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. So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But just as you excel in everything–in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us–see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. – 2 Corinthians 8:1-9
Some of the most generous people I know are not very wealthy. Much like the Macedonian churches, they have learned to give joyfully and lavishly out of what they have – even in the midst of their own hardship and poverty. Paul uses them as a model of giving for all believers. Give all you can, and even more than you are able. View giving as a privilege. Remember that it begins with giving yourself to the Lord first!
When you belong to Christ 100%, then your giving will be Christ directed and Spirit inspired. I’ve said it this way many times, “God’s not interested in your money, He’s interested in you. If He’s got you, then He’s got your money!”
Believers often display excellence in faith, in communicating that faith, in knowledge and in earnest and sincere love, but Paul uses excelling in this grace of giving as the test for sincere love. Excellence in giving was displayed in our Lord Jesus Christ as He abandoned the riches and splendor of heaven, and for our sakes He became poor, so that through His poverty we might become rich. Wealth in life is not determined by how much you have, but rather by how much you give! Our Lord did not hang on to His treasures in heaven, He has given us all things. 2 Peter 1:3,4 – “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
- Give thanks to God for His wonderful gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Join our 6:00pm Thursday night prayer team (in prayer if not in person).
- Praise God for the rich gifts of faith, words and understanding that come from Him.
- Pray for the Good News families of the week: Frank & Anna Diehl, Ruth Doolittle, Adam Doud
- Give thanks to God for the grace He has shown in giving us everything we need for life and godliness.
- Ask God to fill you with His Spirit of giving. Dedicate yourself to Him 100%.
- Join in with our Sunday prayer services to pray for God’s presence and blessing.
- Give thanks for the sacrificial people in your fellowship who model excellence in giving.
- Attend “In Touch” Prayer meeting at GNCC at 10:30am or join in prayer at that time.
- Determine to become rich toward God! Ask God to show you ways in which you can give like He gives – maybe even with something other than money!
- Earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can!
Prayer Challenge: Make giving more important than receiving. Ask God to teach you how to excel in this grace of giving. Freely you have received, freely give!