Wednesday, April 8

A stirring example

Scripture: 1 Samuel 6-7, Psalm 72, 2 Corinthians 9

2 Corinthians 9:2 For I know how eager you are to help, and I have been boasting to the churches in Macedonia that you in Greece were ready to send an offering a year ago. In fact, it was your enthusiasm that stirred up many of the Macedonian believers to begin giving.

Observation

2 Corinthians 8-9 are about the offering for the poor in Jerusalem that Paul was collecting.  In chapter 8, he cites the example of the Macedonian Christians who gave generously and joyfully despite their own poverty and trouble.  In this chapter, he reminds the Corinthians that it was their enthusiasm for this project that first motivated the Macedonians to give.  

I want you to notice the words that Paul uses to describe their attitude about giving.  (It’s worth reading the whole chapter!)

      • Eager to help. 9:2
      • Ready. 9:2
      • Enthusiastic. 9:2
      • Willing. 9:5
      • Generous. 9:6, 9-11
      • Cheerful (hilariously, happily). 9:7
      • Obedient. (9:13)

What a beautiful description of a generous person!  May it be true of all of us!

Application

There are so many stories of people being joyfully, enthusiastically generous.  I just heard this one this morning.  A couple of you told your mission group that your jobs and income were secure, so you offered your stimulus checks to others who had lost their jobs and needed it more!  Thank you!

I hope their enthusiasm and generosity will stir up more of us!  If you don’t need your stimulus check, would you consider sharing it with people who do?  If you still have your job and income, would you consider giving your stimulus check to those who have lost their jobs?  

Paul actually addressed something like this:

2 Corinthians 8:13–14 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.

Thanks for being generous…and joyful!

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the example of the Corinthians, and the Macedonians, and the Life Center owners!  Help us all to be joyfully generous in this season…and beyond!