Providing things good in the sight of God and also man
2 Corinthians 8:21 -
Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
One of the greatest reasons why our Church suffers is because people do not grow more than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord also says, "my people are destroyed due to lack of knowledge".
Last Sunday I was teaching on Acts 20 at my Bible class and that chapter gives a very beautiful picture to understand today's message.
Gospel means Good News and here in this chapter the Gospel is very simply defined as 'repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ'. It means to believe in the salvation made available through Jesus Christ, but to know the value of this salvation we need to first know who we are (sinners) and that God hates sin and thus as sinners we are punished and will perish.
To give the Gospel one needs anything from a few minutes to a few hours, max a few days. But here we read Paul spent almost 3 years in Asia (a region in ancient Europe & East Europe). These 3 years surely Paul was not teaching them just the Gospel. We read later Paul was worried knowing that on his leaving some people he calls 'savage wolves' would come to deceive them with perverse teachings so as to draw them away from the Truth and thus cause them to perish. He says not only people from outside but people from within them will deceive them with things of the flesh. But Paul says he was satisfied for these 3 years he did teach them with great pain on how to discern the good from the bad and right from the wrong.
We also read Paul did not teach them everything but all that was necessary for he later says if they fall even after this, their blood would not be on his hands for all that was necessary was taught to them.
In our Churches we are all given the Gospel of Jesus Christ but very few Churches teach its congregation to discern. They are not taught to discern right from wrong and good from bad. It is when people are taught to discern and when they exercise discernment that they grow and mature as Christians.
When you hear great famous preachers preaching, one who has good knowledge and understanding of scriptures see them get away with murder in broad day light. The crowd is so mesmerised with the show put around these preachers or people are blinded with one point how to receive their blessing or their healing that they do not see anything else. They follow the preacher like cattle.
Most preachers bring people to God but do not strengthen them sufficient that they remain in God. What is worse, the preachers themselves are not spiritually strong enough to remain in God that is why sometimes we see even great preachers fall to deceit of other religions, or the most common one they fall for is the things of the flesh. They become famous more because of their gifts not because of their spiritual maturity or understanding of Heavenly things.
We who are ministering to others are not called to hit people with the Bible, nor called to just give track sheets, a flyer of the Good News. We are called not only to bring people to God by giving the Gospel but also build them such that they remain in God. To do the later we need to make sure after they accept the Gospel, they are baptized in the Holy Spirit and the foundation of the Word of God and basic understanding of the Kingdom of God is clear.
Whatever we teach should be good not only to man but also according to God.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, we pray those who have taken up your burden to give your salvation unto man do not stop at just giving the Gospel, that they baptize them in the Father (baptism of repentance), in the Son (baptism of faith) and the Holy Spirit (baptism of the Holy Spirit) and then teach them. Your burden is heavy for them because they do not follow your guidelines or your Spirit. Lord, we pray your Church grows strong in knowledge and understanding and learns to discern...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference ]
2 Corinthians 8:16-21
16 But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.
17 For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you.
18 And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;
19 And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:
20 Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us:
21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
Matthew 28:19 - Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit:
Acts 20:18-21, 26-32
18 And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,
19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:
20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house,
21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.
27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
32 And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.
Hosea 4:6a - My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge,
Hebrews 5:14 - But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
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