Personal Touch

“Now concerning the collection for the saints,
as I have given order to the churches of Galatia,
even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let
everyone of you lay by him in store, as God hath
prospered him, that there be no gatherings when
I come.”      I Corinthians 16:1,2.

The book of I Corinthians has marvelous comments about what Paul thought of various people that were in the church at Corinth.  Even though as was written by this author, this group had trouble from its inception. Yet one remark could be written that Paul made the comment about what he thought about them because this Apostle to Gentiles called them “Saints”.

How could such a personal letter be so instructive to we Christians in this year? It is a letter that tells we Christians of the circumstances that is in our life today. No doubt the remarks that Paul made were not brought to be mean- spirited; but to assist people to be closer to the Lord, God also. When reading this chapter of I Corinthians remember Paul was teaching, admonishing and instructing the babes in the New Covenant.

One should not be critical to comment upon what people say about situations they know nothing about. The fact of the matter is that Paul had started the church after he was “kicked out” of the synagogue in Corinth.  The book of Acts said he went down the street and delivered the message to the gentiles according to Acts 18:6.

“And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment.
and said unto them, your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from
henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.”

COMMERCIAL CHRISTMAS

The season we refer to from Thanksgiving to Christmas is such a farce now that to be called a celebration of the birth of the Christ child is without a doubt such a contrived time for glittery, falsehood, and money instilled ideas that it makes me shake my head in astonishment.

The use of the month of December is basically how we can put cash to the non-profit corporations that know money must come in fo these 501(c)(3) to survive for another year. Most retail merchants know that in some cases 20% to 25% of the gross incomes is in this 30-day period that is from Thanksgiving to Christmas. This is the reason the Christmas jingles start earlier each year. Then watch how people love to have tote bags as they go down the street from door to door of retail establishments. Store hours are longer and longer and in some cases the store hours are extended to 15 or 16 hours.  The truth is Christ seldom is part of these holidays.

Paul the Apostle did not believe the celebration days of  christianity were for a money-making arrangement for merchants.

This man of God said this was a day of celebration that was used for remembering not a birthday – but a celebration of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus from the tomb. It is Sunday each week the observance was so simple. You can read about it at I Corinthians 16:2.

“Upon the first day of the week let everyone of you lay by him in store,
as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”

Christians meet always on this day because we know from the beginning Sunday was the day they meet. Another reference is found in Acts 20: 7.

“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to
break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and
continued his speech until midnight.”

Another reason is told to us because the money was brought there for the support of fellow christian mission work and the support of various prospects.

At one time a collection was made for the church at Jerusalem which was having a problem due to a drought. It was not for outsiders but for the saints only. Paul was a responsible man whose words warned about the results. If some one wanted to go with him to Jerusalem the invitation was open according to I Corinthians 16:4.

“And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.”

PLAN

When we read scripture it is easily seen there were ploys given by God but also God told the disciples to have a strategy that would work as a means to carry out God’s will. Notice how Paul gave to us this idea as he writes what he would do. This is set forth in I Corinthians 16:5,6.

“Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I
do pass through Macedonia. And it may be that I will abide, yea, and
winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go.”

So many people as well as Christians have no road map from day to day.

They live, eat and breathe and die as if that is all there is. These people act out Christmas the same way – eat, breath and live without making any contribution to God’s work in their lives.

When God’s will is not taken seriously and is not accepted and acted upon then a word describers what happens it is “blowback”. This is a result that comes from acts. When christians act like worldlings and do not demand respect from the non-Christians then finally a time of return happens. In short, a payment is made what has happened. The word “ blow back” refers to the unintended consequences. Paul did not let chance rule the way he lived.

STRENGTH

This man had been given the mental ability to see a situation the way it was. This is a talent few possess. When reading I Corinthians 16:8,9, he saw how the struggle would start. However, the man was not a coward – since he was willing to fight the adversaries. There is a saying in the army that is ride to the sound of the guns. He fought.

“But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great door and effectual
is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.”

When Paul could not go himself; what he did was to send men who acted out their beliefs in Christ. Two men were set forth in this as was in total I Corinthians 16:10-12.

“Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear; for he
worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do. Let no man therefore despise
him; but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: for I look
for him with the brethren. As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired
him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at
this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.”

Timothy we do know, but not much about but this man Apollos who is not a familiar character in the New Testament.

POWERFUL WORDS

There are words which move men to act and these experiences brings forth to those who read and utter them in fact some last for ages since people never tire from them because these grip the heart and souls of men. The text has such a group in the sentence which is found in I Corinthians 16:13-14.

“Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your
things be done with charity.”

Yes, these few remarks are instructive for people today as much as comments to the people of Corinth. The reason is the verses tell us how we are to conduct ourselves in every situation as a Christian. There are no exceptions.

First, the phrase “watch ye” sets out the way we look at the surroundings. This calls for a keen sharp mind that notices events. Nothing should be overlooked. This is what an entrepreneur does. He or she sees the future and then seeks a solution.

The Christians must have their mind set to look, observe, and see reality because most people will not do this. However people notice.

A Quaker farmer, Isaac Potts, saw George Washington on his knees in prayer in the snow at Valley Forge. The commander could be seen praying during this cold winter of 1776-1777.  People were watching.

Second, is the group of words “stand fast in the faith” that Paul wrote was to be the result of a Christian’s life. This has been a serious problem which plagues Christians today. One example is how supposed believers flit from one church to another and are not committed to the Word of God. It generally is based upon the personality of the minister or priest who they believe and follow.

Also the inability to reason from the scripture and that allows Christians to go after any factor in politics, economics or fad that some characters espouses.

Third, the phrase, “quit you like men be strong” is powerful. What this is to be referred to the military since once the engagement starts  – never retreat. The Roman soldier had no armor for his back. The reason was obvious that when your back is shown to the enemy there is no protection.

As a christian we must act as strong people. The muslims will seek to obliterate we christians.

Obviously, the physical attack has all ready started to destroy us since we know the leftist muslim-leaning occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will do nothing to defend believers in Christ. We must not be doormats for anyone.

In Matthew 24:42, Christ told the disciples to look around for signs of the times.

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.”

The translation of the New Testament interchanges clarity for the word love but the Greek meaning of the clarity in I Corinthians 16:14 means benevolent love. The Greek word is agape what it states is we can show intelligent good will to other people.

“Let all things be done with charity”.

The church of today has become an institution rather than an evangelistic method of taking the Gospel to the world in one sense is declining but God forbid that this analysis is correct.

Paul states that the people who profess Christ remain strong.

Keep the faith!

 

ALL FOR JESUS

“All for Jesus! All for Jesus!
All my being’s ransomed pow’rs;
All my thoughts and words and doings,
All my days and all my hours.
All for Jesus! All for Jesus!
Let my hands perform his bidding;
Let my feet run in His ways;
Let mine eyes see Jesus only;
Let my lips speak forth His praise,
All for Jesus! All for Jesus!
Let my lips speak forth His praise.”

By:  MARY DAGWORTHY JAMES

 

 

Gerald Fugit

December 20, 2015
www.diggingoldwells.com

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