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Faithful Witness Missions
Dr. B. J. Stagner Jr.  |  Aberaman, Wales, UK
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January 11, 2014 Vol 2 issue 2
Posted by: Faithful Witness Missions | more..
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." 
I Corinthians 13:1.

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul tells us that even if he were to speak eloquently the greatest words ever heard on the face of  the earth, but lacked charity, his speech would be nothing but cacophonous and annoying noise and clamor. 

How can these words encourage us?  What can we take from Paul's admonition that will better serve our lives and our fellow man?  The simple answer is actually found in the meaning of the word charity.  While charity can be considered an act of love, it is truly an outward expression and extension of love that defines what it really is.  We all "love" things and people.  (I love coffee, but that’s not necessarily going to benefit those around me except at Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks or the McCafe!)

Charity is the selfless¬†act of love exercised without expecting anything in return. ¬†It is agape love, sacrificial at its roots¬†and a¬†blessing¬†to those whose condition or situation may benefit from someone's thoughtfulness, compassion,¬†care and love.¬†¬†Each one of us possess the capacity to exercise charity on a daily basis, even in times when it may be difficult for us to give or share. ¬†In our world today, people are being¬†indoctrinated¬†with an entitlement mentality, believing that they are owed something for nothing. ¬†Yet, when was the last time we actually wondered how much we owe others?¬† The words we chose to¬†use throughout the day¬†(charitable words), the way we speak one to another¬†(charitable speech)¬†and¬†even the way we drive to and from our homes¬†(charitable patience)¬†are¬†opportunities¬†that allow us to extend¬†charity to others¬†by placing their feelings and needs before our own.¬† Paul understood this¬†and¬†wrote¬†to the Christians in Rome saying, "I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise."(Romans 1:14). ¬†Paul truly appreciated the charity of others and felt indebted to them all.¬†¬†Maybe you are asking¬† yourself, "how does¬†this encourage me?‚Ä̬† When we place the needs of others before our own and¬†at the forefront of our lives, we find that we begin to encourage those around us and once we experience encouraging someone else, that will in turn encourage us.¬†¬†Charity becomes its own reward, to us and to others.¬†¬†Encouragement through sacrificial love is a reciprocal ministry in the¬†life of the Christian. ¬†

There are three ways to produce charity in the lives of those around us.  As we engage in the lives of people whose paths we may cross, many on a daily basis, we recognize that some people's needs are simply greater than others.   Often those with the greatest needs are most appreciative of the charitable gift of our time which is a very personal way of sharing.  Time is a great treasure, a limited, non-renewable resource which cannot be saved, duplicated or re-used and is hopefully spent in appropriate ways.  Yes, it requires time invested in the lives of others to truly make a difference.  We most likely are able to recognize  the time family, friends and, on  occasion,  strangers have selflessly invested in our lives over the years.  When we examine the needs of those around us with an appreciation for all that has been invested  individually in us by others, an understanding of Paul's feelings as a debtor to the Greeks and to the Barbarians becomes quite apparent.

Secondly, charity is exercised into the lives of others by our testimony. Sometimes simply  lending an ear to those that are in need will be all that is required while other times some sage advise and uplifting words may be desired.  The greatest encouragement to others, however, will be our personal  testimony of the great things the Lord has charitably provided for us in our lives, the blessings of which may then be shared as great and wonderful gifts.  Remember that charity is a reciprocal ministry!  The spirit of charity is revealed throughout the Scripture as men went forth and testified of the great things Christ had done for them. 

Lastly, exercising charity, like the sacrificial love witnessed in our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, will sometimes require our treasure.  Beloved, sometimes it is going to painfully cost us to exercise the kind of charitable love our Lord left us as an example to be followed.

Today may be the day that the  charity exhibited in our lives gives hope to others and changes the direction in the ones we least  expect. 

‚ÄúAnd now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.‚Ä̬†
I Corinthians 13:13

Dr. B. J. Stagner Jr. Dr. B. J. Stagner Jr.

Pastor Stagner has preached in many different countries and continues to preach the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in the manner that it is intended from the...

Category:  Encouragement

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January 4, 2013 Vol 2 Issue 1
Posted by: Faithful Witness Missions | more..
(A Psalm of David)¬† The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.‚ÄĚ Psalms 23:1 ¬† ¬† ¬†Along with John 3:16, the 23rd Psalm would probably be among the most well¬†known verses in all the world.¬† Men have quoted it, movies have recited it and monuments...
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toencourage December 28, 2013 Vol 1 Issue 44
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"Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old.  Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.  The beast of the field...
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toencourage December 21, 2013
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I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35 It is that time of year again when families gather...
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toencourage December 14, 2014
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And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.  And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid...
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toencourage December 7, 2013 Vol 1 Issue 41
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These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come. 21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye...
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toencourage November 30, 2013 Vol 1 Issue 40
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Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. Psalm 100:4 With all that we have to be thankful for in this life, I would be amiss not to focus upon the need to give thanks for...
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To Encourage November 23, 2013 Vol. 1 Issue 39
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And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Matthew 5:41 The Sermon on the Mount is a doctrinal statement for a Jewish Kingdom at the Second Advent of Christ.  This is without argument contained within the Word of God...
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toencourage November 16, 2013, Vol. 1 Issue 38
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For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7 The bill for our car insurance arrived in the mail last month and with the number of miles we are traveling across the country to...
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toencourage November 9, 2013, Vol. 1 Issue 37
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Last week, our points¬†of focus were the two words in Ecclesiastes 5:2, ‚Äúin heaven‚ÄĚ.¬† We discussed that Heaven is a Place, a Promise and is intimately¬†Personal.¬† This week I would like to conclude these thoughts using the same verses and topic of...
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