August 9/2Corinthians 8

Verse 1 > If we allow God to work in us and through us some wonderful things can happen. Case in point would be the churches in Macedonia.

Verse 2 > Trouble and poverty don’t seem to be two things that could produce anything good and yet when given over to God good things happen. Somehow God was able to bring the Macedonians great joy in the midst of trouble and he birthed a spirit of giving right in the midst of their poverty! The troubles and the poverty were just tests to see how they would respond. Judging by their responses I’m thinking they passed. What a wonderful thing to not be a victim of your circumstances! They must have had complete confidence in God. They must have believed that he would work all things together for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose. God used their faith to bring joy to their hearts and generosity in their poverty. They trusted God to give them a harvest and so  they planted joy and harvested joy. They planted giving and harvested generosity.

Are things not going so well for you? Do you trust God to bring you through? You show your trust by what you plant.

1 Corinthians 3:6 (NLT) — 6 I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.

Verse 3> Real giving is done freely without prompting or arm twisting and it isn’t just giving from your surplus. It could be giving the surplus! This is the kind of giving that honors the Lord. How do I know this? Because the Holy Spirit preserved this story for us in scripture. Now you know how important it is to the Lord.

Mark 12:41–44 (NLT) — 41 Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. 43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”

Verse 4 > have you ever been around people who were begging to give? Apparently when you are filled with the Holy Spirit you will beg to give! Anybody want to pray, Fill me Holy Spirit!

Verse 5 > giving starts by giving yourself to the Lord. How do you do that? Just say, if you dare, “Lord I am yours ask of me whatever you will”. Zacchaeus is a good example for us.

Luke 19:8 (NLT) — 8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”

Verses 6-7 > Did you know you could have a ministry of giving? It ranks right up there will all the cool ministries. Have you found your ministry yet? Why not ask for the ministry of giving and then start by Giving! See how God uses you. Don’t say, “I would give if I had more.” You won’t have more until you give. In fact you probably don’t have more because you haven’t been really giving. Remember you harvest what you plant.

My wife Cleo is a giver. She came home the other day and told me she found a mom and a little girl who didn’t have much so she took them shopping! She found a family who needed groceries so she went and got groceries for them. She found a teenage boy who needed a new pair of shoes for school. He got shoes. She found a family who needed school supplies for their children; guess what? Someone ahead of her at the convenience store was money short of what they wanted to purchase so Cleo gave her the rest of the money. Then two little boys came in and were looking at the ice cream so Cleo bought some for each of them. Cleo has never lacked she always has enough to give to others!

Proverbs 11:24–25 (NLT) — 24 Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything. 25 The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

Verse 11 > Maybe you started out being a giver but you didn’t see results right away so you quit. Well start again it does take time to for the harvest to grow. Maybe you haven’t started giving. Start now! Bless God and bless others. Even if you never received anything in return wouldn’t it be wonderful to know that you had honored God and blessed someone else?

Verse 24 > why not give the Lord something that he can use to boast about you to the angels!

Job 1:7–8 (NLT) — 7 “Where have you come from?” the Lord asked Satan. Satan answered the Lord, “I have been patrolling the earth, watching everything that’s going on.” 8 Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth. He is blameless—a man of complete integrity. He fears God and stays away from evil.”

Be Inspired Hilltop!

Comments

  1. Mary Anne Frank says:

    Giving is a paradox. When we give WE are given the gift….thank you Father for giving it all for us. I can never outgive You.

  2. Mark Gundersen says:

    Paul once again is boasting on the faithfulness of the churches. He commends them for what they did in the past and what he knows that will do in the future. He also stresses that if you help others in need then someone will help you when you are in need. You are planting riches in heaven that may poured out on earth. God first trusts you with a little to see if you can be trusted with a lot.