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. 6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 2 Corinthians 8:1-7
No teaching of Paul’s would be complete without a gentle lesson on giving. Unfortunately, greedy and disreputable television preachers have given the subject of giving a bad reputation. Jesus himself taught about money a lot throughout His ministry because He knew the tendencies of the human heart.
Some people are better with giving than others. Many need to be taught about giving gracefully and generously because it may not be natural for them.
We get money so freely that it’s easy to want to hold onto it. Notice what Paul said here, “their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.” It’s an interesting view of giving, isn’t it? They had very little but gave it away anyhow. Why? Why would they do that? Because they knew that God would take care of their needs. It’s very easy to look at this scenario 2000 years removed but when they were in the thick of it, did they doubt at all about their giving when they had very little to give? I don’t think so. They saw needs. They gave. God continued to bless.
Wow. That’s the kind of faith I want.