Today we turn to Paul’s teaching to the church at Corinth. He is writing a letter encouraging the faith of God’s people. Read this letter as if it was addressed to you.
II Corinthians 8:1-5
1 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.
2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.
3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own,
4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.
5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.
What is Paul’s testimony about the churches in Macedonia? They were generous, even when generosity was difficult!
How are you doing with this idea… Are you generous, even when life is hard?
Notice in verse 4 that Paul refers to this kind of giving as a “privilege.” Do you agree? Is participating in the mission of Jesus Christ a privilege? How are you exercising this privilege these days?
O God, we thank you for the example of others who inspire us to generosity, those from long ago, and those who live in our midst right here and now. Inspire us again, Lord, by your Holy Spirit, that being temples of your Spirit we may reflect your glory and power to the whole world, and show people how generous you are by the ways we are also generous. In Jesus’ name. Amen.