Today’s post is part of a series to help us take what we learn on Sunday into the rest of the week. These posts summarize the main points from the week’s sermon and include questions for continued reflection and prayer. The posts in this series are written by members of our church’s Adult Christian Formation team.
In this passage, we first see an example of gospel generosity. Paul points out that, even though the Macedonian churches were poor and struck by affliction, they were generous. He commends their generosity that came out of abundant joy even in their poverty.
Paul also shares the motive for gospel generosity. Instead of using guilt or appeals to the self-image of the Corinthians, he appeals to the example of Jesus. The gospel proclaims that Jesus became poor for us, giving up his infinite riches. In becoming human to save us, he had to give up everything he had, holding nothing back.
If we are grasped by this truth, it will change our core values and motivation. Beyond just making us do something different, the gospel will change our hearts. It helps us to focus on the most important question about generosity: What is my heart?
Lastly, Paul shows us the result of gospel generosity. We see the tangible result of needs being met. We also see the broader context, that our generosity brings glory to God. By imitating the generosity of Jesus, anyone can bring glory to God, not just those who have a lot to give.
Questions for prayer and reflection:
- Is the gospel (what God has done for us in Christ) influencing your heart in the area of money and generosity?
- Pray for the grace of Christ, encountered in Scripture, to influence you as you are grasped by the gospel message.
- Ask God some of these questions about your giving from Randy Alcorn’s book The Treasure Principle.
- Revisit a financial need that you’ve heard about but haven’t yet given to. Pray about whether you should actually give to help meet this need.