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Giving is More Blessed Than Receiving

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An old time evangelist passed the hat for an offering, and when it came back it was embarrassingly empty. He shook the hat to make clear it was empty, and then lifted his eyes to heaven and said, “I thank thee Lord that I got my hat back from this congregation.” (Lou … More

Offering

Paul writing from Macedonia, hoped that news of the generosity of these churches would encourage the Corinthian believers and motivate them to solve their problems and unite the fellowship. He is usually thought of as being a great theologian and missionary and not an offering taker.

One of the things Paul had been organizing for several years and which he majored on in his third missionary journey was the taking up of this special “relief offering.” Early in  his ministry  he had promised to remember the poor and he wanted to keep that promise (Galatians 2:6-10). But he also hoped to accomplish a couple of other things. He was trusting that the generosity of the Gentiles would silence the jealousy of the Jews, and at the same time, the unity of the Gentile churches would be strengthened as they shared with the Jewish congregations across the sea.

The point of giving is not so much the amount we give, but why and how we give. God does not want gifts given grudgingly. Instead, He wants us to give as these churches did; out of dedication to Christ, love for fellow believers, the joy of helping those in need, and the fact that it was simply the good and right thing to do. Paul stressed the fact that giving is more blessed than receiving and he shares the following evidences that will appear when our giving is motivated by grace.

  1. When we give in spite of circumstances (vv. 1-2). Paul uses the Macedonian  churches as an example. They were in poverty and yet they gave.
  2. When we give enthusiastically (vv. 3-4). It is possible to give generously but not with enthusiasm. The Macedonian churches even begged to be included.
  3. When we give as Christ gave  (vv. 5-6). The Macedonian Christians gave themselves to God and others. If we give ourselves to God, we will have little problem in giving to God.

Application

I need to make sure that my motives for giving are right. It should never be because I have to give  but because I want to give and with a joyful heart.

II Corinthians 8:1-6 (English Standard Version)

We want you 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 can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 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.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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