The Gifts Part 23
Every man can only give that which he has or that which he possesses. You cannot give to another something you do not possess yourself, just as I cannot give you something that is not in my possession. The question that begs to be asked is what is it that we have, what is it that we possess, and what is it that we are able to give to others?
In order to give to another, we must first be aware of what is ours, of what we have. Only when we have become aware of what we have, can we give it to another. We cannot promise someone a certain thing then go out and steal it in order to keep our promise; we must first analyze and assess whether we have that thing before we can promise it or freely give it to another.
We can give only that which we have received, and if we have received bitterness and division, cowardice and greed, these are the things that we will pass on for these are things we possess. If however we have received love and mercy, if we have received grace and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, then it is these things that we will freely offer.
With what we give we can either heal or wound, we can either illuminate or darken, we can either sanctify or defile, we can either bring joy or bring sadness. We give what we have! It is an important enough point that it is worth repeating, because far too many souls go to the bitter stagnant waters of a gospel void of Christ, expecting to be given Christ in all His glory. If you desire the word, go to the word, or to someone that is giving you the word, don’t waste your time looking for someone that fits the mold you’ve imagined in your mind then hope that he will come around to preaching the word of God. We seek out the superficial rather than the substantive so often, that when someone of substance comes along, when someone preaches the undefiled unadulterated word of God, we are taken aback, even shocked, and readily proclaim that they are unloving and unmerciful.
I’ve asked enough people why the go to the church they go to and received a varied enough array of answers wherein I can say with a great degree of certainty that very few attend the congregation they are currently attending because the truth is preached therein.
‘Well, we go this church because it’s the closest one to our home, we go because they have a great children’s program, we go because the pastor is on television, we go because the sermons make us feel good, we go because they are all embracing, we go because the praise and worship is contemporary.’
The only reason you should be attending a fellowship of believers is because the truth is preached therein, because if the truth is preached it means that the overseer, the pastor, or the person presenting the sermon is giving you that which he already possesses, and if he possesses the truth, you want to be in that congregation.
Realizing that I’ve strayed off topic, I just want to say a few more things about church, and church attendance in general, because I’ve received enough questions concerning what denomination people should attend, or what kind of church they should seek out, that it warranted a reply, and if not here, where?
The first thing I want to say about church and church attendance is that this present generation has perverted the purpose of fellowship, it has perverted the purpose of coming together, and as such, men no longer seek out a place where they can get spiritually fed, but rather a place that makes their flesh feel good, a place where they are never challenged, and a place where they are never encouraged to grow in God.
‘We don’t like the doom and gloom preachers, always talking about holiness and righteousness and picking up crosses and the existence of hell.’
Well, that doom and gloom preacher preaching holiness and righteousness, that doom and gloom preacher admonishing you to daily deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow after Christ is preaching the Bible to you, he is preaching the truth, and if you don’t like it, it’s because your flesh doesn’t like it, and it rebels against the idea that you will come to that place in your life where you will seek the things of the kingdom of God in lieu of comfort and justification for your flesh.
We’ve adopted the ‘the customer is always right’ mentality in the house of God, and we no longer give people what they need spiritually speaking, but we give them what they want. We tailor and fashion a God that has no standard, that requires nothing of us, that demands no righteousness, that demands no self-renunciation, that winks at sin and overlooks hypocrisy because this is the kind of God the customers want, and if the customers don’t get what they want, they’ll just go to someone else who is offering it to them, or stop supporting financially until you wise up and get with the program, and stop making them feel so crummy about their sin Sunday after Sunday.
The sheep are as much to blame as the false shepherds, because the false shepherds saw a niche they could exploit, and started giving the sheep what the sheep wanted. No, they are not true shepherds, and at the first sign of trouble, at the first sign of resistance, at the first howl of the wolf afar off the hirelings will flee taking with them all the wool they’ve collected lo these many years as recompense for having compromised the truth, for having watered down the gospel, and for having given the sheep what they wanted instead of what they needed.
2 Timothy 4:3-4, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.”
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.