#DailyDevotion Has God Given You The Grace To Give?
1 Cor. 8:1 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own free will,…7 But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.
Well I bet you didn’t see that one coming: The grace of God given to the Macedonians. What am I talking about? That is was God’s grace that made it possible for the Macedonians to give generously, of their own free will, that is to say without being coerced or taught, despite their afflictions and poverty to the saints at Jerusalem.
The Corinthians were used to bragging about all that they could do, about the gifts of the Spirit that were manifest among themselves. Paul tells them they should excel in this act of grace also. It is a gift of God, his grace, that moves people to give generously. Even as the Israelites gave to furnish the tabernacle in Exo 36:5 ESV [the Lord] said to Moses, “The people bring much more than enough for doing the work that the LORD has commanded us to do.” He had to restrain their giving; oh that God’s people had such a grace given to them.
Paul tells the Corinthians to excel in this act of grace also. Now in this case it the act of grace was taking a collection to relieve the saints in Jerusalem. But it is also God’s grace the moves us to give also especially when there is a collection to help in some disaster. But God also wants us acting on this grace of generosity in every day affairs as well such as supporting our congregation and the ministry of the word there. We may not always be aware of the need but it is always there. I don’t believe God wants his ministers to always pound on this issue but it is necessary occasionally to be instructed in giving even as we need instruction in all the commandments and will of God because of our sinful flesh.
God wants us to be like him so he gave us his Holy Spirit so we could will and work his works. One way we emulate our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ is to forgive people their sins against us. This indeed is one of the primary ways we act like God. But our Father in heaven is also generous towards us. “He gives daily bread even to all wicked people.” He commanded the Israelites to be generous to the priest, foreigners, the widows, orphans and the poor. He reminds us of this also here and in the book of Hebrews the same. Some have entertained angels unawares. That we might not be discouraged in our giving he promises rewards in this life and the next when we give from a free spirit unto him through others. When we give let us do so generously with a free spirit with the grace God has given to us.
Lord God, heavenly Father, you bestow upon such riches of your grace, providing us with everything we need to live and the grace of eternal life. Give us your grace to be gracious to those in need and to your Church that the Gospel may run free and unstrained among us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.