From The Heart

Publish date: 02/09/2004

As it is written, He who gathered much had nothing over, and he who gathered little did not lack. 16 But thanks be to God Who planted the same earnest zeal and care for you in the heart of Titus. 17 For he not only welcomed and responded to our appeal, but was himself so keen in his enthusiasm and interest in you that he is going to you of his own accord. 18 But we are sending along with him that brother [Luke?] whose praise in the Gospel ministry [is spread] throughout all the churches; 19 And more than that, he has been appointed by the churches to travel as our companion in regard to this bountiful contribution which we are administering for the glory of the Lord Himself and [to show] our eager readiness [as Christians to help one another]. 20[For] we are on our guard, intending that no one should find anything for which to blame us in regard to our administration of this large contribution. 21 For we take thought beforehand and aim to be honest and absolutely above suspicion, not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of men.  2 Corinthians 8:15-21 AMP

If you consider yourself a Christian, if you are a born-again child of God, you are obligated to live according to the Word of God – it is your duty and your privilege. It is very important that you are honest in all things, especially money. You ought to conduct yourself in such a way that you are above reproach and above suspicion. Paul said that he provided for honest things (KJV), which means that he took thought beforehand – he planned and he aimed - to be honest and absolutely above suspicion in financial matters. He did this in the sight of God and of man.

If you want to be honest before God then you must be completely and absolutely honest, for He sees everything you do and He knows what is in your heart – you cannot fool Him. Paul said that he planned, he took thought beforehand, and he aimed to be honest. You have to have a plan, you have to set a standard for your life so that when the occasion arises that your character is tested, you do not have to then decide how to conduct yourself, because you have already decided to do the right thing.

Who then is the faithful, thoughtful, and wise servant, whom his master has put in charge of his household to give to the others the food and supplies at the proper time? 46 Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) is that servant whom, when his master comes, he will find so doing. 47 I solemnly declare to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 48 But if that servant is wicked and says to himself, My master is delayed and is going to be gone a long time, 49 And begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with the drunken, 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour of which he is not aware, 51 And will punish him [cut him up by scourging] and put him with the pretenders (hypocrites); there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.  Matthew 24:45-51 AMP

God gives everyone of us a chance to prove ourselves and to prove what is in our heart. He gives us authority and responsibility and then He leaves us alone to do it. He does not stand over us and nag or beg, He does not force us, but He leaves us to prove our faithfulness and integrity.

In this parable, before the master leaves, he puts his servant in charge - he gives him authority over the other servants and the responsibility to take care of them and to provide food and supplies at the proper time. The faithful, thoughtful, and wise servant is honest and he does what is expected of him even though no one is watching over him, because he knows that the master could come back at any time and he wants to please him. If that same servant was foolish and wicked, he would take advantage of the situation and instead of doing his duty and taking care of his fellow servants, he would get drunk and beat them. The problem is that when his master came back, unexpectedly, he would be in big trouble. His master would discover that he had been unfaithful and dishonest and he would punish him and put him with the other hypocrites.

Abstain from all appearance of evil.  KJV Abstain from evil [shrink from it and keep aloof from it] in whatever form or whatever kind it may be.  AMP 1 Thessalonians 5:22

You need to be faithful and honest at all times because God is watching over you. You need to run away from evil – even the appearance of it. If you avoid even the appearance of evil, you will protect yourself from evil itself. Run from evil and choose to do right and the blessing of God will be on your life.