SATURDAY 11TH MARCH, 2017
THEME: GIVE OUT OF WILLINGNESS
TEXT: 2 CORINTHIANS 8:1-7
HYMN: EMHB 400 – Take my life, and let it be
Giving is a THEME most people don’t like the church or the preacher to talk about often. Too much of emphasis on offering turns many off sometimes. There is a sense that what we give is private, between me and my God, and that is no one else’s business. True as that is, God expects us to make up our minds on what we offer Him, and to give it cheerfully (2Cor. 9:7-9). Paul told the Corinthians to determine in their own minds, not under compulsion, what they should give, and set it aside, for the special offering meant to help the saints in Judea (2Cor.9:7).
This generosity of the Macedonians inspired the Corinthians to give their offering as well. Paul noted that despite the deep poverty and hard trials of Macedonians, they gave generously to support the Judean saints. With a great deal of enthusiasm and joy they gave more than Paul expected (2Cor. 8:2). They gave without reluctance nor grudgingly, but generously and enthusiastically. Their deep poverty and extremely hard circumstances did not handicap them. They really went beyond their ability willingly. A true sacrificial just as Jesus Christ offered Himself for our sake.
Generosity or giving willingly in the kingdom of God always results in the provision of God to the giver. It inspires and refreshes the faith and confidence of others, and results in praises and thanksgiving to God. At the same time, generosity or giving willingly brings the church together and deepens relationships.
Giving is not a matter dropping something in the offering plate or bag but a matter of the generosity of the heart, a desire to provide a real benefit to others and an act of love to God and humanity. The truth remains that givers never lack. How do you give today, sparingly or generously? The church is in serious need of your generous giving today. Do so willingly, cheerfully and generously.
MEMORY VERSE: 2Cor. 8:3 “For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability, entirely on their own.”
PRAYER: Blessed Father and giver of all I have, let Your grace abound in my life, family and business so that I do not withhold Your gifts under my care but to give them out generously, willingly and cheerfully for the growth of Your Church and humanity through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.