Posts Tagged ‘Sincerity’


2 Corinthians 8:7-9, 12
But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich… For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.

I have always been uncomfortable about messages on giving because I fear it takes away from the essence of Jesus. In my head, I separate finances from the spiritual realm as they don’t seem to fit together well or so I thought. This morning, as I read Paul’s recommendation on giving, I saw new meaning to it. That added with our present situation of trying to buy a home with the limited resources we have plus our non-existent credit history has opened my eyes to a new facet in our walk with the Lord. When I first started putting money in the offertory as a little boy, my understanding of giving was that it was a fee we paid, and as I grew up, it felt like buying favors with God. After I was saved, it became a joyous offering of what God gave me.

However, my understanding of giving was limited to finances. As I progressed in my walk with the Lord, I learnt that giving was in all areas of our lives and what we gave was the first fruits of what we had, whether it be our time, our love, our service, our efforts, our participation, etc. When we note that our Lord Jesus was rich, our minds construe it as wealth and we feel sad for what he sacrificed in terms of wealth. What Jesus actually sacrificed was much more and that includes being in the presence of God, something He valued so much that He wanted us to have. The riches Jesus wanted us to have were not simply material comforts but the abounding grace of God. To the blind, the greatest gift is not a lottery but the gift of sight. To the dying, the greatest gift is life. To the materially unsatisfied dying soul, the greatest gift they can have is a fullness of joy that no money can buy, a lifetime of guilt free living, an eternity in the presence of God to enjoy His glory and grace and many more such things that we can never buy. Jesus became poor so that through his poverty and sacrifice, we may become rich in a way no man can be through their own efforts. Are you rich and if so, is that going to satisfy your soul’s cravings?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Philippians 2:5-7 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness…


2 Corinthians 2:14-17  But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.

When I read the words ‘triumphal procession in Christ’, I wondered what it must mean. I’ve dwelt on it for 2 days and looked at the historical context. What in me would cause God to want to show me in his victory parade? The catch words were ‘in Christ’. It is through Christ’s sacrifice that we are washed in His blood and therefore found acceptable in God’s sight. Then my mind wandered to the next phrase, ‘the fragrance of the knowledge of him’ and my mind was reeling again. What’s with Paul using such adjectives that make us think?

When we have a really positive experience, we cannot stop telling others about it. In Christ, we don’t just have a positive experience but a life-changing one and how much more joyous can that be? This knowledge is what we spread and the fragrance of Christ is sweet to the seeking soul and bitter to the ones who chose otherwise. It’s the greatest gift of eternal life to some and a bunch of ‘old wife tales’ to others. It is the difference between life and death and to those who celebrate the victory, it is sweet but to the rest, it is offensive. Are you the aroma of Christ to the world?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Ezekiel 20:41 “As a soothing aroma I will accept you when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered; and I will prove Myself holy among you in the sight of the nations.”