READING: Jeremiah 1-4, Psalm 130, 2 Corinthians 9
I trust we don’t give to God’s work only so others can see how generous we are. If we do, Jesus might well say to us that the only “reward” we would get for such giving is entirely temporal and earthly—not eternal and God-honoring (see Matt 6:2-4). On the other hand, Paul reminds us today that our giving for the sake of others can, in fact, be a witness to the transforming power of the gospel in our lives. God graciously gives Himself to us, and we in turn give graciously to others as an act of worship—and they see God’s hand in our lives. Thus, the Corinthians’ willingness to give an offering would be evidence of their salvation, and others would praise God for that truth.
Perhaps that’s the way that I need to consider my giving today. I want our giving to be generous and sacrificial, but what I don’t want others to say is, “Wow. Chuck and Pam are really giving people.” What I want them to say instead is, “Wow. The gospel has so changed their lives that they – who like all others, were once dead in sin and consumed by selfishness – give to others without reservation. Only God can change hearts that way.” If they then pray for me in turn, I would be most grateful.
PRAYER: “Lord, may others see Your grace in my life through our giving.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Jeremiah 5-7, Psalm 75, 2 Corinthians 10