Table of Contents
EXTRACTS ON CHRISTIAN STEWARDSHIP TO GOD – PART 4
(HOW SHOULD WE GIVE TO GOD)
BY PASTOR MENSAH OTABIL
There are Seven (7) Characteristics that we see about the Macedonian Churches:
And the Text is 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 – I am going to focus my Teaching today on this Passage.
Let me give a background to this: The Early Church as you know, started in Jerusalem. But Pretty soon, the Church moved away from Jerusalem – When it was in Jerusalem it was all Jews.
Because Jesus was not a Jew, His early Disciples were Jews. But as the Gospel spread, it went to Samaria, and it went to a Place called Antioch.
In Antioch a New Mission started for the Church, led by Apostle Paul and Barnabas.
The Ministry of Paul and Barnabas was taking the Gospel beyond the Jews to a Non-Jewish world.
And so it went to the Gentile world. Places like Philippi and Colosea – And all of these Places heard the Gospel.
But then, a Problem developed; because the Jews felt the Non-Jews were not Proper Christians. They felt that to be a Proper Christian, you have to be circumcised as Jews, before you become a Christian.
So there was a big gap between the Christian Church of the Jews and the Christian Church of the Non-Jews (The Gentiles). So at that time something happened – There was a very big famine.
And in that famine, there was scarcity and the Church in Jerusalem was affected. That the Jewish Church was in need. People were dying in Jerusalem, because of famine.
And so Paul who was leading the Non-Jewish Churches, decided that, in order to bridge the gap between the Jewish Church and the Non-Jewish Church – the Non-Jewish People should raise an offering to go and give to their Jewish Brethren, to show the love they have for them.
This was the important Assignment that Paul had.
So he told all the Non-Jewish Churches to raise money because they were taking it to Jerusalem.
As it happens all the time; some Churches gave, other Churches did not Give.
And in this instance, Paul is writing to the Church in Corinth – A highly Spiritual Church but a very Stingy Church.
They are very Spiritual but doesn’t Give.
Paul is writing to them to emulate the example of the Churches in Macedonia – The Churches in Macedonia were Churches like the Philippi, the Thessalonica and the Church in Berea.
These were the Macedonian area. And Paul is telling them: You People in Corinth, you speak in Tongues more than everybody, you Pray hard and you operate in the Gifts of the Spirit. You are Prophesying everyday in Church but you don’t Give!
With that background, let us read what he says in 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 (NKJV):
1 Moreover, Brethren, we make known to you the Grace of God bestowed on the Churches of Macedonia:
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2 That in a Great trial of affliction the Abundance of their joy and their deep Poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.
3 For I bear Witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely Willing,
4 Imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the Gift and the Fellowship of the Ministering to the Saints.
5 And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the Will of God.
… Paul is talking about the Macedonian Churches ànd their example of Giving.
1. Giving our Heart to the Lord.
2. We understand Giving when we commit ourselves to God’s work.
If all you do is: Go to Church, listen to the Pastor, say Amen I receive it and go home; then your Giving will also be Limited.
The Macedonian Churches saw the Money they were raising for Jerusalem Church as Ministry and that is why they gave.
3. We Practice Giving when we Give Faithful according to our Ability.
That means they gave based on what they are able to; according to what they had. And that is how consistent Giving starts – You Give according to your Ability.
4. We grow our Giving when we give beyons Ourselves.
Paul says about the Macedonian Churches, that they gave according to their Ability, and beyond their Ability – They gave of their Time, gave of their Talents and Treasures to God.
5. We rise above our Poverty when we Give regardless of our Needs.
When it comes to Giving, God does not watch what you do when you have Abundance. He watches what you do when you have Nothing.
6. We Excel in Giving when we operate through the Grace of Giving, working in us.
So Giving is a Gift. It is apparent that the Macedonian Churches has the Gift of Giving upon the whole Church.
Every Christian has an Obligation to Give to Support the work of God. And also to support those who are in Need. That is what we do when we give our Offerings, first fruit, Alms, and so on.
However, there are Christians who have the Gift of Giving, they have the Grace of Giving and sometimes we call such People, Kingdom Financiers. They have the Grace of Giving and they do things that are Big and Mind bugging.
7. We enjoy God’s continuous Supply when we Give Willingly and Cheerfully.