Chapter XXII Should Paul Rent The Store Front?

December 26, 2016

Chapter XXII Should Paul Rent The Store Front?

Paul needed to make a decision. He had finished the chests of drawers that the owner of their house wanted. The owner had given him permission to keep using the store front for a few more days so he could finish some more jobs that had come in. If someone was to rent the store front before he finished he would be left without a work place. He didn’t have the money to rent it.

The day came when the owner of their house came to pick up the chests of drawers he had made for him. Paul asked him to sit down because he had a question for him. He said, “If, by the end of the month, my earnings have been sufficient, I’ll sign a rent contract. Will you agree to that?” The owner said “Sure, I’ll agree to that.” Paul knew he would have to pray that more work would come in.

At the next Sunday morning Bible study Dr. Alvarez said he had a special announcement for them. He had a letter in his hand that he had received from his engineer friend. In the letter he said he had received a letter from a young couple in Buenos Aires who said they would be willing to consider coming to Chilecito to start a church. The man’s name was Ralph and his wife’s name was Joana. They had one child; a girl. Ralph had studied for two years in a seminary. He had experience in preaching but he had never pastored a church. He said they were willing to come to Chilecito for a visit if they invited them.

Dr. Alvarez said “I don’t want to invite them without your permission.” Then he said “Before we do that, I think it’s time that we started taking up offerings on Sundays. Before we do that, we need to form a directive committee. We need to have a treasure to keep track of the money and keep it in a safe place. That way, it isn’t just in my hands.”

There was a time of discussion. Someone asked if the Bible study group should offer to pay for the trip for the young couple. Dr. Alvarez said “I think that would be an excellent idea.” Someone else asked “Does this man, Ralph, have any skills? Will he be able to find a job here in Chilecito?” Dr. Alvarez said “That which would be ideal would be that we pay him a salary so he wouldn’t have to work. That is what most churches do.” “But” some one asked, “How could we raise enough money to pay him a salary?”

Dr. Alvarez explained to them that it would be impossible if everyone just put in one or two pesos in the offering every Sunday. In the Bible it talks about people giving 10% of their earnings to the Lord. It is called a tithe. In the Old Testament, what they gave sometimes even amounted to more than that. In the New Testament we don’t read anywhere that it is the Christian’s obligation to give a tithe to the Lord, but down through history many Christians have done that and God has always met their needs. Then he read to them Luke 6:38 which says, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Then he said, “It’s just a matter of trusting the Lord and claiming his promise.”

There was more discussion about forming a directive committee. Dr. Alvarez said, “In my opinion we ought to chose at least four men to form the committee. One can be the treasurer, another the financial adviser, and one can be the secretary to keep notes of decisions that are made. The other will just be a member at large. I would like to give you a week to think about it and we will form the committee next Sunday.”

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