This topic came up in our weekly church Life Goup Bible Study while going through 1 Thessalonians 2:1-16.
The Study guide is Titled "Marks Of A Mighty Church, and the chapter was titled, Committed to the Standard of God. Verse 9 discusses leadership in ministry and their finances.
Paul in this instance notes that though there should be support financially, in this case he derived it from other churches and personal tent making. The tent making does not come across as a normal standard, nor the fact that he did not expect finances from the Thessalonians, who lived in a bustling economic community. We are not sure of the reason why, but perhaps other religions there were led by leaders in it for the money, but certainly Paul wanted to state the integrity of his message and motive.
As we look at Scripture concerning the topic of finances and supporting those in ministry, here are some things to consider...
The Apostle Paul, in his letters and teachings, did address the topic of financially supporting those in ministry. He emphasized the importance of supporting and providing for those who were dedicated to spreading the Gospel and serving the Christian community. Here are some key principles and passages related to this:
1. 1 Corinthians 9:7-14: In this passage, Paul defends the right of ministers to receive financial support. He uses the analogy of a soldier, a farmer, and a shepherd to highlight that those who work in ministry should receive their livelihood from the ministry they serve. He argues that those who preach the Gospel should live by the Gospel.
7 Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Or who tends a flock without getting some of the milk? 8 Do I say these things on human authority? Does not the Law say the same? 9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain.” Is it for oxen that God is concerned? 10 Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. 11 If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 12 If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more?
Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. 13 Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.
2. Galatians 6:6: Paul encourages believers to share all good things with the one who teaches. This implies financial support for those who are engaged in teaching and ministry work.
6 Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches.
3. 1 Timothy 5:17-18: In this passage, Paul speaks about honoring elders who lead the church well. He specifically mentions that "the laborer deserves his wages," suggesting that those who serve in leadership and teaching roles in the church should be compensated for their work by the church.
17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”
4. 2 Corinthians 11:7-9: Paul mentions that he did not burden the Corinthian church financially while he was with them but received support from other churches. This demonstrates that he recognized the importance of financial support for those in ministry.
7 Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God’s gospel to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and was in need, I did not burden anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied my need. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way.
5. Philippians 4:14-18: In this passage, Paul thanks the Philippians for their financial support during his ministry. He acknowledges their partnership in the Gospel and highlights the idea of sowing and reaping, suggesting that those who support ministry work will receive a spiritual harvest.
14 Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. 15 And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. 16 Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. 17 Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. 18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.
Overall, the Apostle Paul believed in the principle of financial support for those in ministry, and he taught that it was both reasonable and necessary for the functioning and growth of the early Christian communities. This support allowed ministers and missionaries to devote their time and energy to spreading the Gospel without being overly burdened by financial concerns. However, he also demonstrated a personal example of working as a tentmaker to support himself when necessary, which showed the importance of self-reliance when circumstances required it.
Learn to know those in leadership over you along with their needs and prayerfully support them in line with Scripture, learning to live by faith as even they do.
At a time when the mobile phone seems to have all our attention for work and social activity, it's time to down the phones a few hours a day and engage one another in the home!
Communication is the cornerstone of any healthy and enduring relationship, and nowhere is it more important than in the context of couples. Strong, open, and effective communication is the lifeblood of a successful partnership, helping couples navigate the challenges and celebrate the joys of life together. In this article, we will explore the vital elements of healthy communication in the home for couples and how it can strengthen the bonds of love and understanding.
A. Active Listening
One of the most fundamental aspects of healthy communication within couples is active listening. It involves genuinely paying attention to your partner when they speak, not just hearing the words, but understanding their emotions, thoughts, and feelings. Avoid interrupting or formulating your response while your partner is speaking, as this can hinder effective communication. Active listening involves making eye contact, nodding to show you're engaged, and asking clarifying questions to ensure you understand their perspective.
B. Open and Honest Dialogue
Healthy communication in couples is built on a foundation of openness and honesty. It's crucial to create an environment where both partners feel safe expressing their thoughts and emotions without fear of judgment or criticism. Encourage open dialogue by setting aside dedicated time to talk and discuss important matters, and be honest about your own feelings and concerns. Sharing both positive and negative feelings fosters an atmosphere of trust and vulnerability.
