Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Grace Adds and Love Multiplies.

In 1 Corinthians 9:12 Paul speaks of, “This service that you perform,” saying “not only” is it “supplying the needs of God’s People [Impoverished Hebrew believers in Palestine, the Roman province of Judea.] but” it “is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”  And here is the ultimate aim: that the service of His Saints to the world, and especially to one another, would overflow in many forms of gratitude to God!  V. 13, “Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves [‘by which you’ve been put through the fire, tested and tried {from dokime}, and come out purified, proven’], men will praise God [i] for the obedience which accompanies your confession of the Gospel of Christ, and [ii] for your generosity in sharing with them, and with everyone else.  And” what will they do in addition to praising Abba for the obedience and generosity of His Gentile Children?  “In their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.”  Then he ends with this word, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!,” vv. 14-15.

Here’s a little lesson on addition vs. multiplication.  Abba provides His Children with a job, a vocation, a trade or a calling as a source of income so He can provide for us and for our families, for the Cause of His Kingdom, and for the needs of the world.  These are not necessarily exclusive of each other, though sometimes they might be.  The vast ocean of need in the world can consume resources which could be multiplied in the Kingdom of Grace, used to magnify the Word of Grace.

My point?  Truth sets the soul free.  And the truth in question here is the difference between addition and multiplication.  Multiplication is what takes place when we provide for others’ needs.  Addition is what takes place when we use our resources for our own needs.  In this case, whether you ‘add’ or whether you ‘multiply’ is not an ethical decision.  It’s neither right nor wrong, it simply is.  Am I going to use this to add in Abba’s plan of grace or am I going to use this to multiply in Abba’s plan of grace?  I will say this though: children and adolescents in the Faith are still self-centred, still ego-centric; adult Sons and Daughters are Jesus-centred, Christo-centric.  The focus of their lives is fixed on Jesus, their hearts, minds, and strengths are riveted on the Son of God {Heb. 12:2}.  Now, let me give you three things here.

 I.  Money spent on self adds things to our care.  As Jesus was explaining to His Apprentices the Parable of the Good Soil in Mark 4, the ‘good soil’ being a willing soul, a humble heart ready to receive the rich seed of the Word, He said: “Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the Word.  But the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desires for other things, come in and choke the Word, making it unfruitful,” vv. 18-19.  The apostle Paul, following closely on the heels of Jesus, said in 1 Timothy 6:9, “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction [This is some pretty powerful language.  ‘Oh, well it’s just figures of speech, poetic imagery.’  Is it?  Cause he follows up with this beauty:].  For the love of money is a root [a fountainhead, the ‘source spring’] of all kinds of evil.  Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the Faith and pierced themselves with many griefs,” v. 10.

II.  Money spent on others multiplies to our joy.  Giving to Abba and to ministry and to Missions multiplies the number of souls saved and Disciples taught.  Buying for ourselves is ‘grace addition;’ giving to or for others is ‘grace multiplication.’

III  The one thing hammered home in 1 Corinthians 9:12-13 is this— Giving is a sacred service in the Cause of Christ.  It’s a privilege and it’s an honor as a believer-priest, a royal priest of the Most High God {1 Pet. 2:5-9}, to have a stake in the outworking of His perfect plan.  May we never forget it.

Ric Webb  |  Shepherd
Heart’s Journey Community
9621 Tall Timber Blvd. |  Little Rock, AR 72204
t +1.501.455.0296
Heart’s Journey – Live Generously and Love Graciously