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Giving Is Happier (1 of 2)
I have studied this farewell address of the Apostle Paul to the pastors at Ephesus for many years. In this particular closing message, the last message he will ever deliver to those people, he covers an amazing number of subjects. For instance, the plan of salvation is clearly given in these verses. The importance of witnessing and telling other people about Jesus is in these verses. Christian growth is in these verses. The danger of the end time apostasy is in these verses. It's an amazing speech that Paul gives to these pastors in Ephesus.
I don't think it had ever really hit me with the particular impact it did this week until I noticed that Paul, coming down to the closing words, has to say to these pastors to carry on to the church in Ephesus, words that have to do with the subject of giving and how believers are to relate to their material possessions and to their money.
Rather interesting, is it not, that those are the final words he gives to them, words that have to do with the subject of money, material things, in our giving? I do believe that how people relate to material things and how they handle their money is a great statement concerning what they think about themselves, what they think about other people, and what they ultimately think about God. And so it is rather significant, I think, that these words of Paul speak to our hearts this morning.
He says some very interesting things just by the way of beginning for you. For instance, he tells us about his own attitude toward material things in verse 33. He says that he hasn't coveted anything that anybody else has. The word covet means illicit desire. This is to desire something to the point that it is a sinful desire. Paul is saying, "I'm not jealous of what anybody else has or I'm not desiring that I have what they have." He really picks up the words of the Lord Jesus in Luke 12, verse 15, where Jesu ...
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