New Testament (spiritual) giving – Part 7
In the course of sharing this truth, the question that keeps arising is this: how do ministers of God in the New Testament take care of themselves and their families? This is an intellectual approach to the things of the Spirit. God does not have to convince us of an alternative plan to force us into obedience. Abraham did not ask God to show him what life was going to be like in the Promised Land before he left Ur of the Chaldees. God does not ask us to understand. He says we should believe that He always has our backs. The problem is we want to understand and then believe. Let us now look at God’s provision for His servant in the New Testament. We will be surprised that God has made more than adequate provisions for His servants.
In Galatians 6:6 – God instructs that the congregation has a duty, a responsibility to take care of their pastor. It is a reciprocal relationship. The leaders should teach them the undiluted Word of God – 1 Tim. 5:17-18 projects essentially the same instructions. The saints in the Island of Melata loaded Paul with gifts, as he had a successful God-proven ministry in their midst (Acts 28:10). The problem is how many God-proven ministries do we have out there today? There is no God-proven minister, who would revert back to the legalistic Judaistic form of giving to force God’s people for his maintenance. God’s servants are His labourers. They are worthy of their wages, and God will take care of them, as no one can muzzle the ox that treaded the corn (1 Tim 5:18).
1 Cor. 9:7-14 is particularly instructive. They that preach the gospel must live off the gospel. Here was Bro. Paul making a case for the arrangement that God had made for His servants in the New Testament. Even in doing this, he called on Old Testament scriptures to support his case. Not once did he make reference to the law of tithes. Paul was a Pharisee. He was an exponent of the law. He could have invoked the curse of Malachi 3, as a lot of us are doing today to create fear in people’s hearts, to milk them dry. Please note that God hates fearful giving because whatever is of fear is not of love. Paul maintained that God would take care of His ministers through the flock in an atmosphere of love and faith, in which both the minister and the congregation would grow to lean more on God.
Matt 10:10 shows the type of faith life God wants His servants to live. What is prevalent today is the security of the civil service system that kills the Spirit of adventure with the Lord, and brings ministers of God into bondage to their false system of worship.
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Bro. Kunle Adigun, Friends of the Bridegroom International Ministries (FOBIM)