C. Respect and Empathy
Respect and empathy go hand in hand with effective communication in relationships. It's essential to treat your partner with respect, even when you disagree. Empathy, or the ability to understand and share in your partner's feelings, can help you connect on a deeper level. Put yourself in their shoes, acknowledge their emotions, and validate their experiences. This can lead to a sense of validation and emotional support within the relationship.
D. Non-Verbal Communication
Effective communication in couples isn't limited to words alone; non-verbal cues are equally important. Pay attention to body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice. Often, these non-verbal cues can reveal more about a person's feelings than their words do. For example, a simple smile can convey warmth and love, while crossed arms and a defensive tone might indicate tension or disagreement.
E. Conflict Resolution
Conflict is a natural part of any relationship, and healthy communication includes the ability to resolve conflicts constructively. When disagreements arise, focus on the issue at hand, not on attacking each other. Use "I" statements to express how you feel and avoid placing blame. Seek compromise and common ground, and remember that the goal is to find a solution that works for both of you, not to "win" the argument.
F. Time and Space
Balancing togetherness and individual space is crucial for healthy communication. Make time for meaningful conversations and shared experiences, but also respect each other's need for personal time and space. Maintaining a sense of autonomy can reduce tension and help you appreciate the moments you spend together even more.
G. Feedback and Adaptation
Regularly seeking and providing feedback on your communication can help your relationship evolve. Discuss what's working well and what could be improved in your communication style. Be open to adapting your approach based on each other's preferences and needs. This ongoing process of refinement can help you grow and strengthen your connection over time.
To summarise, healthy communication in the home for couples is the cornerstone of a strong, loving, and enduring partnership. By actively listening, maintaining open and honest dialogue, showing respect and empathy, being mindful of non-verbal cues, and resolving conflicts constructively, couples can build a solid foundation for their relationship. Remember that communication is a dynamic process that requires effort and constant improvement, but the rewards of a deeper, more intimate connection are well worth the investment. By nurturing healthy communication in your relationship, you can create a loving, supportive, and lasting bond that stands the test of time. Why not dig into your Bible and study Ephesians 4 to give you some added insight.
Speak to one of our Pastors should you two require counselling or feel it will assist and improve your relationship with each other.
“The Purpose of Scripture is not simply to be Informed, but to be Transformed!”
We have reorganized our mid week Bible Study at the Church premises, to Home based transformation groups and are kicking off with the amazing Book written by the Apostle Paul to the church at Thessalonica!
Join us as we engage in encountering God's Word with a study aimed at life transformation. We want believers to not just be informed, but transformed.
If you feel in life that something needs to change, then this is for you.
Contact Pastor Wayne on 083 386 9374 or email@example.com to find a group near to where you live.
This is your invitation, all welcome!
Community and relationships hold immense importance within the context of the church, playing a pivotal role in both individual spiritual growth and the overall mission of the church. Here are several key reasons why they are essential:
1. Spiritual Support and Growth: In a church community, individuals can find support and encouragement for their spiritual journey. Sharing experiences, doubts, and victories with fellow believers can strengthen one's faith and provide valuable guidance.
2. Fellowship and Belonging: The church is often described as a family of believers. Building relationships within the church offers a sense of belonging, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness. This fellowship can lead to a deeper understanding of God's love and the Christian faith.
3. Accountability: Healthy church relationships provide accountability. When members commit to supporting one another, they can help each other stay on the right path and avoid temptation. Accountability promotes personal growth and spiritual maturity.
4. Service and Ministry: Many church activities and ministries rely on the cooperation and collaboration of members. Relationships within the church enable individuals to work together effectively, enhancing the impact of their collective efforts in serving the community and advancing the church's mission.
5. Teaching and Discipleship: Within the church, more experienced believers can mentor and disciple newer members. These relationships facilitate the transfer of knowledge, values, and wisdom from one generation of Christians to the next, ensuring the continuity of the faith.
6. Emotional and Practical Support: Life is filled with challenges, and church relationships provide a support network during difficult times. Members can offer emotional comfort, practical assistance, and prayer, helping each other navigate life's ups and downs.
7. Evangelism and Outreach: Strong church relationships can lead to effective evangelism and outreach efforts. When members have positive, authentic relationships with non-believers, it becomes easier to share the gospel and invite others to experience the love of Christ.
