SUMMARY: Faithful giving
OVERVIEW: Paul prepares the Corinthians to give to the Jerusalem churches by sharing the story of the generosity of the Macedonian churches. They gave faithfully and cheerfully, despite their trials and extreme poverty.
BIG IDEA: Give faithfully and generously.
KEY VERSE: 2 Corinthians 8:2 (Paul to the Corinthians)
They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.
IF GOD WROTE YOU A LETTER
Giving is fun. I want you to enjoy it and look forward to it because it’s a way to show others that I am faithful. When you give regularly, generously, and cheerfully, you acknowledge that I am a provider. Don’t hold back. But don’t give blindly, either. Seek me and follow my lead. I want you to grow in every imaginable way, including growth in the grace of giving. I want you to find joy and satisfaction, knowing that I will use your gifts to impact my kingdom on earth.
You meet practical needs when you give. There may be a time when you cannot provide for others and, instead, have to receive. Welcome those gifts with gladness, knowing they came from people—like you—who find joy in meeting needs. Follow through on your giving commitments, even when it is difficult and you feel overwhelmed or challenged. Remember that I do not change. Just as I provided for you in the past, I will do so in the future.
Evaluate your contributions so far this year. If you’ve been giving for a while, review the last few years. Are you giving the amount God has put on your heart, or are you merely giving out of habit? Is there a need outside of your church you can meet, or team with others to fulfill?