31 Oct 2 Corinthians 8:1-9

8 Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. So we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning, so he would also complete in you this gracious work as well.

But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also. I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

I think that the most attractive and contagious individuals are those who find happiness in generosity. Then there are those who cannot even associate the word giving with the word enjoyment. Because our culture is so obsessed with getting, we often fail to personally experience the truth of Christ’s words, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”. To grow spiritually, we must feel the responsibility of love for our brothers and sisters in Christ. I have always seen the offering time in corporate worship as simply a part of our worship. I love the fact that we take the offering after the time of communion. It reminds me of the fact that Christ gave His all for me and I now offer a portion of my wealth that I have set aside to give, representing the gift of myself back to Him. Paul illustrates for us in verse 9, that giving becomes a joy for us when it comes out of sacrifice and the model he uses to illustrate that is the sacrificial giving of Christ Himself. When we give sacrificially, without regard for our own present needs, it becomes an inspiration for Christians everywhere.