Daily Readings: Deuteronomy 33-34, 2 Corinthians 8, Psalm 56
And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.
2 Corinthians 8:1-4
When we are walking with God on a daily basis, truly seeking after his will in the world, asking him to open our eyes to the needs of those around us, and joyfully obeying promptings of the Spirit; it is impossible not to see the extreme need in our world that the Church is able to meet if we are willing!
When this is the default position of our heart, we realize that helping those in need brings infinitely more joy than the latest and greatest toy that our consumerist society has convinced us that we need.
Whether in a time of abundance or a time of poverty, we give joyfully.
As a Christian parent, I hope that this is instilled in our children as well. I am so proud of our oldest daughter Elizabeth for so many reasons. She is an amazing kid. I think one of the things I love most is her spirit of generosity. She has, unprompted by us, donated her last two of birthdays to different charities. Just last week she asked me if she could donate her 10th birthday to Able Eyes, a non-profit that works to provide a virtual accessibility tool for individuals with disabilities.
Her birthday isn’t for 8 more months. I love this. I gave her a giant hug and told her how much I appreciate the compassionate heart God has given her.
It got me thinking, when was the last time I got excited 8 months in advance for the opportunity to donate to a cause?
I want to be more and more like Elizabeth in that way. I want to get more excited about the opportunity to donate to a cause 8 months from now than the vacation I would like to take, new technology I have been wanting, that new movie that is about to come out, etc. I want to have a spirit that overflows with joy to the point where this joy cannot help but spill over into rich generosity!
More than anything, I want to have a relationship with my heavenly father that is so deep, so rich, and so full; that it would be impossible for me to have anything other than this spirit of compassion and generosity towards his creations! I so deeply desire to chase after him daily and fully accept the unearned, over the top, never ending grace and love that he has offered freely!
If we fully accept and embrace this unearned grace and love that has been showered on us as followers of Jesus, the only natural response is radical generosity!
It is amazing to think how different our world would look if the American church today operating like the early church in Macedonia.
The world would truly be changed.
Thought to ponder
How can I be more like the church in Macedonia that Paul spoke about today?