Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
Now we make known to you brothers and sisters, the grace of God given to the churches of Macedonia, that during a severe ordeal of suffering, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in the wealth of their generosity. For I testify, they gave according to their means and beyond their means. They did so voluntarily, … 2 Corinthians 8.1-3
I have met people in the past who were generous. They were always there to give when there was a need. If money was not in abundance, they would share what they did have. The culture that we adopted has taught me many things about helping others.
Paul had written to the church in Corinth. They had been enthusiastic about taking up an offering to send to those in need. They had made a good start, but somewhere along the way, the offering had not been completed. Several months, perhaps even a year, had passed and still, they had not completed the task.
Paul used the Christians in Macedonia as an example to the Corinthians. He wanted them to know of the voluntary offering made by the churches there. Even though they were suffering severely, they had been very generous in the offering they had made. It was not given grudgingly, but with abundant joy in the midst of extreme poverty. First, they had given themselves to the Lord. God’s grace was seen in their attitudes and actions. They begged to be able to help the saints!
Do we allow God’s grace to flow through us? Do we beg to be able to help others or do we turn our backs on brothers and sisters in need? Do we overflow in the wealth of our generosity or do we restrain from giving what we can, in case we need it? God will provide if we place his kingdom as our priority!