Rules To Remember

“Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace
of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How
that in a great trail of affliction the abundance of their
joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the
riches of their liberality.”    II Corinthians 8:1-2.

There are some who bring to others a sense of well being. Paul when he wrote the second letter to the church at Corinth told about such a person who was pleasant to be around but he also made it a point to bring good tidings. This eighth chapter of II Corinthians tells of such a man in Paul’s life.

What Paul the Apostle to the Gentiles was stating to this church at Corinth was to look what Titus was like.  This is a marvelous attribute possessed by Titus. He could have been a person who only spoke in negative terms towards this commercial city of Corinth. The New Testament did not state that Corinth was financially a strong city; but, it must have been – because of its location.

For all phases of our lives, there are people who by their actions help us to see the positive sides of our lives and also what other people are like.

CREDIT: DDayPiperBillMillin.com

CREDIT: DDayPiperBillMillin.com

On June 6, 1944, the allies invaded the continent of Europe in several places. The British were to storm the shore at a beach that had been given the name of Sword. The Americans had a sector – as well as the French and the Canadians. In the British area, a bagpiper was told to go ashore and play the pipes as the British landed.

His name was William “Bill” Millin. Even though he did not want to go, he was commanded to do so.  The piper played Scottish tunes on the pipes much to the utter amusement of the German soldiers. Later the German snipers said that, Piper Millin could have been shot by these German soldiers. He was not. These men indicated they respected his bravery and power of encouragement to other British soldiers. Piper Millin went through WWII. The bagpipe that he used is in a museum in Belgium.

Titus fit into the description of a person who gave a positive attitude during a period of tribulation. We need that kind of attitude in our life also.

The church in Macedonia was poor but the sacrifice and giving was a part of their personality. It was in Macedonia that the first christian church was started in Europe. All of this is covered in  Acts 16:9-10.

“And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; there stood a man
of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, come over to Macedonia,
and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we
endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the
lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.”

Paul had a vested interest in how this poor church carried out the Gospel. Look around you and observe how self-centered churches are in the United States. The constructions of buildings or paying a big salary are the driving forces of the congregations.

GIVING A TRAIT

We are not certain whether the groups of churches in Macedonia group or whether it was just one congregation that took up a special collection or not. It seems the collection was from several churches that were located in Macedonia. The letter to Corinth does not explain this to readers. This we do know: these economically poor people wanted to be counted as having given for the gospel being spread.

Paul states that the first act from the church in Macedonia was to give of themselves to God and then to do the will of the Lord.  We Christians should not act in a self-serving way. God is first, then – the world is second.

The first and foremost gift is for a Christian to not follow what a worldling would do.

Our training is not this. Self before others is a way of life in our culture. One can see it every Sunday morning as I take the Lord’s Supper to a nursing home for the aged, disabled and crippled. The cars by the hundreds are still sitting in the parking lot of the apartments. On any given Sunday few people are stirring, and if they are it is to take a child to a soccer match.

It is a priority to know what should be done: to drive the child to soccer games – or – to Sunday school. In the long run the decision will nearly always be a physical contest.

What is so unique with the Macedonian church was that these believers were begging to be a part in this means of spreading the gospel. This is almost unbelievable. See II Corinthians 8:4-5.

“Praying us with much entreaty that we would receive
the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering
to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first
gave their own selves to the lord, and unto us by the will of God.”

No one ever expected this response.

In the modern church, I personally never have read have heard or understood a church to give.  Most of the time the opposite is true.  Whoever wants support must ask for the benefit to spread the gospel. Paul knew the power of these Corinthians in faith, in utterance in knowledge, in earnestness, and in love,  But there was a special gift for this church to have, which was in giving. Do not let any church put you on a guilt trip.

The problem with most churches is that the membership has never been told how to give for the spreading of the Gospel. Yet Paul encouraged the church to do just this. The progressives or – as I call them – liberals, can only tell us to spend money for people who are economically lower than we are. What is attempted is a guilt trip for we believers. As the saying goes, “I ain’t going on that trip.”

