‘A debtor to both the Greek and the Barbarian.’
In Romans chapter one, Paul explained that he was a ‘debtor both to the Greeks and to barbarians…’ This was a significant thing for Paul to say, both for that time and for the present time. In Paul’s day, the Greeks were the educated and sophisticated class, whereas the barbarians were generally people considered to be ‘savages.’ The Greeks were disciplined in many ways; they educated themselves, became wealthy, practiced physical fitness, took care in their buildings and city projects, etc. The barbarians, on the other hand, were those who exercised little discipline; they were often poor, lived in dilapidated houses built from sticks and mud, engaged in plundering susceptible neighbors, and generally conducted themselves in an unrefined manner. There was a great temptation to avoid these latter groups in favor to the former groups. Everyone wants a rich and refined person coming into their church, but who wants a poor wretch with filthy clothing? James addresses this exact situation:
[if] you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say to him, “You sit here in a good place,” and say to the poor man, “You stand there,” or, “Sit here at my footstool,” have you not shown partiality among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?James 2:3-4
We face the very same temptations today. We cannot favor one group of people over another. We have ‘Greeks’ and ‘Barbarians’ today. Each one we must treat with respect and honor. We are debtors to both. The grace that we have received has caused within us a debt that we could never pay. The only request of our Benefactor is that we share freely that grace with both Greeks and Barbarians, wise and unwise. A person’s refinement adds no value to them in the mind of God. Each person, just as they are, and no matter what their condition may be, is of great worth in the eyes of God. We need to recognize that and adjust our ministry accordingly, giving no favor to the rich for their wealth or the poor because of their poverty. In this ministry, we seek to go to places in which we will find both types of people. Both have the same spiritual problem, both need the same spiritual solution.
I need your support!
As I look back over the last few years, I have to give praise to God. How in the world did I survive financially? I never had enough, yet I always had enough. Never a month went by where I couldn’t pay for my mortgage or the lights or the gas. Every month my many children where filled with food, and often my own belly too much. On paper, it didn’t make sense, but the Lord made it happen each month. How? The Lord used people like you to give to this ministry. And I know, for this ministry to continue, it will be the Lord using people like you to sustain it.
This sustaining has been a sign for me that I am doing what I am supposed to be doing. For three years I have continually been asking the Lord, “Is this really what I am supposed to be doing? Shouldn’t I work at a church? Shouldn’t I get a regular job that brings in more money for my family?” I’m ready and willing to do whatever the Lord would have me to do. And perhaps He will move me in another direction in the future. But for now, I sense the pleasure of God when I preach on the streets. And I will continue to do that as long as He continues to sustain me.
Have you considered being a part of this ministry? Now would be a great time for you to become a monthly partner. Or, if you’d like, to send an end of year donation. Every bit makes a huge difference and I greatly appreciate it. Just as many hands make light work, so many monthly donors (even small ones) help carry the load.
Please consider joining us by becoming a financial partner! Visit our giving page on our website for more information: Halchaffee.com/partnergive.
One thought on “September Newsletter 2019”
I’ve always found it easier to talk to The Barbarians because that is where I’m from, I love spending time with the homeless and hearing their stories, telling someone in constant pain that there’s a way out and to engage in that conversation is quite easy. But to talk to the Greeks I find quite difficult I cannot I relate to having wealth or a higher education so to engage in conversation seems to be a struggle. I appreciate you bringing this issue up something that I need to confront. Looking forward to the next issue.
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