“So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving. Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us —I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving. I am not commanding you to do this. But I am testing how genuine your love is by comparing it with the eagerness of the other churches. You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:6-9 NLT
Corinth was one of many churches who had received the challenge to help the needy saints in Jerusalem. One major advantage they had was their financial ability. Corinth had a booming economy. It was a wealthy city. Its population was approximately 600,000. It was a prime mission field because of its mythology. The culture was steeped in sexual perversion. It had a temple to the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, which also had prostitutes available to those who wanted to participate in their lewd acts of worship. Amidst all of this was a church. This church obviously had multiple challenges. God placed Paul in oversight to this church and the other churches in order to establish, instruct, strengthen, and settle them in the things of righteousness. This particular church, Corinth, was blessed with spiritual gifts, natural talent, as well as monetary means. Paul was reminding them to do what they started to do but had not finished - to give out of their abundance to help the poor saints in Jerusalem. He used the example of the churches in Macedonia to challenge this prosperous church. They weren't being forced to do so but were being reminded of their commitment. They had the means to do so better than most. The churches around the known world were concerned with each other's well being. Corinth was a part of those churches. Sometimes we can get wrapped up in our own needs and pursuits and forget that we are a part of something bigger than us. We need to remember that we are the church of the Lord Jesus Christ! He gave his life to rescue us from the slavery of sin and it's awful poverty. Shouldn't that be enough to motivate us to give as He gave? After all, where would you be without Him??? Is there anything you are holding back from God? Perhaps your giving is one of those things.
Prayer for today: Father, in Jesus name, thank you for purchasing me from the slave block of sin through Your redeeming work on the cross. Help me to never forget the price you paid for me and may it always move me to give sacrificially. May I withhold nothing from You.
Rev. Curtis Norris