8. Unity and Diversity: A diverse church community reflects the rich tapestry of God's creation. Relationships within a diverse church promote unity in Christ, demonstrating that people from different backgrounds and walks of life can come together as one body.
9. Worship and Celebration: Coming together as a community to worship and celebrate is a fundamental aspect of church life. Shared worship experiences deepen the sense of community and provide an opportunity for collective gratitude and joy.
10. Strengthening the Church's Witness: A church characterized by strong, loving relationships is a powerful witness to the world. It reflects the transformative power of the gospel and attracts others who are seeking meaningful relationships and spiritual truth.
In summary, community and relationships are the lifeblood of the church. They foster spiritual growth, provide support, enable service, and demonstrate the love of Christ to the world. The church, as a community of believers, thrives when its members prioritize and nurture these relationships, ultimately fulfilling its mission to bring people into a closer relationship with God.
At Lagoonside church endeavour to mirror these by the grace of our God. Like the disciples said, come and see.
Scripture provides principles and teachings that can guide the believer's behaviour and attitudes in any area of life, including the workplace. Here are a few key principles from the Bible that can be applied to the workplace:
1. Work as unto the Lord
As Christians we should approach the work context with diligence, integrity, and excellence, considering it as an opportunity to serve God. Colossians 3:23-24 says, "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ."
2. Honesty and integrity
God's Word emphasizes the importance of honesty and integrity in all aspects of life, including work. Proverbs 11:1 states, "A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight." As Christians we are called to be trustworthy and to conduct ourselves with integrity in our interactions with colleagues, clients, and employers.
3. Treating others with respect and fairness
The Bible teaches that Christians should treat others with love, respect, and fairness. This applies to how Christians interact with their coworkers, subordinates, and superiors. Matthew 7:12, known as the Golden Rule, says, "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them."
4. Diligence and responsibility
The Bible encourages Christians to work diligently and responsibly. Proverbs 12:24 states, "The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor." As believers, we are called to be diligent, responsible, and reliable in our work.
5. Prioritizing God and maintaining ethical standards
While the workplace may present various challenges and temptations, we Christians are called to prioritize our relationship with God and maintain ethical standards. Colossians 3:17 advises, "And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."
It is important to note that the practical application of these principles may vary depending on the specific circumstances, job responsibilities, and workplace policies. Christian, you are to seek to live out your faith in a manner that aligns with these biblical principles while also respecting the rules and expectations set by employers.
From the young toddler who just learned the word “no” to the older child acting out in willful defiance, all parents face the challenge of disobedient children. And, at the heart of the matter, disobedience is not just a child issue.
The Bible shows us we all battle the desire to rule ourselves and do as we please because we all are born into sin and rebellion (Psalm 51:5; Ephesians 2:3; Romans 3:10; 7:17–21). This battle against self-rule can wage an all-out war on our children if their disobedience is left unchecked; a war that will affect their future relationships with teachers, employers, friends, spouses, aging parents, and even their Heavenly Father. Yet, when we turn to the Bible, we find great hope in the fact that God gives the tools to train and discipline disobedient children and even promises blessing to those who learn and grow in obedience.
The command to honor and obey parents permeates Scripture, beginning in Exodus when God gives the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:12) all the way through the Old Testament (Leviticus 19:3; Deuteronomy 5:16; Proverbs 1:8; 6:20–21; 23:22) and into the New. Both Jesus and the apostle Paul reaffirm the fifth commandment (Matthew 15:4; 19:19; Ephesians 6:1–3; Colossians 3:20). Children are encouraged that their obedience will bring blessing (Exodus 20:12; Jeremiah 35:17–19; Ephesians 6:3; Colossians 3:20), while disobedient children who dishonor their parents are admonished that their behavior will bring punishment and shame (Leviticus 20:9; Deuteronomy 21:18; 27:16; Proverbs 10:1; 15:5; 20:20; 30:17; Matthew 15:4). Widespread disobedience to parents will characterize society in the end times (2 Timothy 3:2).
The nation of Israel, whom God calls His children (Exodus 4:22), provides an example for disobedient children. Repeatedly, God commands Israel to obey Him, promising great blessing for obedience and dire consequences for disobedience. In Joshua’s day, Israel obeyed God and was blessed with victory over their enemies (Joshua 11:23). Later, as the whole book of Judges shows, Israel’s disobedience brought trouble.
