Tag: grace of giving

The grace of giving!

Scripture reading for September 27th: 2nd Corinthians 8

Key Scriptures: 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 now turns to boast on the churches in Macedonia and God’s amazing grace of giving that had caused them to respond with generosity. Giving is a gift of God’s grace. It is natural for worldly people to want to hold onto what they have, especially during hard times when the fears of poverty and need are strongest. But the believers in Macedonia exceeded Paul’s expectations and he noted the special grace of giving among them. The first had given themselves to the Lord and as a result of that, they could then give themselves to generosity to Paul and the ministry team. They were going through affliction and trials of poverty and persecution, but God had given them joy in abundance and a willingness to give that caused them to ask for the privilege of giving. If you want to be blessed, ask God to give you this ‘grace of giving’ and choose to excel in it!

2nd Corinthians 8:7 “But you excel in everything–in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you–see that you excel in this act of grace also.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for being a generous and giving and loving Father to us Your children. Pass on to me and my children and brothers and sisters in Christ this amazing ‘grace of giving’. Help me to excel in it to bring glory to Your Son, Jesus Christ and be a blessing to Your Church and world mission.

Acts 20:35 “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”

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Delighting God!

Scripture reading for September 25th: Zephaniah, Psalm 74, 2nd Corinthians 8

Key Scriptures: 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 Macedonian churches for their gracious giving. These churches were in severe persecution and were suffering physically and economically. But Paul was impressed with their joyful hearts and gracious giving, even beyond their means. They did not need to be persuaded, but begged to be part of the relief of other brothers and sisters. Their giving was marked by giving of themselves to the Lord first and then their offerings.

Psalm 74:12 “Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.”

Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, You are my King, working salvation. Keep my heart in step with Yours, full of mercy and generosity. I give myself to You to dwell in my midst and open my hands to give as You direct.

Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is in your midst, a Mighty One Who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.”

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The grace of giving!

Scripture reading for August 8th:  2nd Corinthians 8

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  2nd Corinthians 8:1-5  “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.  And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.”  

God is a generous giver!  His love compels Him to bless His creation and especially His people.  Paul cited the Macedonians as an example of what a committed relationship to God the Father produced in their lives.  Although the Macedonians went through severe testing and extreme poverty, they had overflowing joy and a desire to give towards God’s work and His people.  They gave willingly and generously and the result was super-natural!  God’s grace works extreme generosity in those who are cleansed and forgiven!

Observations for over-comers:  The grace of giving, even beyond natural ability, marks over-comers.  A relationship with Jesus Christ, faith in God’s provision and vision for His work produces the grace of giving.  “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this?  Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from your hand.”  (1st Chronicles 29:14)

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Giving even beyond our ability!

Scripture reading for August 7th:  2nd Corinthians 8

The subject of giving can be difficult for a minister to talk about.  When money is mentioned, people tend to close their hearts and guard their money!  Also, false teachers often manipulate people with their words to get money.  The love of money is a stronghold that must be broken for God’s blessings to flow in His people’s lives!

“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.  And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord, and then to us in keeping with God’s will.”  (2nd Corinthians 8:1-5)

Paul shared with this church about another group of churches who had “the grace of giving.”   These churches were in a ‘severe trial’ and ‘extreme poverty’, yet they pleaded with Paul for the opportunity to give.  Paul stated that they gave even beyond their ability!  They did this on their own, not being manipulated by Paul or worked to get their money.  How could this be?  Paul said the secret was that they gave themselves first to God and allowed God to instruct them in His will.  They then obediently gave generously to Paul for his mission work!

Would that we in the church would follow the example of the Macedonian churches!   Let’s try giving ourselves fully to the Lord and allow Him to put His heart of generosity in us!  May we “excel in this grace of giving.”  (2nd Corinthians 8:7b)

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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 was 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 stated 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!

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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!

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