By Alec Niemi
During my years of travels and involvement in ministry I have met a lot of very special people who have heard the call to serve in ministry and have dedicated their lives to God’s service. I have also noticed that they are usually underfunded. God’s call is obviously upon them and so I wonder why they struggle with support. The support they receive primarily comes from others who God has raised up as givers. And so I wonder, “Are they underfunded because they are not doing something they should be doing; are they doing something they haven’t been called to do; is God taking them through an exercise of learning to depend on Him, like a test of faith; or what…?”
In 2 Corinthians 8:1-7 Paul seems to address this very issue. In a message to his ‘givers’ he stresses three thoughts. First, giving is a privilege not a chore and givers are to plead with God for the privilege of sharing with those He has called to serve. Secondly, ‘givers’ need to understand that it is His grace that He has given and thus giving comes from the exercising of that grace. And thirdly, ‘givers‘ are to excel in giving. So perhaps the lack of support has less to do with those called to serve and more to do with those who are called to give. And my enquiring mind asks, “So then who are the givers?”
My prayer for you this week:
“And now, I praise God, for the truth about the grace that He has given; that out of the most severe trials, overflowing joy and extreme poverty wells up rich generosity. Give as much as able, and even beyond your ability. Entirely on your own, urgently plead for the privilege of sharing in the service to the saints. And do as expected, give yourself first to the Lord and then to His workers in keeping with God’s will. And just as you excel in everything in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for His servants see that you also excel in this grace of giving. Amen.” 2 Corinthians 8:1-7
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Alec Niemi, an entrepreneur, lifestyle evangelist and pastor is passionate about helping people find Christ.Â He lives in the Fraser Valley, British Columbia, Canada.