The Bible teaches the necessity of correcting disobedient children. Discipline is a part of life for everyone, and those who rebel against the authority of parents are to be chastised. Proverbs 19:18 says, “Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; / do not be a willing party to their death.” In this verse, discipline of a child is presented as a matter of life and death. Disobedience, left unchecked, will lead a child to eventual ruin. Proverbs 13:24 says, “Whoever spares the rod hates their children, / but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.” Here, love and careful discipline go hand in hand. The idea is refuted that a “loving” parent will never discipline a child. To turn a blind eye to rebellion is to hate the rebellious child.
Ephesians 6 is a key passage. Verse 1 speaks to children: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord.” That is, obedience to one’s parents is the God-given duty of every child. As long as the parents’ commands do not violate God’s Word, the child should obey. Verse 4 speaks to fathers: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” It is the duty of fathers to train their children in a godly way and to instruct them in the Lord’s Word. In so doing parents set their children up for the best chance for a long and prosperous life in this world (verse 3)—and treasures in heaven, too (Matthew 6:20; Galatians 6:8–9; Ephesians 1:3–4).
Who is wise? Let them realize these things.
Who is discerning? Let them understand.
The ways of the LORD are right;
the righteous walk in them,
but the rebellious stumble in them.
The book of Ephesians is one of the letters written by the Apostle Paul in the New Testament. It contains six chapters that address various themes and instructions for believers. Here is a summary of the key points in the book of Ephesians:
- The letter begins with Paul praising God for the blessings He has bestowed on believers through Christ. He emphasizes God's plan of salvation, predestination, and the redemption offered through Jesus' sacrifice.
- Paul highlights the unity of believers, both Jews and Gentiles, in Christ. He explains that through Christ's work, they are reconciled to God and brought into one body, the Church.
- The Apostle prays for the Ephesian believers, asking God to grant them wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of His great power and love.
- Paul shifts his focus to practical instructions for Christian living. He urges believers to walk in a manner worthy of their calling, emphasizing unity, love, and the importance of using their spiritual gifts to edify the body of Christ.
- He encourages believers to put off their old sinful behaviours and put on righteousness, honesty, and kindness. He addresses specific areas of life such as anger, dishonesty, sexual purity, and relationships.
- Paul instructs husbands and wives on their roles within marriage, parents on raising their children in the fear of the Lord, and slaves and masters on their conduct in the workplace.
- He also discusses the spiritual warfare that believers face, emphasizing the armor of God and the power of prayer.
Throughout the book, Paul emphasizes the grace of God, the work of Christ on the cross, and the unity of believers in the body of Christ. He encourages us as believers to live out our faith practically, demonstrating love, humility, and obedience to God's commands. The letter to the Ephesians serves as a guide for believers to understand our identity in Christ and to live in accordance with God's purposes and plans.
The Bible begins and ends with meals. The first words of God to humans are an invitation to eat; the first conflict in the Bible is over a forbidden meal; the last act of Jesus before his death is to share a meaning-laden feast with his disciples; and the final vision of the new world is of a massive, joyful banquet.
One of the blessings we enjoy as Christians is that wherever we find ourselves in the world, we have a community to which we belong, where genuine relationships with other Christians can be enjoyed. If we neglect table fellowship, we will miss one of the wonderful ways God builds authentic community in the church.
As creatures made in God’s image, we were created for relationships, both with God and with other image bearers. By God’s design, therefore, genuine relationships are the basis for all human flourishing. We learn in the Bible that sharing a meal together is one of the primary ways relationships are established, deepened, and enjoyed both with God and with others.
Jesus was rooted in and lived this tradition. Just as he shared food with all sorts and conditions of people as a sign of the inclusivity of God’s kingdom, so too did the early church. The gatherings to eat together were earthly representations of the heavenly banquet imagery that had been reinforced by Jesus through his teaching as well as his actions. Following in the footsteps of Jesus, the table fellowship of the early Christians was warm and accepting.
The joy of eating together, the value of table fellowship for deepening relationships, the missional fruitfulness of shared meals and the opportunities for sharing faith, biblical study, prayer and worship around the meal table have all been rediscovered many times.
