2 Corinthians 8: 7-15

But just as you excel in everything–in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us–see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter:  Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.

A Thought

Paul explains to the Corinthians (and also to us) that as we grow in our faith, speech, knowledge and love, we should also grow in our compassion for others by giving according to what we have. Remembering that Jesus Christ left the riches of heaven with his Father to become a human being born of a woman to die as our penalty for sin, we should also be willing to give to the work of the gospel and to the needs of others. To whom much is given, much is required. When we cheerfully give, we are becoming rich by storing up treasures in heaven.

Our Prayer

Father forgive us when we see the needs of others and do not have the compassion to give. Help us to grow in all aspects of becoming like Jesus who gave everything that we might become rich through his poverty. We ask for your Holy Spirit to teach us to have compassion and to freely give ourselves to you and to others including to give our finances with a joyful heart, in Jesus’ name, amen.