Jesus always asked anyone who was to receive a gift that first the recipient had to act. He did not just give.

TIMES HAVE CHANGED

When Master Luther instigated the Protestant Reformation, which in the beginning was not his intention he was critical of the church preaching that salvation created by works. The Roman Catholic Church held that it was works which saved us. Luther read that the “Just shall live by faith”.  At first, the Protestants’ Reformation preached and taught the “just live by” faith, however through the centuries Protestants have now been wedded to the doctrine of works. This is wrong.

All one has to do is to watch the preachers and pastors in action. The doctrine of works is very prevalent among churches now it is the sign of true Christianity. The following are some examples of words that can override faith:

We must have a big building.
• We must have a huge staff who service certain segments and entitlements.
• We must have teachers who only teach the Social Gospel.
• We must help people at Christmas.
• We must have a huge budget.
• We seek only people of our social class as Christian believers.
• We must say we are only Christians but send our children secular schools.
• We must only give to the church in lump sums.
• We must not let others know that the public school is an atheistic institution.

Once faith was a dominant theme.

 Now it is relegated to the back burner.


From all appearances Paul wrote to the church at Corinth that examples are to be followed when given in the Holy Scriptures. Everyone of these parables of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were taught by Jesus to illustrate that when we read these cryptic remarks that Jesus was saying when you find yourself in these situations this is how you should act. Paul in II Corinthians 8:6-10 tells us this:

“Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he
would also finish in you the same grace also. Therefore, as ye
abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge,
and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in
this love also. I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the
fowardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.”

This man of God says this is not a command but it should be acted upon out of love because each one of us should live by Christ’s examples.

Here is the thought; follow Christ.


MANNER OF GIVING

The basic fundamental concept of giving is never on the amount. A person donates to the body Christ. If it is not the amount then what is the rule? We must compare our actions to what Christ granted to us when he descended to the earth as a man. Christ set the example what we must do. It has to do with what we possess and then how we sacrifice for him as our present. Remember, Christ gave up the glories of heaven with God to this cesspool of corruption called earth.

When the true motive is there then even though there seems to be little life a blessing will come. See II Corinthians 8:11-15 teaches this:

Now, therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a
readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of
that which ye have. For if there be first a willing mind, it is
accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to
that he hath not. For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye
burdened: But by an equality, that now at this time your
abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance
may also be a supply for your want: that their may be an equality:
As it is written, he that had gathered much had nothing over; and
he that had gathered little had no lack.”

Few people accept this fact.

TECHNIQUE TO BE USED

The United Sates Army taught me in advanced infantry training but my family never used the word and it was not ever used in school. The word was reconnoiters. The man was to reconnoiter with eyes to see a situation. This was the plan used. He sent a brother to see what was happening in Corinth. He wanted to see what had happened. There was one exception to this and it happened he preached to the Athenians. The rule was simple from the first –  to see what was going to be.

There was a time when military first started this; and then it was the individual, then it was the person on horseback.  After that the act was done by airplanes but now – the satellite tells the story.

Paul sent Titus. He returned. See II Corinthians 8:16-19.

“But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into
the heart of Titus for you. For indeed he accepted the exhortation;
but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you. And
we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel
throughout all the churches; 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.”

When growing up, my father taught me not to believe what the government says.  The best people to believe are the missionaries in the county – since these people know what is happening. All governments feed people misinformation to produce false flags; so that the corrupt people can remain in power.

As a Christian you can do this also.

KEEP THE FAITH!

 

Higher Ground

“”I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining every day;
Still praying as I’m onward bound,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on Heaven’s table land,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.
I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of glory bright;
But still I’ll pray till Heav’n I’ve found,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.””

JOHNSON OATMAN, JR  (1898)

 

Gerald K. Fugit
Diggingoldwells.com
February 14, 2016

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