April 28, 2024


2 Corinthians 8:7-15 - 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. I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich. And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, 'Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.'


In 2 Corinthians 8:7-15, Paul encourages the Corinthian church to excel in the grace of giving, just as they excel in faith, speech, knowledge, earnestness, and love. He reminds them of the ultimate example of generosity - Jesus Christ, who though rich, became poor for our sakes so that we might become spiritually rich. Paul urges the Corinthians to follow through on their previous commitment to give, according to their means. The goal is not to burden them, but to achieve a fair balance, where their present abundance can supply the needs of others. Paul quotes from Exodus to illustrate the principle that those who gathered much had nothing left over, and those who gathered little had no lack. The passage teaches that generosity flows from an understanding of Christ's sacrifice for us, and should be practiced willingly, according to our means, with the goal of meeting needs and achieving fairness, not burdening ourselves or others.


This passage challenges us to excel in the grace of giving, just as we strive to grow in other areas of our Christian life. Generosity is not an optional extra, but a core part of following Christ. Jesus Himself is our ultimate example, becoming poor so that we might become rich in Him. His sacrificial love compels us to hold our resources lightly and share them freely. Paul's instructions to the Corinthians are practical and wise. Giving should not be a burden, but a joyful response to God's grace. We are called to give according to our means, not beyond them. The goal is not to enrich some while impoverishing others, but to achieve a fair balance, where everyone's needs are met. This challenges our consumer culture, where we are tempted to accumulate more and more for ourselves. Paul reminds us that God's economy is different. Just as the Israelites gathered manna in the wilderness, with no one having too much or too little, so God wants to use our generosity to meet needs and demonstrate His provision. Of course, generosity is not just about money. We can be generous with our time, our talents, our words of encouragement, our acts of service. Whenever we give freely and sacrificially, we reflect the heart of our generous God. So let us excel in this grace of giving! Not reluctantly or under compulsion, but cheerfully and willingly. Not to earn God's favor, but in response to the riches we already have in Christ. Let us trust God to supply all we need as we hold what He has given us with an open hand. May our generosity be a fragrant offering, a sacrifice pleasing to God.


Generous God, we marvel at the riches of Your grace, poured out for us in Christ Jesus. Though He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor, so that by His poverty we might become rich. We can never match such generosity, but we long for our lives to reflect Your giving heart. Forgive us for the times we have clung tightly to what we have, rather than sharing freely. Forgive our reluctance, our excuses, our fear. Renew our hearts and minds, that we might excel in this grace of giving. Teach us to give according to our means, not out of compulsion or burden, but willingly and cheerfully. Show us the needs around us and how we can help meet them. May our generosity bring glory to You and blessing to others. Thank You that in Your economy, there is always enough to go around. Thank You that as we give, You promise to supply all our needs according to Your riches in glory. Help us to trust You more and hold what we have lightly. May our generosity be a fragrant offering to You, O God. Use what we give to further Your kingdom, to bring hope and help in Jesus' name. Make us more like Him, we pray. Amen.

Generated Image(s)

Flowing grace, abundant share - Giving freely, without care. Fairness found in Christ's own heart, Blessing all, no one apart.

Flowing grace, abundant share -
Giving freely, without care.
Fairness found in Christ's own heart,
Blessing all, no one apart.

This image was generated by AI from the devotion text.