One MCS - Annual Conference Highlights

The true meaning of offering

Aug 2010    

GIVING OF OUR BEST

“When it comes to making our offerings it is not enough simply to do it “with a willing heart”. Instead we have to “give of our best”.”

THE FAMILIAR STORY of the “five loaves and two fish” in the Gospel (Jesus Feeds the Five ousand, John 6: 1-14) is one that we will never tire of hearing. There is so much precious truth in the short passage which also shows up the many facets of a man’s heart.

I have heard speakers present the story from different perspectives, and one that I recall well is that from a foreign professor who gave her talk in China. e need was immense but what they had was so very little. It was no wonder that the disciples asked, “What are they among so many people?”

When it comes to making our offerings it is not enough simply to do it “with a willing heart”. Instead we have to “give of our best”. We do not offer only what we can spare, but offer what is our best.

The child gave his best and it was also all that he had, five small barley loaves and two small fish. With this offering and facing the enormous need, Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.”

This was as good as telling His disciples that the offering was sufficient. It was sufficient because one person had given his best and given his all. In fact it was more than sufficient as there were leftovers to fill 12 baskets.

Let us refresh our understanding of the meaning of “offering”. Offering includes sacrifice and surrender. It is about giving my best regardless of what others may or may not do. It is about giving what I have a need for but which I am willing to surrender to the Lord as He commands. is is the true meaning of offering.

■ See story below.

The Rev Dr Chong Chin Chung is the President of the Chinese Annual Conference.

DEVOTION

When we are as guilty as the guilty one

ERROR PREACHED

“Error is preached in a congregation. God’s truth is twisted, and erroneous information is given to people who want to please God with their worship and their lives.”

“Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding.”

– Proverbs 23:23.

A BANK IS ROBBED. ree men are arrested and brought to trial. Bank security cameras identify the man who pointed a gun at the teller. One of the other men was shown to be the lookout, while the other waited outside, ready to drive the getaway car.

Which of these three can be convicted of bank robbery?

Under US law, all three can be convicted of the crime. Though only one actually took the bank’s money, the other two were accomplices. They made possible the commission of the crime. Without their help, the robbery might never have taken place.

Error is preached in a congregation. God’s truth is twisted, and erroneous information is given to people who want to please God with their worship and their lives.

Who is guilty in such a situation? US law will not help us answer this question, but God’s Word will.

In His letter to the church at yatira, Jesus made this charge: “Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.” (Revelation 2:20, NKJV).

The penalty for this woman’s crimes are then listed in the following verses, showing her offence was outrageous to Jesus.

But Jezebel was not the only person in danger. Note that Jesus said “you allow” her to do the things she does. Some in the church could have made a difference. They could have withstood her teaching or stopped her altogether. By choosing to be passive, they joined this false prophetess in the error. Now their souls, too, were in jeopardy.

How is it possible that churches see significant shifts in the doctrine proclaimed? It is not just a different preacher who brings about such changes, but those who allow the changes to be introduced. When something other than God’s Word is presented, it should be a cause for serious concern for every Christian in the congregation.

No wonder Luke lauds the brethren at Berea, who “ … received the Word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” (Acts 17:11). It is not hard to imagine what these disciples would have done if taught something other than God’s Word. ey certainly would not have aided and abetted the preaching of error.

Let us be accomplices only to proclaiming what God has said. – KneEmail.

REACH OUT

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