Dear Student of the Word,
I missed sending you our lesson last week. When you go to Israel, your days start early and end late. Touring the Holy Land is no place for the weak. I had good wireless connections in all the hotels; I just had no time to finish this sixth study. But now I am back in Zimbabwe and I finished this lesson on the plane on the way back from Israel.
This week we begin the study of 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, which may be the best teaching on giving in the New Testament. There is so much in these chapters, and this week I wrote:
v. 19 -- The church chose this trusted and proven servant, whoever he was, to accompany Paul and the offering to its designated recipients. Paul was administering and overseeing this gift for two reasons. The first was to honor the Lord Himself. The goal of everything Paul did was to honor God. It wasn't to build his kingdom but God's kingdom.
I have watched more than a few telethons that raise money for Christian television. Those who come in to raise these offerings are paid big money to do what they do best, and that is to "lift" offerings from God's people for their worthy cause. They usually promise tremendous returns for those who give these special gifts. This is absurd. Paul did not receive any personal gain from this special offering. The offering was to glorify God.
The second reason was to show both the givers and the recipients that Paul and his team were eager to help the Jewish believers. This was in part due to the fact that Jerusalem and Judea didn't trust Paul because he worked with so many Gentiles. I think he wanted to show them that he could be trusted and had their best interests at heart.
Remember that the Bible study archives of 14 other New Testament studies can be found on my website along with The Faith Files, a study of every verse on faith in the New Testament. You can unsubscribe by clicking on the link below. You can give a gift subscription by going to the site where these studies are posted every week. Feel free to add your comments or insights to this study at the end of this post on the site where it is located.
Download this week's study: Download 2_corinthians_study_6.doc