Monday, August 6, 2018

By Pastor Max Solbrekken, D.D.
    There is no doubt in my mind that one of the greatest sins in the Christian church today is the lack of Compassion. I am equally confident that one of the secrets of strength in any organization, be it in the private sector, the government or the church, is UNITY!
    When believers are united in their battle against sin, the world and the devil, there will be no shortage of funds with which to finance the great operation called EVANGELISM!
    In the Early Church, the Bible states that Believers sold houses and lands and brought the proceeds from their sales to the apostles. It is no wonder that the Church grew. There was no shortage of funds with which to implement the tremendous undertaking that the Holy Spirit led them into.
    The Word of God records that the enemies of the Gospel feared the Early Church prophets and warned: “These men that have turned the world upside down are come here also.” (Acts 17:6). It is also well to note that the preachers of the Gospel in the Early Church did not use those gifts to enrich themselves and line their own pockets.
    St. Peter stated: “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” (Acts 3:6). In my travels across the world and in my dealings with many Christians, I am also convinced that those who give to God are blessed of the Lord spiritually, materially and also physically!
                            GIVE AND IT SHALL BE GIVEN YOU!
The Bible states: “Give and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together and running over, shall men unto your bosom. For with the same measure that you mete withal, it shall be measured to you again.” (Luke 6: 38)
   I have also learned that those who criticize preachers of the gospel for receiving funds to do the work of God are usually the very stingy, selfish and carnal among us, and those who criticize never give much, but those who give largely, never criticize!
     When God purposed to deliver the world from sin, He sent His own Son to DIE on Calvary's Cross. In fact, He gave Heaven's Best. If there had been a cheaper or easier way for Almighty God to bring Salvation to sinful humanity, He would have employed it but there was NO Easier Way. There was No Cheaper Way!
     Since God gave His best to redeem the world from the devil's evil power, how could anyone believe that God could be satisfied with less than our Best.
    The work of the Gospel is so important that the Church of the Living God must not flinch from her duty of doing her very best. Let each one of us, as Blood-washed, Spirit-filled children of God obey the Great Commission in sharing the glorious Gospel of Christ with the unreached masses!
    May we be fervent in Prayer, dedicated in sharing out testimony, unflinching in our stand for the TRUTH of God's Word and totally compassionate, unselfish and generous in our giving to Him!
                           GOD WAS ANGRY WITH HIS PEOPLE!
   God was angry with His people because they gave Him only the culls! His Word states: “A son honoureth his father and a servant his master: if then, I be a father, where is Mine honour? And if I be a Master, where is My fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you priests, that despise My name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised Thee?
    “Ye offer polluted bread upon Mine Altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted Thee? In that ye say, the table of the Lord in contemptible. And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it now to your governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? Saith the Lord of hosts.
    “And now, I pray you, beseech God that He will be gracious unto us; this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the Lord of hosts,” (Malachi 1: 6-9)
   God isn't interested in our offerings to Him, unless He can have us. He doesn't need the temporal gifts unless He has our heart and life. St. Paul puts in all in perspective as he commends the churches of Macedonia:
    “For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord and unto us by the word of God.” (2 Cor. 8:3-5)
                                   JESUS INVITES US ALL!
     We must give ourselves to Him Who gave Himself for us. How blessed we are that we are able to come to JESUS with all our needs! 
     He said: “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30)
    The Bible invites us to unload our heavy burdens onto the Great Burden Bearer Himself: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you.” (1 Peter 5:6,7)
    JESUS didn't mince words when He spoke of dedication and putting His Will before our own: “Whosoever will come after Me, let him DENY himself, and take up His cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
     “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this idolatrous and sinful generation: of him also the Son of man shall be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” (Mark 8: 34-38)
     Again our Lord Jesus stated: “And whosoever doth not bear his CROSS, and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” (Luke 14:27).
Jesus spoke of dedication, consecration and devotion to Him. His Gospel is not for immature complainers. It is for real men and women of Faith and Action. Amen.
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