WRITTEN BY: Anne Cetas (FOR: Our Daily Bread; 7/1/12)
Ed Dobson, my former pastor, often said that he disliked preaching about financial giving to the church. He said his previous job required fundraising, so he didn’t like putting any unnecessary pressure on people. But when he was teaching through 2 Corinthians, and he came to chapters 8 and 9, he couldn’t avoid the topic of giving. What I remember most about his sermon was the illustration he used. He placed an offering plate on the floor, stepped into it, and stood there as he talked about the importance of giving our whole selves to the Lord, not just our wallets.
Those two chapters in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians give us a number of attitudes and actions that we are to display in our giving to the Lord:
• Give yourself to the Lord first (8:5).
• Give, remembering the example of the Lord Jesus (8:9).
• Give according to your means (8:11-12).
• Give enthusiastically because of God’s love (9:2).
• Give generously, not grudgingly or because of outside pressure (9:5-7).
Next time the offering plate comes around at church, imagine yourself stepping into it. It will help you to excel in the grace of giving (8:7).
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for giving Yourself for me on
the cross. Because of Your love, I give all of me—
my heart, my time, my funds, my will—to You.
I love You.
When we give ourselves completely to the Lord, all lesser giving becomes easier.
READ: 2 Corinthians 8:1-9
8 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;
4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.
7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.
9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.