faithful, loving, co-laboring in 2017

Dear friend, you are showing faithfulness by whatever you do for the brothers, especially when they are strangers. They have testified to your love in front of the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God, since they set out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from pagans. Therefore, we ought to support such men so that we can be co-workers with the truth. – 3 John 5-8

Just a few observations from this passage:

When we give our financial support to those who are “setting out for the sake of the Name” (or those doing ministry/missionary work, as we would call it), God’s Word calls that faithfulness.

So when I hoard my money and let others do all the giving, refusing to support those I don’t know…am I being unfaithful?

Gaius’ faithfulness in supporting fellow Christians resulted in a testimony of love before the church.

When I do give, am I giving from a place of love, or a place of grudging obligation? Even if others’ were to testify to it as love, would I know that my giving was prompted by love? Would God?

My giving to the work of ministry makes me a co-worker of those who are laboring with the truth.

Do I want to co-labor with others who are doing the work of God? Or do I prefer to show up on Sunday and no more? Am I content giving only my weekly participation during the church service, spending the rest of my time and money on myself/my family?

I think that’s really what it comes down to, don’t you? At what level do we want to live Christianity? Unfortunately, for many, it really does funnel down to the money factor.

At the same time, I think all of us want to be considered faithful. And I really do think we want to be loving. But we must be willing to look at why we are not. What hinders our giving? Fear? Greed? Jealousy? Pride? Whatever it is, it will not go away until we bring it to God and deal with it.

May this year find you and me to be faithful, loving, co-laborers in the truth, having allowed God to confront the things that have kept us from it, and give us a new perspective on our money, time, and motives.

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