Warren Wiersbe makes a simple but true statement when he explains 2 Corinthians 8:10-12, ďThere is a great difference between promise and performance.Ē Now each of us can probably relate that statement. You bought something that promised to remove stains or help you to lose weight only it failed to live up to the promise that it made. On the personal side someone has promised to do something or maybe even you promised to do something but failed to follow through with your commitment. It happens to all of us; not that itís ok or acceptable after all we are only as good as our word. If what we say is not trustworthy especially as a Christian than how can individuals ever believe your testimony about Jesus.
Let us look at the advice Paul offers to the Corinthians and us today;
10 And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. 11 So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.
2 Corinthians 8:10-12 (ESV)
Now the context in which Paul was writing to them was about the collection of monies for the church in Jerusalem that had fallen under hardship because of the persecution of the Jews. Now Paulís address is specifically calling them to fulfill their promise of a contribution to this offering. They had committed to this the previous year and Paul had been singing their praises and using them as part of the fundraising campaign boasting about their willingness to give and support the church. While I can see some of you cringing already wondering why I am talking about giving I donít want your money. I am bi-vocational and my desire is trying to help you grow closer to Jesus.
So what is the point in this message? Stewardship is more than just financial giving. It includes how you use all of your resources. These resources are your finances, time and gifts. You see many of us have this simple desire once we get saved and it often is covered by these few words; ďI want to be used by God!Ē or ďWhat can I do?Ē To be honest I donít know of a single Christian who when they first came to Christ that has not asked that question or made that statement. Or there is this side of it. Have you ever haggled with God? Lord if you will just _________ I will ________________! Most everyone is guilty of this.
You know when I first read this passage I was struck by the fact that I have made some commitments to God that I have yet to fulfill. I then began to wonder how many others who I see week in and week out also have an issue with fulfillment. Let me say that it is not too late to be found faithful to your word. If there is still breath in your lungs and blood flowing in your body we can move from the promises we made to the performance of them for the glory of God and His Kingdom. So today I want to Challenge you that if you committed to something for Godís Kingdom itís time to start performing the tasks He has for you. Be blessed as you walk in the Light of Godís Word.