As we were going through Chapter 4 of God’s Plan for His Church and looking at how Paul developed elders in Ephesus, I was thinking of some countries where we have labored. In Acts 20:33, Paul said, "I coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel." And then I got to thinking about the 10th commandment, "You shall not covet" (Exodus 20:17). What exactly does “covet” mean? “Covet” means to “desire greatly with lust” after things that belongs to someone else and not to us. Never having enough money is regarded as a symptom of the love of money." Paul concluded his example of not coveting in Acts 20:35b, "How [Jesus] Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’"
Much of the ministry and teachers in Corinth was concerned with money, so Paul did not get involved in either taking or giving. I would imagine that Paul, like us today, was SICK of money and coveting in a ministry. I know the training I am doing here in Myanmar and Thailand are both self-sustaining and I am not paying for being here and doing the training. Just food for thought. When you look into the Scriptures and understand the early church, it is heart breaking how we have made a business of ministry, a profession of ministers, in our day. Lord, please give us your mind, the mind of Christ!
Here is some more food for thought. The gospel and church planting in the Early Church went from Jerusalem to Rome in 25 years and turned their world upside down for Christ, not to mention Paul's 3 missionary journeys in 10 years and on and on! When we rely on the Lord, we will see the Holy Spirit move biblical ministry forward in His power, His way.
By Tim, Edited by Sherman
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