Happy Monday! Have you ever purchased or made a gift for someone and you were too excited to wait and give them the gift? Maybe you hinted at the gift or just gave it, but never the less your heart was filled with joy because the gift of giving not only benefits the receiver, but it blesses and inspires the giver. Join me as we begin our reading in 2 Corinthians chapter eight.
“Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters,[a] 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.[b] 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.” 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 NLT
In these verses Paul is focusing on the churches ability to give graciously for the collection/offering for the poor in Jerusalem. Paul provided an example of the Macedonian churches (in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Berea) desire to give to the poor in Jerusalem even when they (the Macedonian chuches) were suffering because of their own faith. They also experienced poverty, but trusted God to give so that others may know and understand the riches that are in Christ.
The greatest gift that we as believers received was the gift of eternal life. Let’s not forget the reason for our hope.
Sisters and brothers, the word of God must continue to reach the ends of the earth. The gospel must be preached/taught to those who don’t know about God’s saving grace through Christ Jesus. As you think of all the ways that you can help expand the gospel message, don’t forget to help sustain your church and remember the poor in spirit.
While you may not be able to give much, here are some easy ways to give:
- Donate a Bible or give a Bible.
- Pay for your Sunday School or Bible study book and purchase one for someone who is struggling financially.
- Get involved in a ministry in the community. Give away gently used clothes to people who are in need or donate them to a shelter.
There are many ways and reasons to give, pray about it and ask God how you can give, bless those in need and help sustain local and missionary churches.
Father God, thank you for the reminder to give and bless others. Father thank you for sending your son Jesus to reconcile us to you. Lord God, help us to remember the importance of giving financially and sharing your word/truth. Lord, soften our hearts and release our worries so that we may give as you see fit. Lord, we pray for those who don’t know you. Lord, we pray for Holy Bibles – Bibles with your true word to be distributed throughout the world. Lord, we know your word says that there will always be poor among us, but Lord don’t let us become complacent with not helping, which results in us overlooking the needs of your church and people. Give us hearts of compassion. Open our eyes and our hands to opportunities to pray for churches, communities and small town/villages and give (time/money) to those who are poor or in need of consistent support. Lord, awaken us, give us wisdom and discernment as we seek you on how and what to give to your children. In Jesus name amen.
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