Every Tuesday Ralph had to take out the garbage early in the morning before the truck arrived. “I hate doing this,” he often complained to his wife. “I just can’t stand to take out the trash.” The complaints were so regular that they had become almost a ritual. The family expected him to grumble as he tied up the bags and dragged them out the front door. But one morning his wife Tina was not so patient with Ralph’s ritual. She blocked the front door with her foot and stared at her husband. “I wish that just one time you’d be happy to take out the garbage because you love us so much.”
Tina had a point. It is one thing to do the right thing because you are threatened or under compulsion. It is quite another to do the right thing because this expresses your love for someone. When we are motivated positively by things like gratitude and love, we take pleasure even in the most trying tasks.
Paul understood this, so in 2 Corinthians 8-9 he focused on how the Corinthian believers could live for Christ out of gratitude and love. Although Paul’s words focused primarily on giving to the poor in Jerusalem, their implications apply to all areas of life. Christians should serve and in response to the grace of God.
This Sunday I begin a new series called “The Grace of Giving.” In 2 Cor. 8-9 Paul use 9 different words to refer to the offering, but not once did he use the word ‘money’. The word he used the most was grace. Giving is an action that helps others, but the motivation must be from the grace of God in our heart. We give because of grace and grace enables us to give.
Paul indicated that there were a number of evidences that appear when our giving is motivated by grace. In the next few weeks, we will discover how and why we should give.
So this Sunday, June 30, we will discover How to give In spite of circumstances. In 2 Corinthians 8:1-4 Paul uses the Macedonian churches as an example of grace giving. Though they were extremely poor, they gave beyond their means. God blessed them for their generosity. Discover the blessings of giving by grace.
Join us this Sunday @ 10:30 a.m.