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The Grace of Giving (2 Corinthians 8 & 9)


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2 Corinthians 8

Generous giving for the poorer believers
Moreover brothers, we make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia. 2 For in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For according to their power, I testify, yes and beyond their power, they gave of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly to accept this grace as a token of their fellowship in this service to the saints. 5 And their giving was beyond our hope; for through the will of God, first they gave themselves to the Lord and to us. 6 So much so that we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you also this act of grace. 7 So as you abound in everything, in faith and speech and knowledge and in all earnestness and in your love to us, see that you excel in this grace also. 8 I speak not as direct commandment; but rather through showing you the earnestness of others I am probing the sincerity of your love. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor as a pauper, that you through his poverty might become rich.
   10 And herein I give my judgment. For this is expedient for you, who were the first to make a beginning a year ago, not only to desire to give but to actually give. 11 But now complete the doing also. That as there was the willingness to want to give, so there may be the completion of the desire also, according to your ability. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For I do not say this so that others may be eased and you distressed. 14 But that as a matter of fairness, your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be an equality. 15 As it is written: He that gathered much did not have too much, and he that gathered little had no lack.
   16 But thanks be to God, who put the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus. 17 For he indeed accepted our appeal; but being very earnest, he went to you of his own accord. 18 And we have sent together with him the brother whose praise in the gospel is spread through all the churches. 19 And not only this but he is the one who was appointed by the churches to travel with us in this act of grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the Lord and to show our own willingness to help. 20 This was to avoid being blamed by anyone in this matter of charity which is ministered by us. 21 For we take care to do things honourably, not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of men.
   22 And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have many times proved earnest in many things; but now, much more earnest, by reason of the great confidence which he has in you. 23 Whether any inquire about Titus, he is my partner and my fellow-worker toward you; or our brothers, they are the messengers of the churches, they are the glory of Christ. 24 Therefore show them in the presence of the churches the proof of your love and of our boasting on your behalf.


8:1,2 The grace or loving kindness of God elicits generosity or 'giving' from us; for the Greek word translated "grace" means 'gift'. We cannot be passive to the gift of saving grace.

8:12 In this way, a poor person can still be generous. If God's grace motivates us to generosity but we simply don't have the things we'd like to give to others, then our desire to give is still counted by Him as if we had done it.

8:15 This quotation from the Old Testament implies some Israelites gathered more manna each day than others who were maybe weak or old. But those who gathered more shared their excess with those who couldn't gather enough.

8:16 God puts things such as the needs of others into our hearts, and we must follow His leading.

8:23 Christ glories in those who do His work of caring for others; He has such a positive view of His servants.