A Devotional Journey
led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
Chapter six contains a summary of the hardships Paul has gone through, as well as a reminder that Christians must stay true to their calling.
Therefore we must be careful not to become unequally yoked
with unbelievers – a direct reference against association with or toleration of false teaching. The principle has been applied to other relationships (for example, marriage, and business partnerships), but in this context it has to do with those who promote a false understanding of God.
Chapter seven is a summary of Paul’s efforts at encouragement – even in admonition.
He is concerned for the well-being of all the Christians and is eager to see them turn towards God and away from anything which might separate them from Him.
The discussion of generosity and giving in chapters eight and nine is important.
Christians are reminded that giving should be done as a privilege
and to the maximum
extent possible. Particularly, he encourages Christians to complete their efforts to carrying on God’s work through their giving when this means giving more. He is careful to include God’s promises to provide for the needs of His people so they can give
and help others, and he uses the image of the sower in an attempt to motivate his readers.
God is the One who provides seed to the sower and bread for food.
The one who remembers this will sow generously so that God can bring in a generous crop. The point is that in our giving we are blessed and that our blessings multiply as our spirit of commitment and devotion to God increases.
Paul’s final point about giving in these chapters is that giving is a witness to God.
In giving we make clear our understanding that God is Lord of all, and especially we make clear to those who may observe us that God makes a positive difference in our lives.
In what spirit do you give?
In a spirit of excitement to see what God will do with your gifts? In a spirit of gratitude that God has already given you so much (not only materially so you have something to give back, but personally so that you have something for which to be grateful)? Do you give because you are eager to be a participant in the support of God’s ongoing work through His Church? Do you ever give just because it’s expected?
There are so many good reasons to give that we should always do it joyfully.
Today, sit down and figure out what percentage of your income you are giving to God this year. Then ask yourself what would happen if you gave more? Would it help God’s work in some way? Would it bless your life in some way? Those who know God cannot help giving. Read Malachi 3, and consider giving at least 10% of your income in the coming year to the Lord. Then pick our some special project you could support financially and do it! If your giving is in response to what God has given you, it will always be joyful!
© A. Eugene Pearson