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- It is a joy and privilege to participate in God’s work by giving generously of my resources (2 Corinthians 8:1-4). Paul tells the Corinthians that the Macedonian churches gave generously during a time of affliction. They gave beyond their ability and out of their joy begged “for the privilege to share in the ministry to the saints.” We will spend our money on something, and there is no shortage of wants and needs begging for our attention. Giving to the Lord and His work, however, is such a privilege and joy because we have the opportunity to participate in God’s work in the world and invest in something that has eternal dividends.
- Giving generously can be evidence that I have given myself first to the Lord (2 Corinthians 8:5). It is possible to be a generous giver to the church and be outside the Kingdom of God. Perhaps someone believes he can “buy off God” to cover for his sins and wrongdoing. This is impossible. The only payment worthy of paying for our sins is the unblemished sacrifice of God’s Son, and we must respond to this invitation by faith. But if I am someone who has given my all to the Lord, one evidence of this is to give sacrificially of my resources, recognizing that it all belongs to God. That is what the Macedonian Christians did. They gave themselves first to the Lord, and then gave of their resources for God’s work.
- Just as I should strive to excel in all areas of spiritual growth, I should also excel in giving generously (2 Corinthians 8:6-8). Sometimes we try to separate our money from other areas of life, like faith, speech, knowledge, and love (see verse 7). But Paul says that we should not only strive to grow and excel in these areas, but also to abound in the grace of giving. Sometimes our spending decisions and habits can tell more about our values and faith than just about anything else. It can be a test of our genuineness (see verse 8).
- Jesus is the example of sacrificial and generous giving (2 Corinthians 8:9). “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: Though He was rich, for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich.” In what sense was Jesus rich and then became poor? Perhaps Philippians 2 says it best: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Because of Jesus’ poverty, many are made rich.
- Generous giving is not measured by equal gifts, but the equality of sacrifice (2 Corinthians 8:10-15). In giving generously, we don’t have to worry about what we don’t have; we are only responsible for what we have (see verse 12). Some will have more resources than we do, others will have less. As each one gives generously to the Lord’s cause, the pooling of our resources will result in greater work for God’s Kingdom.
 The Holy Bible: Holman Christian Standard Version. (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2009), 2 Corinthians 8:9.
 New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995), Philippians 2:5–8.