MORNING MEDITATION

“Testimony Of Service II!”

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“Testimony Of Service II!”(Acts 20:28-38).
Few days ago the Presbyterian pastors of Bali presbytery were having their monthly meeting. They shared three cartons of savon for each of them to share to widows of their parishes. This was a gift from the Presbyterian Social Women of the PCC. These mothers are based in USA. This is not the first time they are carrying out this exercise of love. Even we the pastors have benefited from their kindness.
If there is a verse or phrase of Scriptures that is used inappropriately, it is Paul’s words to the Ephesian elders that they should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” These words of the Lord Jesus is not found in the four gospels. This is not to say the Lord Jesus did not speak those words. Hyperbolically John writes that if everything that Jesus did “were written down… even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written”(Jn. 21:25). It is therefore in order to suppose that not everything he said was written down.
Back to those words of the Lord quoted by Paul, it has been overused in cajoling Christian giving. It has been used to motivate and encourage seed sowing.
Taken in its context, it is rather a motivation and encouragement of good shepherding.
In continuation of his farewell speech to the Ephesian elders Paul recounted, “I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. You yourselves know that these hands of mind have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”
What this means is that shepherds must engage in tent-making ministry. The Lord Jesus told the apostles, “You give them something to eat.”
Earlier on Paul told those Ephesian elders: “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he has bought with his blood.”
Shepherds of the church of God ought to shame the heathen who mock the church by saying, when the church needs money they ask from the Christians, but when a Christian needs money they say s/he should pray. No! Shepherds should show by example that with hard work they “must help the weak, remembering as the Lord Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Therefore my friend, let us work hard with our hands so that we must help the weak in the church of God. This is in order because parents shepherd their children by working hard to provide their needs.
It is important to note that we are shepherds of God’s church. No church belongs to anybody! We are only overseers as the Holy Spirit has made us. We should also be conscious that savage wolves come in and do not spare the flock. Sometimes these wolves are homebred. Such are the ones who distort the truth so as to draw away disciples after them. We must be on guard!
Weekend prayer: Holy Spirit help me to work hard and fulfil my shepherd obligation of helping the weak. Amen!
Have a blessed weekend! Peace be with you!
Rev Babila Fochang.

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