Thursday, December 25, 2008

I & II Corinthians on Christmas Day!!

Merry Christmas!!  I hope that you are enjoying a very Merry Christmas.  It is spitting snow right now; but I have my Bible open and my hot cup of coffee right beside me.  Last evening we had the family and grandchildren over and had a great time eating turkey and ham with all of the fixings.  Then we opened our gifts to each other and it was great to see everyone well pleased with their gifts.  Today, they are with their in-laws celebrating Christmas.  The living room was cleaned up last night before we went to bed.  Mrs. Vicky always keeps a clean house and does not go to bed before everything is back in it's place. 

I'm looking at I and II Corinthians today, and here are a few thoughts on a few verses:

1) PAUL GIVES AN ANSWER- In I Cor. 9:3, it says: "Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,"  It is hard to believe but the apostle Paul had those who questioned his apostleship.  They questioned that he was God's man to share the gospel around the world.  Even Jesus had those who questioned who He was and He was God in flesh.  I know that some pastor's and missionaries read this blog, so I've chosen to talk about this verse for their sakes.  I don't know any in sincere pastors.  I know some who make some dumb decisions, but haven't we all?  We are just men, called of God to serve Him and others.  It is difficult working with people and some people will not allow you to work with them, so you can only do what you can.  As your ministry grows, you can only meet so many needs without exhausting your time and ability.  Thus, God ultimately pastors people and we just do the best we can.  What hurts pastors, is that having done their best, some still question their motives and sincerity and leadership.  Well, grow up... it comes with the territory and always has.  Just remember, we answer to God, and so do others.  Our job is only to faithfully do our best and hopefully, grow, mature, and get better as we age in the ministry.  Take heart O man of God.... your labor is not in vain!!  Jesus watches and knows!!
2) HOW WE GIVE- In I Cor. 16:2, it tells us three things about how we are to give: WHEN- "Upon the first day of the week".  This is Sunday by anyone's calendar!  God wants us to give weekly.  I get paid twice a month, but I give tithes and offerings every week.  The first Sunday, I give my tithes and some offerings.  On the second Sunday, I give my missions offering and more offerings, and then this is repeated as I'm paid again.  If I have three Sundays before I get paid (five Sundays in one month), then I give more offerings on that Sunday.  I will usually give about 30% of my income each month.  WHO- "let every one of you lay by him in store,"  All of us should be giving to the work of the LORD.  "Every one" means just that!  Whether we have little or much, all of us have something to give to God's work.  Giving is not about resources, it is about a heart for God.  We give out of our love for the Savior.  This is the supreme reason we do all that we do in the Christian life. HOW MUCH- "as God hath prospered him".  This is how we give.  We can only give after that God has prospered us.  He has to give to us so that we can give back to Him!  We give according to God's prospering us.  I believe that all of us should give at least 10% of our increase to the Lord's work through the local church.  I know of those who disagree, but I'll speak on what I believe.  This verses tells us: WHEN, WHO, and HOW MUCH.
3) UNSPEAKABLE GIFT- In II Cor. 9:15, it says: "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift."  As we celebrate Christmas today, let us pause to say "Thank you Jesus" for coming to earth, for being laid in a manger, for taking our lowly form upon yourself, for loving us and showing it to us throughout your stay on earth, for dying for us, for interceding for us, for coming back for us one day, and for meeting us upon our death and showing us eternity with You forever!!  It is truly an unspeakable gift!!
From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!!    Pastor Mike Mutchler
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