August 25, 2018
THE GRACE OF GIVING
Ironically, the church in Corinth, one of the most wealthy among the 1st Century churches, was the one that Paul had to do the most teaching on generosity. In the poorer churches, like the churches in Macedonia, it seemed giving came easily. They gave with such generosity that Paul was astounded, because they gave “beyond their ability” (2 Cor. 8:3) and this, with great joy and willingness. Yet, even in Paul’s second letter to the well-to-do believers in Corinth, it is obvious that they still weren’t living with generosity.
Notice Paul’s helpful instruction, he taught them…
1) When to give: every Sunday “first day”
2) Who should give: every member “you should each”
3) How much to give: a portion based on your earnings
Corinth was wealthy in every way except in generosity. They abounded in “everything–– in faith, in speech, in knowledge” (2 Cor. 8:7), yet Paul would have them abound in the grace of giving.
August 25, 2016
The apostle Paul closed his epistle to the Corinthians with five instructions for men that are more than applicable today.
1) “Be watchful.” – Be vigilant, stay awake, stand guard. You are built to be a protector. Protect your families, churches, and neighborhoods.
2) “Stand firm in the faith.” – Persevere and grow in faith. Know and stand fast in the Word. Be spiritual leaders who never give up.
3) “Act like men.” – This is a call to biblical masculinity. Grow up. Stop acting like little boys still playing with their toys. Real men are like trucks. They run better when carrying a load. Take responsibility. Work. Sacrifice. Endure pain without complaint. Serve.
4) “Be strong” – Grow strong. Exercise your body and mind to be strengthened for defense of your family and faith. Be courageous. Gain mastery over your appetites and desires, so that you have self-control.
5) “Love” – Let love be the motive for all action. This is “agape” love, which is sacrificial and unconditional. Be full of passion and fire for God and for others. Answer the call to be a man of God with great passion and enthusiasm. Put away passivity. Love!
August 25, 2015
From verse 8 it appears that Paul was living in Ephesus when he wrote his first letter to the Corinthians. Ephesus was one of the great cities in the Roman empire located on the Mediterranean coast of Asia Minor in the country we now know as Turkey. Paul stayed in Ephesus for an extended period of time and found the city to be an “open door” for the gospel, not only for its citizens, but also as a hub of ministry in reaching those in the surrounding cities. Yet, wherever there are people coming to Christ and getting saved, there is also increased activity by the Adversary, the devil. So, Paul planned to “tarry” in Ephesus as long as the gospel door was open, knowing that such “doors” do not stay open forever. There is an urgency to such opportunities that Paul recognized. Are we looking for such open door opportunities in our world today?
August 25, 2014
As Paul closed his letter to the Corinthians, he reminded them of many people who had served them in the church. As he listed several of these Christian workers by name, he encouraged the believers at Corinth to willingly submit to their leadership and to show them appropriate appreciation for their hard work. One of the marks of the body of Christ is that we are not to look down on those who serve among us. Instead, we are to applaud their service. Who is someone that serves in your life that deserves your appreciation today?