The Pilgrim Path (4-17-2020)
The Pilgrim Path---II Corinthians 9: 6--15
THANK YOU FOR GIVING to advance Christ's Kingdom through the Church---for blessing your neighbor---for performing deeds of mercy in Jesus' Name...
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, "He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
From Rev. Stephen T. Um: Paul is careful to ground his call for Christian obedience in the grace that we have been given in Christ. Obedience is an attempt to express our gratitude for the in expressible gift that we have received (15). Our abounding good works flow out of Christ's abounding grace (8). The distribution of our resources flows out of his free distribution (9). We supply others because he has supplied us with a multitude of blessings (10). Yes, there is a sense in which all of this is submission, but it is a submission to an authority of grace---a compulsion of responsive love...
---God has been incredibly good to us. You consider that just over 22 million people have filed "first time" unemployment claims in the last month---Aren't you fortunate? This is not "happenstance" you know... Some 30,000 deaths due to COVID-19...The LORD must have you here--- for a reason...puts matters into perspective...
---God loves a "cheerful giver"---why, yes He does...He is watching to "see" what you are going "to do" with His money---time & talents--- He has given you
---"God has a bigger shovel"--- was Spurgeon's attitude. Spurgeon did not "give to get"--- but he knew he could not "out-give" the Lord God Almighty
---God "rewards" what we "give" in secret (Matthew 6:1-4). It may not always be "in kind"---but it will be the "kind" of reward that will bless your soul and enable you to carry on your labors for Him.
---God will make you "more and more glad"---for the opportunity to give---because He's given you so much---in so many ways...
---God will make you more and more grateful---and you will find "joy" in "seeing" what good is done in Jesus' Name ---as you give...Perhaps you remember my mentioning a deacon in the first PCA church---in which my wife and I were a part? Mr. Clark---he was also the Presbytery Treasurer and the owner of a CPA firm. He purposely drove cars "longer"---so he could give "more" to missions (I figured this out---and he drove those cars into the ground). He also "brown-bagged" lunch virtually everyday---so he could save the money (I figured it out---and give to missions). Well, you might think he was radical---he was, and he loved the souls of men...the "next" world was very important to him...
From John Bunyan: The greatness of the soul is manifest by the greatness of the price paid for it to make it and heir of glory: his precious blood (I Peter 1: 18, 19). We esteem things according to the price paid for them. The soul has been purchased by a price that the Son and wisdom of God thought appropriate to pay for its redemption. What a thing, then, must be the soul!
C. S. Lewis---If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditures excludes them...Mere Christianity, Bk III, ch. 3
Take my life and let it be
Consecrated, Lord to Thee;
Take my moments and my days---
Let them flow in ceaseless praise
Let them flow in ceaseless praise
Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)
Grace & Peace in Jesus Our Lord, Pastor Jason