II Cor. 8:1-3: “Now I want to tell you, dear friends, what God in his kindness has done for the churches in Macedonia.2 Though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, their wonderful joy and deep poverty have overflowed in rich generosity.3 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.”
Are you a generous person? What is it that you are generous with: your money, time, or resources? One topic that causes a great deal of friction within the church today is the topic of giving. Couple that with a failing economy and you have an extremely touchy subject. The bible is clear that a Christ-follower is a person who gives where needed and when needed. As a Christ-follower, I realize that everything I own and every penny that I earn is what God has given me stewardship over. It all belongs to God. When I become reconciled to the fact that the things I possess are not really mine, and that it all belongs to God, I become free of my hold on those material possessions, including my money.
The early believers felt so strongly about giving to those who were in need that they were proactive in giving. Acts 2:44-45, says “And all the believers met together constantly and shared everything they had.45 They sold their possessions and shared the proceeds with those in need.” Wow, that is a radical way of showing grace to others, because God had shown grace to us. We give and are moved to help others because of the fact that God gave to us and continues to bless us, even though we might not deserve His blessings. The churches in Macedonia were having difficulties of there own. Tough times caused many of the people to live in poverty. However, in their poverty they still gave what they could and even beyond what was a reasonable amount. We as Americans live in such wealth that even in our poverty we are better off then the majority of this world. Even moderate poverty by the world’s standard is living on less then $2.00 a day. We are a blessed nation even in troubled times. The churches in Macedonia did not consider giving to be a burden or a duty, but rather a privilege and a chance to display God’s grace in their lives. Be a generous person. Give to those who have need, and do not hold on to the things that are not yours in the first place.
Application – Being generous is a mark of a Christ-follower.
Challenge – Give to those who have need and give freely with a cheerful heart, knowing that God has given freely to you!
Old Testament: Eccles 1-3 New Testament II Cor. 9