Sunday, 25 April 2021
Luke 16 : 10 – 12 “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?”
( For the context read the parable of the dishonest manager or unrighteous steward from verses 1 to 9 )
After giving the parable of the dishonest manager, which has to do with money, Jesus said, “ One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” He goes on to show that the “little thing” is our use of “unrighteous wealth,” or money. If we are faithful in how we use our money to advance His kingdom, the Lord will then entrust “true riches” to us (16:11) which, in the context, are souls. If we want God to entrust us with souls, we begin by proving our faithfulness in what to us is a “big thing,” but to God is a “little thing,” the use of our money. That’s His test. So financial faithfulness, which not only includes giving, but also how we manage all the material goods God has entrusted to us (earnings, spending, savings), should be one of the first lessons we learn in our Christian journey.
Does God need our material offerings ?
Acts 17 : 24 – 25 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” Those words from the Apostle Paul as He proclaimed the gospel on the Areopagus to unbelievers have application to Christians as well. God has NO need of anything from His creatures; the gifts He gives to His people are not for His benefit (see 1 Cor. 12). Yes, we serve Him by exercising our gifts in the context of the church, but not because the Lord lacks anything.
God may not need our gifts, but our fellow Christians do. Truthfully, we need one another. What we lack in ourselves, God helps to provide through the service that other Christians render with their spiritual gifts. But we need to serve others as well, for our gifts and graces are the means by which the Lord provides what others in the church may lack. We are all in this together. Together we give and receive doctrinal instruction so that we may advance to maturity (Eph. 4:11–14). Together we serve and are served by one another so that the body is complete, possessing everything it needs for health and growth (1 Cor. 12). Ultimately, “when each part is working properly” the body of Christ grows so that it builds itself up in love (Eph. 4:15–16).
Love is the greatest Christian virtue (1 Cor. 13:13). If we have been granted God’s love, we must and will shower that love on others. We love other believers in the context of the church, helping to meet their needs, serving one another after the model of Christ. If we are not looking for ways to love and serve other believers, meeting their needs as we are able, we are not fulfilling God’s purpose for His church.
Paul commends the Philippian church by reminding them of how, at the first preaching of the gospel, after he departed from their region (Macedonia), they shared with him in the matter of giving and receiving (Philippians 4:15-16). At that point, they were the only church that took the initiative to send support to Paul. Even when he was still in Macedonia, more than once they sent gifts to him.
I read about a primitive tribe located in the South American jungles. The most important role within the tribe was the “keeper of the flame.” Fire is a precious commodity to this tribe, and one person in the tribe is entrusted with the responsibility of keeping the flame alive. During the night, the flame-keeper adds wood to the fire. His task is vital.
As we give financially to the Lord’s work, we become keepers of the flame. We help to spread the gospel message – the more substantive need of those who do not yet know the joy of salvation which is available only through and in Christ. As we focus on the needs of others, and give to help meet those needs, we experience joy. Giving revives our concern for people. We meet people’s needs. We assist people in growing spiritually. We enable our church to shine as God’s light in the world. Such privileges fill our hearts with joy.
Thank God for His greatest gift to us – His Son.
May the Holy Spirit guide and move us to be ever faithful to actively participate and ever increasingly give from the blessings we have – all of which comes from God .
May the church leaders use givings to the church wisely, prayerfully and responsibly for the glory of God.
创造宇宙和其中万物的神，既是天地的主，就不住人手所造的殿， 25 也不用人手服侍，好像缺少什么，自己倒将生命、气息、万物赐给万人。
当我们在经济上支持主的工作时，我们就成为了一个“火焰守护者”。我们帮助传播福音的信息 ， 特别是那些还不了解救赎之乐的人的更实质性的需要，只有在基督里才能得到。当我们专注于及满足他人的需求时并给予帮助时，我们会感到快乐。施予能重振我们对人的关心。我们满足人们的需求时， 我们也是协助人们在灵命上成长。那样我们的教会就像上帝在世上的光一样照亮。这样的特权使我们心中充满喜悦。
感谢上帝赐给我们最大的礼物 – 祂的儿子。愿圣灵引导和促使我们永远忠实地积极参与，在上帝的爱护中不断奉献，因为所有的福气都是从上帝而来。愿教会的长老及领导者能够明智、虔诚和负责任地使用教会的奉献，以荣耀神。奉我主耶稣的名祈求的，阿们！