May 28, 2024


2 Corinthians 8:1-7 - We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints—and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.


In 2 Corinthians 8:1-7, Paul highlights the remarkable generosity of the Macedonian churches as an example for the Corinthian believers to follow. Despite facing severe trials and extreme poverty themselves, the Macedonian Christians gave sacrificially and joyfully to help support other believers in need. Paul testifies that they gave not only according to their means, but even beyond their means, of their own free will. Amazingly, the Macedonians were begging Paul for the opportunity to participate in this act of grace and to have fellowship in ministering to the saints. The secret to their incredible generosity was that they first gave themselves fully to the Lord, and then to Paul and his companions to be used however God willed. This is the essence of true Christian giving - it flows from a heart that is wholly devoted and submitted to God. In light of the Macedonians' example, Paul encouraged Titus to work with the Corinthians to "complete this act of grace" among them as well. Paul urged the Corinthian church, who excelled in so many spiritual gifts and graces, to also excel in the grace of giving and generosity. The example of the Macedonian churches teaches us that genuine, selfless generosity is a mark of God's grace at work in the hearts of believers. When we surrender ourselves completely to the Lord, we will hold nothing back from Him, but will give freely and joyfully to meet the needs of others and advance His kingdom. May we, like the Macedonians, excel in this act of grace as a testimony to the transforming power of the gospel.


The incredible example of generosity set by the Macedonian churches in 2 Corinthians 8 challenges our often self-centered approach to money and possessions. These believers, who were suffering affliction and poverty themselves, didn't hesitate to sacrificially give to help other Christians in need. They didn't make excuses about their own difficult circumstances or limited resources. Instead, they begged for the opportunity to give, seeing it as a privilege to share in this work of grace. The Macedonians' generosity flowed from hearts that were fully devoted to the Lord. Before they gave their money, they gave themselves to God in complete surrender. This is the key to true, cheerful giving that pleases the Lord. Too often, we try to give to God and others out of our excess, after our own needs and wants are met. But the Macedonians show us a better way - the way of selfless love that counts it a joy to pour ourselves out for the sake of Christ and His church. Paul wanted the Corinthians (and us) to excel in this same grace of giving. After all, if we have experienced the extravagant grace and generosity of God through the gospel, how can we not extend that grace and generosity to others? God has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing. He has held nothing back from us, not even His own Son. In light of such amazing love, how can we not freely and joyfully use the resources God has entrusted to us to bless others and build His kingdom? Of course, sacrificial generosity doesn't come naturally to our sinful, selfish hearts. That's why giving is a grace - a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit in us. As we yield ourselves fully to the Lord, He increasingly transforms us into the image of His generous Son. We learn to hold our time, talents, and treasures with an open hand, ready to use them for God's glory and the good of others. The needs in our world and in the global church are great. God calls us to be channels of His provision and love, meeting pressing needs and spreading the aroma of Christ through our generosity. Like the Macedonians, may we see giving as a privilege rather than a duty. May we excel in this act of grace, not reluctantly or under compulsion, but cheerfully and sacrificially, as a reflection of the heart of our abundantly generous God.


Gracious and generous God, thank You for the amazing example of the Macedonian churches, who gave so freely and joyfully out of their poverty and affliction. Forgive us for the many times we have withheld what You have entrusted to us, or have given grudgingly, focused more on our own needs and comforts than the needs of others. We confess our tendency toward selfishness and materialism. Lord, we want to excel in the grace of giving as an overflow of our devotion to You. Help us to first give ourselves fully to You, holding nothing back. Then give us faith-filled, cheerful hearts that are eager to sacrificially share our resources to bless others and advance Your kingdom. Show us where You are calling us to give generously. Open our eyes to needs around us and in the global church. May we be willing to give not only out of our abundance, but even at times beyond our means, trusting You to supply all our needs. Use our generosity to bring glory to Your name, to build up the body of Christ, and to point a lost world to the lavish grace and love of Jesus. Make us more like Your Son, who though He was rich, yet for our sake became poor, so that by His poverty we might become rich. It's in His name we pray, Amen.

Generated Image(s)

Radiant Generosity - A symphony of hearts united in Christ, freely pouring out their abundance to uplift the needy.

Radiant Generosity - A symphony of hearts united in Christ, freely pouring out their abundance to uplift the needy.

This image was generated by AI from the devotion text.