Giving-A Reflection

In the first five verses of II Corinthians 8, Paul used the Macedonian Christians as an example of willing, joyous, generous, and sacrificial giving to help others in need. First and foremost, Paul pointed out that they first gave themselves. He wants the Corinthian Christians to give in the same way. So should we! It seems they had been concerned with the suffering of the saints and were willing to help with their needs. It appears that Titus had let them know about the need. Time went by and it became time for them to actually give. Titus was asked to go and encourage them to “follow through” on their commitment. It’s one thing to say we want to help; it’s another thing to actually help. However, we are to give willingly and out of love, rather than out of duty. “Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. 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. I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. 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. And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have” (II Corinthians 8:6-11). This kind of giving to the needs of other Christians is a reflection of Jesus’ giving. Of course, He gave on an infinitely higher level! Nevertheless, what moved Him to meet our needs should move us to meet other’s needs. Our loving, willing giving shows how His grace has impacted us. In Theodore C. Williams’ hymn, “When Thy Heart, with Joy O’erflowing,” we have a  musical expression of this kind of reflecting of Jesus’ love: When thy heart, with joy o’erflowing, sings a thankful prayer, in thy joy, O let thy brother with thee share. When the harvest sheaves ingathered fill thy barns with store, to thy God and to thy brother, give the more. If thy soul, with power uplifted, yearn for glorious deed, give thy strength to serve thy brother in his need. Share with him thy bread of blessing, sorrow’s burden share; when thy heart enfolds a brother, God is there.” Selah! God has very practical and interesting guidelines for how to give (or not give). More tomorrow, God willing.    Ron

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