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Devotional - week of August 19, 2007


BEYOND THE SPIRITUAL

 

Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia:  2 Corinthians 8:1

 

We naturally magnify the spiritual blessings that are ours when we think about our life of grace. However, consider Paul’s statement about grace in 2 Corinthians 8:1. He declared that grace results in a great spirit of generosity as he wrote about a gift for the poor saints in Jerusalem from the believers in Macedonia.

 

Paul was reluctant to receive this monetary gift because the Macedonians were in a state of deep poverty themselves. Yet, Paul wrote that the Macedonians were:

 

… imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.  2 Corinthians 8:4

 

Paul wrote this heart-warming account of generosity in an effort to motivate the Christians at Corinth to have the same spirit concerning their gift for the poor saints in Jerusalem. He wrote two entire chapters—chapters eight and nine—in 2 Corinthians to encourage this spirit of generosity.

 

In another statement of motivation to the church at Corinth Paul wrote:

 

But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 2 Corinthians 9:6

 

Because of the context in which this statement is found, it is clear that Paul is saying that generous people benefit financially. Paul’s train of thought is easy to follow: grace results in generosity, which results in financial blessing.

 

Likely, in every evangelical church, there are members who give testimony that when they began tithing, God began to take care of their financial needs.

 

It is clear that the blessings of the life of grace go beyond the spiritual level. The financial blessings resulting from a spirit of generosity should be a strong motivation for us to live out and to teach others the message of living by God’s grace.