“A GREAT AND EFFECTIVE DOOR”
Suggested Reading: 1 Corinthians 16
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Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 16:9
For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
Corinth was a major commercial and transportation hub. People with initiative and a hard work ethic had great opportunity to prosper and to enjoy the blessings of their labour. Getting material possessions may have been their goal. Giving to the needs of others, such as the people of Jerusalem, who were in a period of famine, or to the support of God’s work in preaching and teaching the message of Jesus Christ, may not have had priority. Paul again emphasizes love (final verse of 1st Corinthians). Where love is lacking, it seldom occurs to people to give sacrificially, generously, and consistently. When Paul first arrived in Corinth to plant the Church, he supported himself through his trade of making and selling tents. Now he asks, without apology, for their financial support. He refers to three of his financial supporters (verse 17) who gave to make up the needed funds for the continuation of his ministry of winning souls to Jesus, which the believers of Corinth had failed to give. In this appeal for finances, Paul says, “A great and effective door has opened to me.” Adversaries will always oppose giving to the Lord. When we receive an appeal letter, check out the cause and the effectiveness of the ministry outreach. Pray about it, and if we are convinced the ministry is worthy, let us give as God has given to us.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, You gave Your all for me. Teach me to give as You would have me give. I know I can never even begin to repay You for all You’ve done for me, and You are not asking for repayment. Your love is unconditional! I pray that You will pour into me as much of Your love as I am able to contain and then overflow my life, enabling me to express my love for You in my giving to the causes You have presented. Causes which You want me to support. Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I realized a long time ago that I can’t support every cause. I would take the request letters which I received, open them up, read them, perhaps a second time, lay them out before the Lord in my prayer time, and trust the Lord to draw my attention to the ministries to which He wanted me to send money. I’ve checked out the financial accountability, the character of the leadership, and results which can be verified. Is there an audit of all finances done by an independent firm of accountants? Are they members in good standing of an association which checks up on them, such as the Canadian Council of Christian Charities (the 4C’s), of which Crossroads is a member? You can check out the CCCC online (click here), or in the USA, the ECFA (click here). Find out whether or not the Ministry you have been asked to support has met the high standards which we should expect of those who do God’s work. The Bible speaks of the necessity of having “a good report” (KJV) or a “good testimony” (NKJV) in the eyes of the world outside, as well as inside the body of believers (1 Timothy 3:7). I’ve just read the whole of 1 Timothy chapter three (click here). There is a very high moral standard set for those who would lead in God’s work. Ron Mainse, who posts this blog for me for 6 a.m. every morning, writes a monthly letter to all who’ve shown an interest in supporting the Crossroads Family of Ministries. Crossroads is a federally chartered non-profit charity which issues tax receipts valid for government approved tax deductions. Crossroads operates under the authority of a strong Board of Directors (all of whom are volunteers) and under the management of the Chief Executive Officer, who reports directly to the Board (click here to find out more about Crossroads or here to read about our accountability).
Yours to emphasize the high importance of regularly supporting what God wants supported,
P.S. (From Ron Mainse) By the way, Dad failed to mention in his blog that a few years back, he received an award, along with Billy Graham, from the Canadian Council of Christian Charities (CCCC) for a lifetime of integrity in ministry. This was the first time the CCCC instituted this award of recognition.