Saturday, November 17
The Power of Big E!
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 7-10
2 Corinthians 9:2 (CSB) For I know your eagerness, and I boast about you to the Macedonians: “Achaia has been ready since last year,” and your zeal has stirred up most of them.
2 Corinthians 9:2 (NIV) For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action.
I love this verse! Paul is encouraging the Corinthians to prepare a generous offering to share with the poor in the church in Judea. He compliments them on their eagerness and readiness to give since the year before. He reminds them that he has used them as an example in Macedonia, and that their enthusiasm or zeal has stirred the Macedonians to action.
First, the power of example. The Macedonians were stirred—moved to accept the challenge to give generously—by the Corinthians’ example. It’s the old adage: actions speak louder than words. An example can be a stirring challenge that moves people to action. Set an example! And point to good examples. They are powerful!
Second, the power of enthusiasm. The Greek word is zelos; we get the word “zeal” from it. It means zeal, ardor, passion, excitement, enthusiasm. The Corinthians were excited to give, and that enthusiasm moved others to give. Enthusiasm is contagious. Howard Hendricks used to tell preachers, “If you want others to bleed, you better hemorrhage!” Preach with enthusiasm! Lead with enthusiasm! Remember: enthusiasm is contagious, but so is boredom. So is apathy. So is disinterest. “Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord.” Do it with enthusiasm!
Prayer: Lord, help me lead by example and with enthusiasm!