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
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.
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.
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.
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II Corinthians 5:1-9Assurance of The Resurrection
II Corinthians 5:10-13Bringing People to God
II Corinthians 5:14-21Be Reconciled to God
II Corinthians 6:1-10Marks of The Ministry
II Corinthians 6:11-18Be Holy
II Corinthians 7:1-7The Church Makes Paul Happy
II Corinthians 7:8-16Godly Sorrow Produces Repentance
II Corinthians 8:1-6Giving is More Blessed Than Receiving
II Corinthians 8:7-15Christ Our Pattern
II Corinthians 8:16-24Collection For The Saints In Jerusalem
II Corinthians 9:1-5Exhortation to Readiness
II Corinthians 9:6-15The Cheerful Giver
II Corinthians 10:1-6Paul Defends His Authority
II Corinthians 10:7-12The Reality of Paul’s Authority
II Corinthians 10:13-18Limits of Paul’s Authority
II Corinthians 11:1-9Paul And The False Apostles
II Corinthians 11:10-15Self Appointed Teachers
II Corinthians 11:16-21Boasting as a Fool
II Corinthians 11:22-33Suffering For Christ