TOPIC: WILLINGNESS IN GIVING
TEXT: 2 Corinthians 8:1-9(NKJV)
1. Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia:
2. that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.
3. For I bear witness that according to [their] ability, yes, and beyond [their] ability, [they were] freely willing,
4. imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
5. And not [only] as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and [then] to us by the will of God.
6. So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this grace in you as well.
7. But as you abound in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us — [see] that you abound in this grace also.
9. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
This letter is a follow–up to the first written to the Corinthians as regards the Judean famine relief contribution of 1 Cor. 16:1-3. Here Paul seeks to finalise preparation for the Corinthian church to make a contribution for the poor among the Saints in Jerusalem. He mentioned the churches in Macedonia which are Thessalonica, Philippi and Berea who were passing through a terrible time of persecution and poverty.
But despite the severity of their poverty, the Christians there exhibited unexpected joy and generosity. In the midst of terrible trials and deep poverty, they gave liberally; they gave beyond their ability, willingly! The Macedonians were not motivated by clever offering appeals, but drowned in the joy of giving to relieve the poverty of others while they themselves were utterly poor. Amazing!
They did not want to be left out in sharing in the service of the saints and being a blessing to others. Today, as Christians, we should understand the grace of God in us and should be ready and willing to give to people as well as the work of mission. Paul pointed to the example of Christ himself in verse 9 and expects us to understand the fact that the need for mission is an unending call.
PRAYER: Lord, please teach us what genuine sacrifice is so that we may become like you through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.