Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The DESIRE to give . . . not DEMAND!

And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you . . . see that you also excel in this grace of giving.(2 Corinthians 8:1-7)
God loves a cheerful giver . . . we all know that is true. So then we are to give because we enjoy giving, not because we are demanded to give. It is basic Christianity: God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, not for us to keep for ourselves but rather to share with others. If God demonstrated His love for us by giving His best, should we not be such givers? Many believers feel there is a limit to giving. "I give my ten percent", we hear from so many. The tithe was a tax ,remember, not an offering. It was given out of obligation, not love or gratitude. It is much like the way we pay tax on everyday items without complaining or on April 15 as we turn in our tax reports to the IRS. No one likes to do it, but we must! As a body of believers, we are to give beyond the tithe to meet the needs of the Body. This does not mean simply the Church, but the needs of Christians locally and abroad (missions). We need to first be aware of the needs and then do our part to met them . . . in love and out of a grateful heart. God has supplied our needs and we are to trust Him to enable us to in turn meet others needs. One day, as we are in need, others (perhaps the very ones we have helped) will met our needs. it is how God planned for His people. We are blessed by God to bless others, so they in turn will see His love within us and want to glorify Him as well.
At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need.(2 Corinthians 8:14)

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