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)