“Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift of the believers in Jerusalem. They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do.” 2 Corinthians 8:1-3 NLT
I can learn a lot from the churches in Macedonia…
They had abundant joy.
They gave themselves to the Lord first.
They had a strong faith.
They were not focused on what they were lacking, but what they could give.
“I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. ” 2 Corinthians 8: 7-13 NLT
How many times have I felt lead to give and than I talk myself out of it? I make a mental list of all the reasons why I shouldn’t. I give in to my fears and my eagerness fades. But, when I have followed through, my heart is fuller. I am more grateful for all he has given me. He doesn’t hold back, so why should I? I am reminded that my treasure truly is in Heaven. I am reminded that it is all his.
“You, O God, are my king from ages past, bringing salvation to the earth. You split the sea by your strength and smashed the heads of the sea monsters. You caused the springs and streams to gush forth, and you dried up rivers that never run dry. Both day and night belong to you; you made the starlight and the sun. You set the boundaries of the earth, and you made both summer and winter.” Psalms 74:12-17 NLT
Thank you Father for how you pour out your love on me. Thank you for your faithfulness and provision. Help me to live with open hands to others. Give me wisdom and discernment where needed. I pray that my eyes would be open to those around me who are in need of a touch from you. That I would be willing to be inconvenienced when it would be easier to turn the other way. Amen.
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17 NLT