2 Corinthians 8:1-12
We want to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I am testify, and beyond their means, of their own free will, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints- and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. But as you excel in everything- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you- see that you excel in this act of grace also. I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others, let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death- even death on a cross.
Starting the series about generosity at a good time. Holidays are coming up, it’s almost the end of the semester and year…It is easy to be more concerned about what I WANT….what would make things easier for ME….very selfish thinking, but all too common.
They say when giving stats not use words like “everyone” or “no one”….cause its usually not 100% or 0%…but when it comes to generosity, EVERYONE can give more….and give more willingly, because they want to…not just to please God.
Jesus gave it all for us, and we give so little. Usually the only thing we give is an excuse for not giving…I am guilty of it. It can be hard to give..i used to be really bad with it…I loved to receive, but didn’t get much joy from giving. As I am growing with God and continuing to learn, I am getting better with generosity. I want to give to others and do it out of joy. To appreciate that I have more than I could ever deserve…I want to be more humble, put others first…..Know that as I am being generous, I am sharing Jesus, because He is generous.
How? I am going to start with tithing… giving to the church. A place that I love being, worshiping, learning, reading, and singing….I am going to run a race for Haiti…I don’t want to run especially bad, but knowing that my money goes to schools in Haiti makes me want to….and setting goals to give more….its not about me not having the money, but its about them having it to help a country who NEEDS it….not so I can use it for things I WANT…. Christmas is coming and I cant wait. My church in Napoleon has Christmas trees with names on. Those are names of children or families and their Christmas list’s….I have never picked a name before….But knowing and remembering how I felt as a kid to receive on Christmas is all the motivation I need to want to do the same for kids who do not get that… To know that my generosity can make someone be so happy….For me, these things are a start….I am giving and I WANT to give…..
Our destiny was hell, but God gave us Heaven….Generosity is God’s heart….and I am living for God…So in order to do that, I must be more joyfully generous.
Take a step back and look at all you have these holidays….houses, cars, material possessions…family, loved ones, friends….We have it pretty good…My goals is to give more this season and going forward, maybe you can do the same.