“And this they did, not as we had hoped, but first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us.” 2 Corinthians 8:5
Giving. What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you read that word? Many believers are turned off when they hear that word, and I can understand why. It seems everywhere we go someone is asking for money. In fact, just last night I went to Panda Express and as they were ringing me up they asked if I would like to give to a well known charity.
Many of the believers in Corinth were turned off when Paul reminded them of their promise to give to the suffering and needy believers in Jerusalem. To help encourage them in their giving Paul told them about the believers in Macedonia who joyfully gave when they learned of the needy believers in Jerusalem. They were so willing to give that they gave much more than Paul expected them to even though they themselves were suffering from persecution and were in deep poverty.
What made them so willing? As we learn in the verse above, they “first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us.” It is only when we first give ourselves to the Lord that we will then be able to give to others. Why? Because the only good we can ever give someone must come from God. If we don’t give ourselves to Him first, then we will have nothing good to give anyone else. As a result of giving themselves to God first, the Macedonians were able to give with an abundance of joy. That is why Jesus said in Acts 20:35, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Join us on Sunday as we open 2 Corinthians 8:1-15 and dig deeper into the subject of “Charity”. God bless you all and hope to see you there!