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The common good

Updated: May 18, 2023


Jesus is the foundation of the Church, as he said himself, ''‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone;''. Everything he did, while he walked this earth, was in complete accordance with YHWH's will and ways of working.

In Exodus 16 when YHWH provided for his people in the desert, his provision was all over the ground, in abundance! But he told Moses to tell the people ''to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.’ In other words, take to your full and no more.

YHWH provided and though some gathered much while others took little, they found out ”...when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.

Then in verse 19, Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.”

However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but found it was ''full of maggots and began to smell....''

Those who disobeyed the guidance for the use of YHWH's provision discovered that his blessing rotted in their possession.


Jesus reasoned the same way.

Every time Jesus carried out a miracle of provision, it was in abundance. The people were allowed their fill. Then he would tell his disciples (in John 6:12) to “Gather the leftover pieces, so that nothing gets wasted'' or the disciples would ''pick up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.''

So, the Jesus who said ''“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does,' was

1. generous in his provision,

2. it was for all to have their fill

3. ...and no more (did not permit greed)

4. knew not to waste and

5. recycled the leftover (he trained his disciples to be good managers of God's provision.)


The body of Christ is one unit. When the spirit of YHWH provides, he provides abundantly and does not 'muzzle the ox that threshes the corn'. But there is only so much that one ox can eat.

YHWH's gifts and provision of resources be it physical, mental, financial or spiritual, is 'for the common good' (1 Corinthians 12:7aNIV); such that 'the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.'

As the New King James version puts it :

''There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:.'' 1 Corinthians 12:4-7


This is the reverse of this world's 'me' culture. A true understanding that we are individually equipped for the benefit of the entire body will mark an end to competition in the Church, resulting in speedy growth with minimal waste and maximum returns in this limited time.

Why should my ministry be seeking translators when your church has that resource readily available? Why should I need to print my own gospel tracts when yours work just as well and is based on sound doctrine? Can't I just come alongside your good work, and support it financially (or in other ways) while you allow me to use it with no strings attached? It is the same body - the body of Christ - isn't it? Won't this free me up to do those things I am particularly gifted in? to the benefit of all of us?


As the Church, much time, manpower and funds are wasted in duplicating what YHWH has made readily available elsewhere in the body. Limited returns result from waste caused by greed, disunity or pride. YHWH has provided all we need in terms of people, skill and spiritual abilities but we must be willing to share. The duplication of products occurs when we do not share or ask. If we don't realise that what we have been given IS for the common good, the excess in our individual hands will only result in rot.

I bless God for the many ministries who not only do share but innovate for the benefit of the WHOLE body.

Thank you from all of us.

 

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 2 Corinthians 9:10-12



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