Scripture reading for September 27th: Zephaniah, Psalm 74, 2nd Corinthians 8
2nd Corinthians 8: 1-5 “We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints–and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.”
Paul commended the overflowing generosity of the Macedonian church in the face of severe persecution. These believers were filled with joy even in the midst of extreme poverty and gave extravagantly out of the little they had. They could only give out of their means but some gave beyond their means because of their faith in God and they demonstrated their faith through giving and even counting it a great favor to give for the relief of other believers who were also in need. Paul noted that they could do this only because they had truly given themselves to the Lord first and then they discerned God’s will to give to these needs.
Psalm 74:12-13 “Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth. You divided the sea by Your might; You broke the heads of the sea monsters on the waters.”
Prayer: Father God, thank You for the joy and willingness to give reflected in these Macedonian churches that were under severe affliction and poverty. I see Christ Jesus in their generosity and compassion for others who were also suffering. Help me to overflow with generosity and joyful response to the needs of your people. I give myself and my possessions to You to bring You glory and work salvation on earth.
Zephaniah 2:3 “Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do His just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the anger of the Lord.”
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