READING: Zephaniah, Psalm 74, 2 Corinthians 8
Some of the most generous believers I’ve ever known have also been some of the poorest people I’ve known. I will likely never forget the first time I was in Africa, and some of the most impoverished people I’ve met sacrificed greatly to provide Pam and me a meal of goat stew. They themselves had little to eat, but they nevertheless gave their best to us. On one hand, their act reflected African hospitality in general; on the other hand, though, it reflected their generosity of Christian spirit on behalf of one they perceived to be a “man of God.”
The scenarios have been different, but I’ve seen the same kind of giving among less than wealthy North American believers. It’s almost hard to believe when a couple who barely pay their bills still sacrifice much to support missions – or even more pointedly, to give willingly to help others who have even less than they do. They give not out of their abundance, but out of their hearts transformed by the gospel.
The Macedonians to whom Paul referred in today’s reading also gave generously to help other brothers and sisters. They faced their own afflictions, yet they willingly gave “even beyond their ability” (2 Cor 8:3). That’s what grace does in our lives: it makes us so grateful that we voluntarily give sacrificially to honor God and support His work.
PRAYER: “Lord, I want to give sacrificially to Your work. Convict me and challenge me accordingly.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Jeremiah 1-4, Psalm 130, 2 Corinthians 9