Tuesday, February 28, 2017

What Does A Generous Giver Look Like?

1 Corinthians 8 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able,and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you[a]—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

Out of all the books in the New Testament, 2 Corinthians gives us the most ideas about what giving should look like for a believer in Christ and in the church.  Paul lifts up the example of the churches in Macedonia, who gave inspite of their own poverty to help the church in Jerusalem. Paul gives several principles of generosity for the church at Corinth and by application us.  

1. The Corinthians gave sacrificially, even beyond their means. 
2. Their giving was not motivated by guilt or coercion, but they considered it a privilege to give. I.e. They gave freely and joyfully and willingly.
3. They gave first to the Lord, presumably their tithe to the local church, and then gave above and beyond for special needs in the church.  

These are great principles for us to live by today.  We who live in this country have more wealth than almost any other nation.  God wants us to be generous not only in our own local context, but also toward the great needs in the world. Later, Paul will urge the Corinthians to finish the pledge they had originailly made.  They were urgent to say they would give, now Paul says complete what you started.  

There are many ways to give to God's work, not just financially.  Generosity is a matter of the heart.  It comes from realizing how generous God has been to us in sending His only Son.  Paul calls this the "indescribable gift".  We cannot put a price tag on Jesus' giving his own innocent and precious blood for our salvation.  
How would you measure your propenisty to give?  Are you a radically generous giver in response to God's gift to you?  Think about a small step in this direction and let God change your heart to become even more generous toward things that are near His heart.  One thing is for sure, how we view, manage and give of our financial resources will always be a barometer of our spiritual maturity.  

No comments:

Post a Comment