The Old Testament prophets often compared life in the new heavens and earth with the picture of a divine banqueting table (Isa. 25:6; 55:1–2). In the New Testament, we regularly find Jesus reclining “at table” during His earthly ministry, engaging with real people, furthering His kingdom work, fostering true community, demonstrating reconciliation with God, and building genuine fellowship among His disciples (Luke 5:29; 7:36; 11:37; 14:15).
I’m convinced that one of the most important spiritual disciplines for us to recover in the kind of world in which we live is the discipline of table fellowship. In the fast-paced, tech-saturated, attention-deficit-disordered culture in which we find ourselves, Christians need to recover the art of a slow meal around a table with people we care about. “Table fellowship” doesn’t often make the list of the classical spiritual disciplines. But in the midst of a world that increasingly seems to have lost its way with regard to matters of both food and the soul, Christian spirituality has something important to say about the way that sharing tables nourishes us both physically and spiritually. We need a recovery of the spiritual significance of what we eat, where we eat, and with whom we eat.
To the Mothers of Knysna, we wish you a blessed weekend and a very Happy Mother's Day.
What we know is nothing is really lost until your mother can't find it!
Did you know that the only thing mentioned at creation before the fall of man that was not good was for a man to be alone, so God made woman, Eve! And after that, everything was "very good" .
Should any parents need encouragement or guidance with parenting, do not hesitate to reach out to us at Lagoonside Church in Knysna. We are here to assist you. Being a mother or father can be daunting, but God's Word offers the counsel we need.
Our Prayer For Mothers
We come to you today to lift up all mothers around the world. We thank you for the gift of motherhood and for the countless sacrifices that mothers make every day to nurture, care for, and protect their children.
We pray for strength and wisdom for all mothers, especially those who are facing difficult situations or challenging circumstances. We ask that you provide them with the support they need to fulfill their responsibilities as mothers and to guide their children towards a happy and fulfilling life.
We pray for mothers who are grieving the loss of a child, for mothers who are struggling with health issues, for single mothers who are facing financial hardship, and for all mothers who are going through difficult times. We ask that you comfort them and give them the courage to face their challenges with grace and resilience.
We pray for mothers who are celebrating the joys of motherhood, for those who have seen their children grow and thrive, and for those who have found new love and hope in their role as a mother. We ask that you continue to bless them and their families with health, happiness, and prosperity.
Most importantly, we pray that all mothers know how much they are loved and appreciated, not just on Mother's Day, but every day of the year. May they always feel your presence and know that you are with them every step of the way.
We ask all these things in your holy name. Amen.
Jesus gives us what we need
Palm Sunday, also known as Passion Sunday, is the start of the journey to the cross! As Jesus approached Jerusalem, He sent two disciples ahead for preparation. A donkey was selected for His ride into town (fulfilling Zechariah 9:9).
The Saviour entered the city with shouts of joy from the people that gathered. Cloaks and palm branches covered the road as the anticipated King arrived. Everyone seemed to be happy on Palm Sunday.
Sadly though, the tone would soon change as their hero would be arrested, tried, and crucified. In this arrival, the crowds wanted a Messiah who would give political and national rescue. Jesus had a better mission. His mission was to save sinful man and woman—by the gift of His own blood.
In our lives, we tend to sway back and forth from good days and bad days. If you are like me, you may wake up one morning with expectations on how the day should go.
I wonder what went through the minds of these folks gathered when they witnessed their hero fall later in the week? We can learn much from this story.
Jesus came to give them what they needed and not what they wanted! They wanted someone to rise up and give them power. Jesus gave up His power so that they could rise up over sin and death!
He exchanged His perfect life for their broken lives. He took the punishment of sin off of their souls and gave them eternal salvation. They needed that gift more than anything else in the world and so do we.
Today, cherish the Saviour in what He gave you.
You NEED Him above anything or anyone that may disappoint you today. You NEED Him for an unbreakable hope and future. You NEED Him for endless joy and mercy. You NEED Him for days in which you can’t celebrate.
He is eternally worthy to be celebrated! Spend some time in prayer today, thanking Him for coming to save you.
Why not join us next Sunday at Lagoonside Church in Knysna to find out more about the Saviour we celebrate!
Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!
When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in an uproar, saying, “Who is this?” The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”