Today you should read: 2 Corinthians 8:1-24
The Grace of Giving
Excel in the gracious act of giving… (v.7b)
Giving can be such a blessing in our lives when we understand some critical components of it. Thank you for being such a giving church! We’ve just come out of the largest missions giving month ever in the history of our church. Thank you for giving to the Lord.
Paul – the missionary – is giving a report to the church in Corinth about the churches in Macedonia. He tells us that God is using them – …what God in His kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia – to minister to others in need. We learn some critical principles today about giving from them.
First we learn that giving is not dependent on wealth. Verse 2-3 says, “…they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.” Giving is equal sacrifice – not equal substance. We don’t all have the same available resources – but we all can give to the Lord from what He’s given us.
We learn that giving is from the heart. “For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will.” (v.3)
Giving to others starts by giving ourselves to the Lord. Verse 5 reads “… for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to.” Paul encourages them (and us) to excel in the gracious act of giving.
Our giving is motivated by an understanding of God’s great gift to us. “You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (v.9) We are to give in proportion to how God has blessed us. (v.11-12)
Although I have always obediently given to the Lord, I haven’t always understood the privilege of giving. This is a lesson that God has been teaching Susan and I recently. Todd often says, “We’re never more like Jesus, than when we give.”
Although God doesn’t need our money, what He knows is that our money reveals where our heart is.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21
What does your giving reveal about your heart? Release it all to God today – He owns it anyway…
By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor