Take a look at your finances. Are you in plenty or in want?
Back when this letter was written to the church in Corinth, there was a great famine in Jerusalem. Many people were left destitute, starving for a warm meal, and questioning if they’d live to see another day. This put a fire in Paul’s belly, because some of these men and women were part of the Church. And if one part was suffering, the entire body of Christ was suffering—so as he traveled around to churches, he enlisted help from every Christian he talked to along the way. It didn’t matter if they were Jew or Gentile, rich or poor; what mattered was the state of their heart. Would they give cheerfully? Here was their moment to unite together.
The Macedonians were facing a severe test of affliction and extreme poverty themselves, but they begged to link arms with Paul and give toward the relief fund for those suffering through the famine. As Paul writes to the Corinthians, he highlights the Macedonians’ abundant joy and free will offering as the best part of all, and as only a loving friend can, questions the motivation of the church in Corinth. Will they also join in this gracious act of giving? Is their love for others genuine? Will they finish what they started and give eagerly?
You may be in a season of plenty. You have a well-paying job, your debts are paid off, and your expenses are manageable. Or you may be in a season of want, and at the end of each month, you’re crossing every finger and toe, praying that you’ll make both ends meet one more time.
Regardless of our position, financial security, or social status, God’s call to generous giving remains the same. May we also give in proportion to what we have, modeling the same eagerness as the Macedonians, and link arms with our believing brothers and sisters around the globe. Because this is our moment to unite together.
- God calls us to show compassion and care for those in need. How have you helped someone impoverished, underprivileged, or disadvantaged?
- Eagle Brook partners with organizations in our communities and around the world that specialized in caring for those in need while strengthening the local church. These organizations have both the vision and the infrastructure to impact thousands of lives—and as a church, we have the opportunity to bless them through our time, resources and prayer. Read more about our global partners, and pray for a way you can support and get involved in the lives of those who need it.
2 Corinthians 8:1-15
A Call to Generous Giving
1 Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. 2 They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has 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. 4 They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. 5 They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.
6 So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving. 7 Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.
8 I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches.
9 You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.
10 Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it. 11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have. 12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. 13 Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. 14 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal. 15 As the Scriptures say,
“Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over,
and those who gathered only a little had enough.”
2 Corinthians 9:6-15
6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say,
“They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”
10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.
11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.
13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. 15 Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!
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