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True Fellowship will be Characterized by Giving

True Fellowship will be Characterized by Giving

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Published by: Grace Church Modesto on Jan 07, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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True Fellowship will be Characterized by Giving
Romans 12:6–8 — Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7 if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8 or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. As we are seeing, this passage contains a list of some of the gifts God gives His children, that they are to use for the building up of the church. This time, the gift is that of giving. The word means to share with or impart to someone else out of that which we ourselves possess. In addition to our passage above, it is used in Scripture by Paul to talk of imparting Spiritual gifts to others (Romans 1:11), of working so that we might have something to share with those in need (Eph 4:28) and of Paul sharing his life with the church at Thessalonica because they were so dear to him (1 Thessalonians 2:8). John the Baptist used the word to instruct the crowds he was teaching that the man who had 2 tunics should share with him who had none (Luke 3:8). So we should not make the mistake of thinking this passage is restricted to placing money in the bag or on the plate as it is passed around during the worship service (or placing money in the box as you leave the building, as the case may be). It certainly does include that, but it is far from being limited to that, extending to things in the spiritual realm and even the giving of ourselves. Note, though, that whatever is being shared or imparted, the ability to do this is a gift of God. Have you ever thought that the ability to give is something that in itself is a gift of God to you? Yet this makes sense, because without God working in our heart, we all tend to be self-interested and unwilling from godly motives to part with our possessions, our time or our talents in order to help others. But also see how this gift is to be exercised in the church by those who have been given it they are to give with liberality, or generosity. Has the Lord blessed them financially? They should not keep this to themselves. Do they have spare clothes or food? They should share them liberally. Do they have a gift to teach or to admonish those in need of instruction? Again, they should supply that need as they are able. Do they love their brothers and sisters dearly? They should follow Paul's example and share their own lives with them. Liberality, generosity, cheerfulness - these are to be the hallmarks of "gifted giving" in the church! "Well," says someone, "I obviously do not have the gift of giving, so I am off the hook - I do not need to give at all." However, we cannot excuse ourselves in this way. Jesus clearly expects His disciples to give to the poor. In Matthew 6:3, He says, "when you give to the poor" - not "if you give...". Paul also indicates that God loves those who give cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7), having warned the Corinthians against a covetous spirit and having promised, effectively, that those who give to God from the heart will be bountifully blessed. This passage teaches us that some are especially gifted in this matter of giving. God gives them both the wherewithal and the inclination to give with liberality. As in most of these gifts of God, though, we should expect to see them to a degree in every true child of God, since we are all being made like Jesus, Who loved us and held nothing back that was for our good - not even His own life!

Imagine being in a fellowship where this gift of generous giving is abundantly practiced! Let's strive to make our own churches just like this, and to use our times of fellowship in the Lord as opportunities to give first to Him and then to one another, according the blessings we have received from God.


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