I AM the God of Integrity 2 Cor 8:16 – 9:5

God’s people are to be accountable to each other

Integrity, accountability, transparency and honesty are paramount for God’s workmen. These qualities

Do others see Jesus' love in me?

Do others see Jesus’ love in me?

prove the message of the Gospel to be true. Our Christian witness in the eyes of unbelievers is a very fragile thing and can be broken very easily. If we fail in the area of Church finances, God’s reputation will be tarnished not to mention our own testimony. We believers need to be above board in how we do our work, especially when it comes to earning and using our money. It seems that everyone has a right to know what the church does with the money that is given to God even those who are outside the church. People should not have purse strings attached to their giving to the church, but they do have the right to know that it is used properly. Unfortunately many arguments arise within churches over how the funds get used. Chapters 8,9 are one of the only instances in the New Testament promising physical blessing and what they are to be used for.

Titus Sent to Corinth

2 Cor 8:  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. 22 And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you. 23 Whether any do inquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be inquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ. 24 Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.
9:1 For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: 2 For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many. 3 Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready: 4 Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting. 5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.

As we ponder God’s character from the above passage, I wonder if God would answer our signature question below in the following way…

Who Are you Lord?

I AM the God of integrity. I desire that you live above reproach and do not give the world opportunity to criticize you. Live your life before men so that they will praise God on the Day of Judgment because of your testimony having nothing bad to say about you. Hold your brothers accountable as to how they live their lives in this day of excessive consumption. Challenge them how they can spend their money for My glory not their pleasures. Let everyone else’s right hand see what your left hand is doing before your own does, not for your glory but mine, that they may see where your heart lies.  

I AM the God who motivates you to help in real ways. I want you to catch my vision to care for the needs of others so that you will help them in real ways.  Then they will listen to you when you tell them the good news.  My missions programs are lacking people who are willing to use their money to spread my glory. People around the globe are going to hell because no one will go or help to send people to tell them the Gospel. In the last days people will be lovers of themselves. My desire is that you look not only for your own needs but to the needs of others so that they might not live in need just as you don’t live in need in return.

You will do what you want to do, not what you say you want to do.

Everyone wants to end world hunger, or putting an end to the injustices in the world. But how many actually lift a finger to open their purses and wallets to follow through? We all feel pity for disaster / war victims, but usually only as far as we are glad it is not us. However, “People do what they want to do, not what they say that they want to do.” Every one of us battles between the selfish desire of self preservation and the God given compassion to give to the needs of others. What do we want most? This is where a little peer pressure comes in. We need other believers to challenge us by their examples so that we make the right decision and follow through in our struggle between hoarding and giving / helping. When we compare ourselves with ourselves, we are not wise. We need challenges, we need self examination, we need someone to step up and sound the call to action. Too long are we dormant and complacently content in our slumber toward the interests of God. Rise up and take up a righteous cause for the sake of Christ and follow through. Hold true to your vows. Finish what you started. Make what you say you want to do a reality before God.

More to come,

Steve

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About strostrud

Missionary with New Tribes Mission since 1989
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