Read: II Corinthians 8:1-15
Think: Paul challenges the church in Corinth to follow the ways of the Macedonia church that excels in the act of giving. In his uniquely persuasive way he writes, “I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of other churches.” Ouch! First, Paul gives the reason “why” we should excel in the act of giving, saying in II Corinthians 8:9, “You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor…” Then he proceeds with“how” to excel in the act of giving: (1) Give in proportion to what have, not what you don’t have, (2) Give eagerly, not resentfully or hesitantly, and (3) Give while you have it because someday you may not have it to give!
Act: Fifteen percent of Jesus’ words in the New Testament were related to money, giving, and possessions. In fact, the concept of giving back to God a portion of what He has given to you, is not a radical idea…it just simply requires faith and obedience to do so. In this chapter of II Corinthians Paul is talking to the church about being excellent generous givers, not just occasional or reluctant givers. Based on Paul’s suggestions of how to become a more generous giver, which of the three “hows” gives you the most concern or trouble? For example, is it more difficult for you to give a percentage of every paycheck if it bigger than usual? Do you struggle with holding onto money instead of giving it away, in case you might have an emergency? Take time today to consider ways to become more excellent in the act of giving to God.
Pray: Dear Jesus, I want to excel in the act of giving. I want to become more generous with my time, talents, finances, and spiritual gifts. Thank you for the generosity you have shown to me. Give me a renewed view of generosity from the scriptures so that my heart is stirred to become more and more generous with each passing year! I love You, Lord! Amen.
Be full of faith today!