“Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; how that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to The LORD, and unto us by the will of God. Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.
Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:1-9 KJV
It grieves me to hear that people do not want to give, because they think they don’t have enough money.
Let’s consider the Macedonian Churches, and be encouraged.
Notice the Grace of God that was was upon them and clearly seen in them. It says here that they were going through a great distressing trial, ‘severe tribulation,’ and yet they abounded in joy and in liberality.
Their joy mixed with their depth of poverty caused an overflow in wealth and generosity.
In James 1:2-4 we read,
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Giving, especially in difficult circumstances, requires faith. When our faith is tried, we have an opportunity to trust God more than we did before.
Let me give you an example in my life.
Once, The LORD told Ken and I He wanted us to purchase a piece of property for the ministry. Ken called the realtor to tell him about this, and I asked him what was the smallest amount of money we could put down as a retainer, because our finances were slim at that time.
Now, up to that point in the year, I had tried methodically to set aside a certain amount every month for expenses that would come later in the year.
Actually, I was quite proud of myself in what I had saved. The total I had saved was $500, and, according to the realtor, all I needed was $50.
Well, unfortunately, I never asked The LORD what He wanted me to do, and He brought that to mind. So, I asked Him what wanted me to put down to secure the property, and He said $500.
You have to know this was a Faith step for sure, but I have to brag on The LORD, for The LORD made up the $500 and more so we had the money when we needed it at a later time.
God is so good! And, through this I learned to trust Him more with the finances, no matter what it looked like in the checkbook.
It says in these scriptures they gave according to their ability and ‘Yes, beyond their ability; and they did it voluntarily.‘ And, they insisted that the saints receive the gift to minister to them.
They gave themselves to The LORD first! They determined to excel in this gracious Work of Giving.
We need to exercise the same zeal and sincerity of our love in giving to the needs of the saints, just like the Macedonians.
The LORD wants cheerful and “prompt to do it” givers, whose heart is in their giving.
Press into this area of ministry, you will not fall short in any way!
Remember, it is God who provides seed for you to sow!
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Written in obedience to The LORD.
God Bless You, you are in my prayers
~ Celeste Dewey