TEXT:2 Corinthians 8:1-24(NKJV)
8:1. Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia:
8:2. that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.
8:3. For I bear witness that according to [their] ability, yes, and beyond [their] ability, [they were] freely willing,
8:4. imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
8:5. And not [only] as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and [then] to us by the will of God.
8:6. So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this grace in you as well.
8:7. But as you abound in everything -- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us -- [see] that you abound in this grace also.
8:8. I speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others.
8:9. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
8:10. And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago;
8:11. but now you also must complete the doing [of it;] that as [there was] a readiness to desire [it,] so [there] also [may be] a completion out of what [you] have.
8:12. For if there is first a willing mind, [it is] accepted according to what one has, [and] not according to what he does not have.
8:13. For [I do] not [mean] that others should be eased and you burdened;
8:14. but by an equality, [that] now at this time your abundance [may supply] their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack -- that there may be equality.
8:15. As it is written, "He who [gathered] much had nothing left over, and he who [gathered] little had no lack."
8:16. But thanks [be] to God who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus.
8:17. For he not only accepted the exhortation, but being more diligent, he went to you of his own accord.
8:18. And we have sent with him the brother whose praise [is] in the gospel throughout all the churches,
8:19. and not only [that,] but who was also chosen by the churches to travel with us with this gift, which is administered by us to the glory of the Lord Himself and [to show] your ready mind,
8:20. avoiding this: that anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us --
8:21. providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
8:22. And we have sent with them our brother whom we have often proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, because of the great confidence which [we have] in you.
8:23. If [anyone inquires] about Titus, [he is] my partner and fellow worker concerning you. Or if our brethren [are inquired about, they are] messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ.
8:24. Therefore show to them, and before the churches the proof of your love and of our boasting on your behalf.
The Macedonian Churches though poor and persecuted, rejoiced at the opportunity of doing good to their more impoverished and persecuted brethren in Judea. The Macedonian Churches, though in severe test of affliction and extreme poverty, overflowed in the wealth of kindness. They gave according to their means and beyond their means - of their own free will. They even begged to be allowed to take part in the relief of the saints. Above all, they first gave themselves to the Lord. This is practical Christian living with actions.
We must repent of stinginess. There are great needs in our today’s Churches. We have the orphans and the widows, the less privileged and needy ones. There are many financial needs in our Churches - assessments must be paid, and workers stipends must be paid (not by the government but by the churches). There are also buildings going on in our Churches. Let sons of encouragement arise. It is time to improve greatly in offerings, tithe payment, as well as fulfilment of pledges and donations made in the years past. The righteousness that cannot touch our pockets and bank accounts “is hanging and deceptive.” God loved the world that He gave His own son to save us. We must give to prove our love for God and humanity. Give and it shall be given to you is God’s command. It is more blessed to give than to receive. God loves a cheerful giver.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, deliver us from stinginess and grant us liberal hearts in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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