False teachers in Corinth had previously accused the apostle Paul of being dishonest or having ulterior motives for his ministry. In this section of his third letter to the Corinthians, Paul lovingly provokes the Corinthians believers concerning their biblical commitment to give to the church.
“8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.” (2 Corinthians 8:8)
Paul boldly compares the Corinthians’ giving to that of the poorest region where the church was thriving, Macedonia. The apostle does not impose tithe on believers rather he reminds them this is a test by which all will be judged.
“9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9)
Jesus gave up all earthly riches so that all those who believe in Him will be given a great inheritance, great wealth in heaven. Through faith in Jesus Christ, anyone can prosper either in this life or the next.
“10 And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter: Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.” (2 Corinthians 8:10-12)
Paul reminds the Corinthians it was they who desired to give, to contribute to the growth of the ministry and the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The apostle’s advice is believers should give according to each one’s ability and commitment. Paul explains how much easier it is to commit to giving when one has plenty, yet can become quite challenging when one’s finances are depleted.
“13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, 15 as it is written: “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.” (2 Corinthians 8:13-15)
Paul now offers consolation for the Corinthians’ sacrifice, reminding them we are all in this together and that equality in suffering should be regarded as a blessing, a part of God’s divine plan for our lives.
Just as we are called to share love, hope, faith, courage, strength and prayer with others, Paul calls on believers to also be accountable for giving which, to be blessed, should be done freely and with utmost humility remembering when we give, we’re not offering something to God that’s ours to give, we’re simply keeping our hands off what’s already His! Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre