not agree with the many teachers “tutors” as Paul said… The teaching is NOT from God your Father….So then are “you” really following God’s word? …. Think on it.
So am I saying do nothing?…No! I am saying follow closely the “path”, the way of Jesus, who always imitated the Father! (John 8;28-29)… and imitate “follow” Christ as the word says… and then you will also have ALL you need to glorify God your Father today… As God determines it, “when” He determines it…. And if you follow Him closely then great success will come in His time… As God measures success …not like the world does by there “stuff.”
But you may need to also be like Paul and endure the present time “hour”. …and stay in the “path” seeking first the Kingdom of God (Mat 6:33) it says then ALL shall be added to you! And that agrees with…
Psalm65:11-“You have crowned the year with Your bounty,
And Your “paths” drip with fatness.”….
Stay IN the path God placed you!
To follow Him…IN His footsteps! And plenty “abundance” will come….
God always “rewards” blesses, obedience and faithfulness to His word…. not the outward “act” of giving a certain amount.
Yes I believe God has established the tithe to the “church” that storehouse YOU are to be planted in ( Malachi 3:10, Mat 23:23 ), but it is the “faithfulness” God is looking for in ALL things….Imitating Him! (Eph 5:1) He is always faithful!…But He also wants you to be “content” with ALL His decisions, as everyone has different place in the body…a planned purpose to fulfil. (Eph 2:10)….And preparation, like child “learning” how to walk has NO short cuts. .. If Faithful in little…then faithful in much!
God never changes…. His word never changes…. so better know His word, if you really want to know that it is God’s word they are teaching you! Or you may get lead down path of error and into doubting God! … Only the god of this world “who is the devil” wants that ! Devil wants to steal or kill your faith… But God always encourages faith with His faithfulness! …But YOU must know His word… Where faith comes from! (Rom 10:17);
Like Isaac who planted in a place of famine and received hundred fold harvest! …. Nope he did not manipulate God….And God did NOT say show me the money!
Isaac just listened and obeyed, as was TOLD by God to STAY in that land of “FAMINE!”…Stay where? Yep! (Gen 26:2-12) And God said He would THEN bless Him there . … So he “WORKED” there as TOLD…. “obedience” he stayed, and he “planted” like any farmer would do.who was just told by God to stay there notice says “temporarily” with his family! … But long enough he had to work and plant.
He believed God’s word to HIM that he would be blessed there IN the land of famine!! That is faith trusting God said to you in THAT situation…hearing it said to you…and doing it because God said to do so! ….Trusting God’s faithfulness!
And notice when you listen to God…and hear His voice clearly….THEN you will also know…where, when and what to plant! Like Isaac did… And why He gave it to you to do. It’s in the word! (Gen12:2)… ONLY blessed to be a blessing …And so I NOW see the apostles “teaching” created this response in Acts…2:45Nasb-“and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.” …
That does not seem like the “church” believers were ever concerned with “personal image or appearances”…. Except in one case… do not have even the appearance of evil! …Not to appear like the world looks! Not conformed to world! (Rom 12:2-3)… But to
1Thess 5:18-22Kjv-.18 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 19 Quench not the Spirit.20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.” .. Think on it! And what God tells you to do…like Isaac is always retuned exceedingly abundantly above all you can ask or think! (Eph 3:20)… Because of that power “working” through you!
With God there are NO short cuts, but NEVER any dead ends! ….
Clearly follow the narrow road….stay IN the light! Pastor Ernie