Philippians 4:14-19, Response: Paul, I Appreciate the Appreciation

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BiblePhilippians 4:14-19 (NKJV)

14 Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress.
15 Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only.
16 For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities.
17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.
18 Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God.
19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, pauses after speaking about learning to be content in all things (one of my favorite passages), to thank the church at Philippi for supporting him in his missionary journeys, not only when he was present but also when he was traveling.  As we approach Thanksgiving (US), reading this and comparing it with present day communication regarding “giving AND receiving” reminds me that how something is received can be AS important as how it is given.

Continue reading Philippians 4:14-19, Response: Paul, I Appreciate the Appreciation

Jesus says: Pay Your Taxes

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I’ve been thinking about this one for a while. It’s easy for politicians and, frankly, everyone else to complain about taxes; some going as far to try to eliminate them all together. However, while Jesus was on Earth he paid taxes when they were due and when asked publicly his opinion about it he said the following:

Matthew 22:19a Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” … 20b “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

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1 Corinthians 9:18-22,25 – The Art of Balance

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Bible1 Corinthians 9:18-22, 25 (KJV)

18 What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.
19 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more.
20 And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;
21 To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.
22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.

25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

Regardless of what particular area of “ministerial arts” you flow in, as minstrels you are simultaneously faced with (at least) two, sometimes opposing, goals: ministering to God, and ministering to people. Ministering so that God is pleased is more about your heart and ministering to people is often more about everything else.  It is easy to focus on ministering skillfully -or- ministering “in spirit and in truth;” however, as a minstrel you MUST learn to do both.
Continue reading 1 Corinthians 9:18-22,25 – The Art of Balance