The Daily Challenge
by D. E. Stribling
 GIVING TO GOD IS NOT LIMITED TO "CHURCH OFFERINGS"
Giving To Others Is Giving To God
Let everyone see that you are unselfish 
and considerate 
in all you do. 
Philippians. 4:9

Please --
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How do you interpret Paul's teachings in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9.

Referring To The Offerings For the Poor in Jerusalem --
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.
And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.
Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
(NIV) 2 Cor 9:12-15

 

The Spirit gives life, the law kills.

When you think of GIVING to the cause of Christ don't be limited.  Giving to one another is pleasing to the father.  One person helping another is a very godly way of GIVING.  The church, your favorite ministry—they too should be helped.  They may be your primary place to give. But that is by no means the only way to give to God.

Paul wrote to the church at Corinth about the benevolence offering (2 Corinthians 8-9:15). He would soon come to pick it up and deliver it to Jerusalem Christians. 

This was not a church offering as we think of it today.  It was money for the poor.  

It was not to support Paul's ministry, nor was it a church offering for the maintenance of church operations.  Prayerful study of these verses helps us escape the traditions of our own time that have drawn us away from compassionate giving to the poor. 

Buildings are useful, but we must watch out for idolatry of the structures.  The buildings in which we worship God should never take precedence over our service to Him. When we give to the needy we are giving to Jesus himself.  Giving to the poor honors God. 

When church leaders are led by His Spirit they will know how much of God's money to spend on their buildings and its maintenance, and how much to give to needy neighbors.  They will understand that being known as a church full of love, grace, forgiveness, generosity and mercy will draw people to God.  That's what attracted people in the days of the early church, not church programs or luxurious meeting places.

See Yesterday's Challenge