The grace of giving!
Scripture reading for September 5th: 2nd Corinthians 8:1-15
“And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.” (2nd Corinthians 8:1-4) This amazing grace that was given by God to the Macedonian churches caused them to cheerfully beg Paul to give an offering for the saints in Jerusalem. Wow! This is amazing! I have never had any church beg me to take an offering to send to another church! Not only that, but these churches were going through a severe trial and they gave out of their extreme poverty! Paul states that they even gave beyond their ability!
How was this possible? What motivated them to give so extravagantly? It was a gift of grace from God! Paul used this example of Macedonia to inspire the church at Corinth. He was encouraging them, not commanding them to give. (2nd Corinthians 8:8) He reminded them of God’s grace though Jesus Christ. Christ had all the riches of heaven, but chose to become poor and live among us that through His poverty we might become rich! Christ’s humble grace of giving His life for us should motivate us to give to Christ! We have truly been made rich in Him!
Paul encouraged the church to finish receiving the offering that they had started. They were to simply give out of what they had and that would please God. It was a willing heart that God would be pleased with. If they would give willingly out of what they had, the need would be met. At another time the church that they gave to might help them in their time of need. God’s grace flows through the body as we willingly give!
God is the great giver! When we give, we reflect His character. He wants us to excel in this grace of giving, so He gives us opportunities to give often. Why not offer yourself to God today to be a blessing to someone in need? Plead with God for the opportunity to give! You will truly be blessed!