Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.
– 2 Corinthians 8:1-5
I have been studying this chapter of 2 Corinthians for over a month and I am blown away by the overflowing generosity of the Macedonians which Paul highlights.
My wife and I have been examining our own generosity and have asked ourselves if it come to this level. Sadly enough I don’t think so, but the Holy Spirit is convicting us and moving in us to desire to give more. These verses should cause us all to look at our generosity.
So why do we not give like the Macedonians? Could it be a lack of trusting God for our provision? Could we be holding back out of fear that what we do have will run out or dry up?
Continue reading “How Generous Are You?”
Have you ever read scripture or listened to a sermon and thought to yourself “Boy, could so and so use this”? Or “Wow I could totally use this to point out what so and so isn’t doing (or needs to do)!” If we are honest with each other – we would admit to doing it. I have.
And in the spirit of transparency, I did it recently. I started reading 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, and listening to sermons on it to use it against you. Yes – you. Even if we don’t know each other, that was my plan. I was going to use it for anyone I could reach to show you how you are lacking in giving. Nice, huh? But by God’s amazing grace and his loving discipline, he knows better what we need than we do. And this case was no different. So, I am not here to throw scripture at you to show you where you are lacking – because God showed me through his word where I still have a lot of weakness. So instead, I am going to share with you what I have learned about my own heart in this area. My prayer is that you find it edifying, yet convicting if you need it.
Continue reading “What Kind of Giver are You?”
What does the Bible say about the poor and powerless and how we should help them?
There are many references to this topic in both the Old and New Testaments. To list just a few:
Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked. – Psalm 82:3-4
Continue reading “The Poor and Powerless”
“Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:1-4
Giving, specifically of our money, is an important topic among the body of Christ. And often it is one that we don’t want to talk about. Did you know the Bible has around 2,000 verses on the topic of money? That is significant. Just to list a few for your reference, take a look at these: Proverbs 3:27, Proverbs 11:25, Malachi 3:8, Matthew 6:2; Matthew 19:21, 2 Corinthians 9:7; 2 Corinthians 8:12. And the list goes on.
We know that all things belong to God including our material wealth. But do we trust him enough to give what is due?
Continue reading “Giving What Is Due”