The following are the exact notes of a message I shared at a kind local church last year. As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn
SPEND SPEND SPEND glenn kaiser
2 Cor. 12.15 I will gladly spend and be spent for you, for your souls -Paul the apostle
Concern for the Corinthian Church
11 I have been a fool! You forced me to it, for I ought to have been commended by you. For I was not at all inferior to these super-apostles, even though I am nothing. 12 The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works. 13 For in what were you less favored than the rest of the churches, except that I myself did not burden you? Forgive me this wrong!
14 Here for the third time I am ready to come to you. And I will not be a burden, for I seek not what is yours but you. For children are not obligated to save up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15 I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16 But granting that I myself did not burden you, I was crafty, you say, and got the better of you by deceit. 17 Did I take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you? 18 I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother with him. Did Titus take advantage of you? Did we not act in the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps?
19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves to you? It is in the sight of God that we have been speaking in Christ, and all for your upbuilding, beloved. 20 For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder. 21 I fear that when I come again my God may humble me before you, and I may have to mourn over many of those who sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual immorality, and sensuality that they have practiced.
WHO? apostle Paul is writing
TO WHOM? the followers of Jesus in Corinth…
ABOUT WHAT IN THIS TEXT? attitudes, sharing financially, Christian maturity, side-notes on false judgment, accusations and Paul’s personal pain as a leader feeling the pain of the mess in a large group of otherwise very blessed people!
Economics, business paradigm: “return on investment”
We often think “sow – reap” period. Only I’d say often a comma or even a few dots are worth considering. Why? Consider with me please-
Jesus “Give and it shall be given unto you, pressed down, shaken together and running over men shall pour it back into your lap” (KJV)
Prosperity gospel? I don’t think so!!
Jehovah Jireh- my Provider
Jesus- your heavenly Father knows your needs before you ask Him, Mt. 6.33 seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you” -your needs, food, clothing, housing, etc..
Scripture teaches He gives so we must give, He gives so we can share with others in need, what have we got that God has not provided us? Paul even writes at the opening of this letter that they experienced extreme pains and miseries to the point they were going to be killed by them- and that it happened so in the future they could then help OTHERS make it through the same sort of persecutions and remain loving, faithful witnesses and servants of Jesus Christ! It ain’t about us!!
Ok, so I’m haunted by Matt. 25- food, water, clothing, shelter, then the last 2 things Jesus lists when separating His sheep from the goats: I was sick and you cared for me, in prison and you came to me. Hmmm? Where is this old born-again, Spirit-filled Chicago hippie going with all this?
Love. Serve. Give. GRACE means they didn’t EARN it. If you only love, serve, give of your time, effort, care, material and/or financial investment in people YOU THINK WORTHY… don’t talk about grace because you have taken the so-called “wise, righteous” position -at BEST… as “stewardship”. Perhaps you are thinking you’ve arrived at biblical, holy “stewardship”?
God’s idea of stewardship- even in the Old Testament where we often may think the LAW and judgment of God can seem a tad mean, maybe even harsh, tough… we find cities of Refuge, Years of Jubilee where the nation is COMMANDED BY GOD HIMSELF to give, share, release, be gracious (the poor did not EARN nor MERIT)… with safety in cities, food, and needs for life provided for the poor, for widows and orphans. A mark of Christ’s true sheep, His disciples, His followers is not “praying God will rain down fire” on His enemies but rather grace, mercy and giving, sharing- extending God’s love to enemies as well as the widows, orphans and so on.
See- our human sense is “give ’em what they deserve”. Never forget you and I only deserve hell, separation from God. If we as Christ-followers will not repent of small, fearful, angry, -contrary to the Good News of Jesus- attitudes and actions the “judgment that begins in the house of God” must surely come to weed out the Pharisees among us.
The “least of these” and our treatment of them is our treatment of Jesus.
So Paul is literally spending himself, his time, money, effort, loving concern for the welfare of the souls of one of the most blessed AND… AND… messed-up, immature, selfish and sinful churches… that of Corinth. And they are judging Paul because of their own small hearts and unwillingness to share. His very attitude, sharing, giving, loving nature no doubt causes them personal discomfort and conviction. Therefore if taken far enough, the man through whom most of the New Testament is written by God the Holy Spirit may be considered their enemy! Wow!! Think of it!
“I do not want yours… but YOU”. “I will gladly SPEND and BE SPENT” for you, for your sakes, for your souls!
Church, we can and do scream and howl about our own fears, outrage, politics and the nation is going to hell in a handbasket. When will we- in the practical- love our neighbor as ourselves? When and how shall we proceed in the light of Paul’s incredible heart and giving? Overcome evil with good? Love our enemies (a COMMAND of Jesus)? May you and I learn, truly grow- in the mature spiritual, wise and gracious life that says in both words and kind action toward others: “though poor yet making many rich”.
Jesus didn’t have a home, never owned but one outfit and sandals. He poured out His life, His very blood, He took upon Himself the form of a servant, a bond-slave willingly that we might be saved, inherit eternal life by faith in Him. Paul got it. Do we? May God the Holy Spirit speak to each of you as well as me, in how we must respond to the needs of those around us- with grace, not merely in terms of what they “deserve”! Thank you for listening!