This morning I preached a message (that will be posted tomorrow) on Galatians 6:6-18. It is a great passage of Scripture. But on this post, I want to focus on Galatians 6:6. It is a hard verse for preachers to preach. But it is a necessary verse for preachers to preach if they are going to stay true to preaching the whole counsel of God’s Word.
Now we have to ask the question, “Why is it hard for preachers to preach this verse or others like it?” Simply put: When you start to preach about money and giving, people tend to pucker up and sometimes they even stop listening. It’s a fact that no one really wants to talk about giving and giving and giving and giving…did I say giving? However, Paul the apostle’s line of thinking is simple: It’s our responsibility!
He opens Galatians 6 with telling us to be responsible, if we are spiritual enough, to help a brother out when he is surprised and caught up in sin. Then he tells us to carry out the responsibility of tending to our own burdens; that’s right, we should carry our own load of whatever comes to us in this life. Then he says:
The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him. (Galatians 6:6)
There it is! We as the Church have a responsibility to make sure that those who are preaching and teaching are taken care of. Notice what Paul says though. He does not say that we are to simply give money but he says that we are to “share all good things.” In fact, if you see how Paul said it, it will change your attitude when giving. Notice he did not say to “give” all good things, but to “share” all good things. Sometimes we just think that the preacher is always asking for money.
I received an email one time that accused me of saying every Sunday, “Dig a little deeper in those pockets of yours.” I have never used this sort of language with my people. It’s inappropriate to say such a thing. But to say that we ought to be faithful just as God has been faithful to us is a good and accurate thing to say. After all, when you consider the two greatest commands that Jesus Christ gave us in Matthew 22:37-39 we will want to be faithful. Why, for what reason? Because if we are loving God with all of our heart, soul and mind and loving our neighbors as we love ourselves we will want to share. Our God is a giving God! Our God is a sharing God because He shared His one and only Son, Jesus Christ!
Now you might say to me, “Well, Pastor, I have not been as blessed as the next guy.” Perhaps you haven’t been blessed with material things as others or financially. However, you’ve been blessed with what God has given to you. Have you ever wondered how those in third-world countries seem to be alright with being poor? I was in Monterrey, Mexico ministering in the city dump where the government had built cinder block houses for families to live. Children hardly clothed were rummaging through the trash heap and their parents were too. But they were smiling. The families were thankful that they could actually find something to eat there. They were using discarded things to make a life together. And as one of those men that I met there said, “I’m thankful that God has taken care of us to be able to have what we have” I couldn’t help but start to think about sharing with others.
But I have to admit something: sometimes I don’t like to share. Sometimes I want to keep everything for myself. In other words, sometimes I’m just plain selfish! However, I also realize that I am not alone in this regard. What I ought to be doing, as any Christian should, is “share all good things” with those who teach me the Word of God.
So, as I say to my people, let’s be faithful knowing God’s faithfulness to us! Let’s make 2013 about sharing and giving and being faithful to the Lord as He leads us. What we sow we shall reap!