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This was a quick giving message and Communion message that I delivered on Easter Sunday at Bowen Christian Family Centre

 

Giving message

In Luke 6:38 NIV Jesus says to the disciples
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Jesus was talking about judging others but this verse is also relevant to our finances.
Matthew 6:28-34 NIV it says “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
If we can say we truly trust God and that He is our provider, we should have no trouble when it comes to giving. God wants us to give with a happy heart and care for those less fortunate than us while also growing His church and spreading His word.
As I pray consider what God wants you to give, it doesn’t matter how large or small listen to God and Trust Him..

The Meaning of Communion

Luke 22:19 (NIV) says

And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
With these words ringing in our ears, we regularly celebrate communion. As we drink the cup and eat the bread, we reflect on Christ’s sacrifice and look forward to his return.
Yet communion is more than a memorial. Our continued participation in this powerfully symbolic ceremony moulds our thinking and brings to life deeply spiritual truths in very concrete ways. It shapes our identity as a people of God and provides the truly blessed assurance that we have been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. The “message” of communion is important and deserves our full attention.
An Unworthy Manner?
From what I’ve said, it follows that believers should share communion at every reasonable opportunity. Yet, often believers abstain from sharing in this experience. They allow the bread and the cup to pass them by as they sit in guilt and shame, wishing they were more worthy. There have been times years ago when I myself would abstain if I were struggling with some sin.
This practice stems from Paul’s warning in 1 Corinthians 11:27-32. There Paul tells us to examine ourselves before communing, for “whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord” (v. 27, NIV). Participating “in an unworthy manner” brings judgment (v. 29-31), and none of us wishes to transgress this command. Therefore, we examine ourselves before participating, seeing how well we “measure up.” If we feel spiritual enough, we may proceed; if we don’t, better “safe than sorry.”
But is this really Paul’s meaning? Was this Jesus’ meaning? Consider Jesus’ words in John 6:
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him” (v. 53-56, NIV).
Think about the fact that Jesus’ blood cleanses us from sin. When we are guilty, we need Jesus the most. When we are struggling, we need the help and support of the body. We are in a fellowship of brothers and sisters who represent Jesus to us, and we need the strength and assurance provided by communion. To shrink away from it is to retreat within ourselves and suffer silently.
The Corinthians’ behaviour contradicted the whole point of the communion experience. Rather than celebrating their unity, they were revealing their division. Hence Paul’s question, “Do you despise the church of God?” They were eating and drinking “without recognising the body of the Lord” (v. 30), that is, the body of Christ of which they were part. As such, they were eating and drinking “in an unworthy manner” and bringing judgment on themselves. The “unworthy manner” relates to the way they abused the Lord’s Supper.
When we struggle with sin and find ourselves in need of forgiveness, let us seek that forgiveness and eagerly reach for the cleansing blood of Christ. “Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ?” (1 Cor. 10:16a, NIV). Let us share the communion experience and the reassurance that we are part of God’s people. “Is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?” (1 Cor. 10:16b, NIV).
Participation in the Body
This message is one of hope and comfort, but it is also one of warning. Paul directs our attention to the body and asks us to examine ourselves. Are we communing as a body? Right relationships within the body are essential. Jesus taught that this aspect of church life is to take precedence over worship (Matt. 5:23,24).
Communion is not an individualistic matter; it is a body matter. We commune as a body; we come to the Lord’s table as a family. This truth is bound up in the biblical symbol of the one loaf and the one cup. “Because there is one loaf,” Paul writes, “we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf” (1 Cor.10:17, NIV).
This meal was the focal point of the church’s weekly experience, as Acts 20:7 indicates: “On the first day of the week” the church at Troas “came together to break bread” (NIV).
We read in Acts that the first Christians “broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts” (Acts 2:46). Communion was an occasion of sharing with the saints and celebrating the forgiveness found in Christ.
Conclusion

As we celebrate communion, take a look around the room and consider the brothers and sisters with whom you are communing. Evaluate your relationships with them. Do you despise the church of God? Consider how to put an end to unresolved conflicts. Do you recognise the body of the Lord? If so, commune with thanksgiving. Are you struggling with sin? Drink deeply of the cup of forgiveness, and thank God that Christ is coming soon to usher us in to the banquet hall where we shall celebrate with all the saints in the body.
Lets Pray