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  • Bishop Keith Butler

For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention. (1 Thessalonians 2:1-2)


Paul had come to Thessaloniki from Philippi, where he and Silas were unfairly treated, beaten, and jailed. The full account of that trying day is recorded in Acts 16.

He explained how it felt with the word shameful, which in the Greek is hubrizo. It means to exercise violence, abuse, and shame. Paul and Silas were stripped naked in public, beaten by the mob, chained up and thrown in prison.


This experience was embarrassing, painful, and possibly terrifying. Yet, Paul did not blame God. Paul knew God was not his problem; God was his solution.


I have seen many people over the years who dealt with some terrible situations, and they blamed God for their problems. Paul, however, didn’t blame God. He wrote that he knew that what he went through was not in vain. There was a purpose to it. God never promised His followers a life without difficulty or persecution, but instead a life full of purpose and meaning.


Practical Application – Don’t blame God for your problems. Understand that you have a real enemy and fight against him by pleading the blood of the lamb and speaking your testimony of faith. You are more than a conqueror regardless of how the enemy comes against you or any problems you may face.


John 10:10; Psalm 52:1

  • Bishop Keith Butler

I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service. And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself. (2 Corinthians 11:8-9)


Paul wrote to the Corinth church about how his ministry finances worked. He explained that other churches paid his expenses while he was serving the church in Corinth.

He went on to explain he was chargeable to no man. The word chargeable in Greek is katenarkēsa. This is the only time this word is used in Scripture. It means to be to the detriment of anyone. Paul said, “I didn’t take the money from anyone,” although in other places, he wrote that those who minister the Word to others should expect to be paid.


Paul went on to explain that it was his choice to keep himself from being burdensome. The word burdensome here is katanakao in Greek. It is derived from a fish that Aristotle said numbed those it came in contact with. Paul was saying, “I did not take this money from you so that you would not become a useless limb.”


Paul told the church of Corinth, “You should be paying me, but instead of letting you do that, the churches of Macedonia paid my salary to make sure you all received the ministry of the Word.” Similarly, many people have given to our ministry to ensure that we can establish other churches and ministries all over the world. This kind of generosity multiplies the effectiveness of a ministry.


Practical Application – Give where God has planted you. The ministers, pastors, and leaders that God has placed over your life should be blessed, and by blessing them, you allow them to sow the Word in more significant measure to others.


1 Corinthians 9:11; 1 Timothy 5:18

  • Bishop Keith Butler

Updated: Feb 25, 2020

Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. (2 Corinthians 8:1-2)


In 2 Corinthians 8:1-2, Paul was writing to the church of Corinth about the churches in Macedonia. These churches began with one meeting in the home of the jailor that had beaten and mistreated the apostle. Many other churches grew from that one. That’s how multiplication is supposed to happen. New churches should naturally be birthed out of existing churches.

Paul wrote that nearly everyone in the churches throughout Macedonia was in a severe battle when it came to their finances. Yet Paul did not say they were struggling or stressing or complaining about their situation. Instead, he told us the exact opposite. They had an abundance of joy!


How did they have joy while they were waiting for the manifestation of the answer to their problems? They walked by faith and not by sight. They had a revelation from the Holy Ghost on how to get out of their deep poverty. The grace of God that was bestowed on them was the anointing and wisdom from the Holy Ghost. The revelation they received showed them how to overcome their financial lack. Through abundant, generous giving, they would get out of the trial of affliction they were facing. It is always more blessed to give than to receive because, as you give, you enact spiritual and natural laws that bring finances to you on an on-going basis, which is much better than a one-time gift.


Practical Application – Are you struggling financially? Give liberally in faith and with joy and watch the blessings of the Lord overflow for you.


Luke 6:38; Acts 20:35

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