Dear Friend, “It is indeed unnecessary for me to write to you concerning the service to the saints, for I know your readiness, of which I boast on your behalf to them of Macedonia, that Achaia has been prepared for a year past. Your zeal has stirred up very many of them,” (2 Corinthians 9:1-2).
Wouldn’t you love receiving a letter like that? I sure would! Well that’s just what the Apostle Paul wrote the Corinthian church. I don’t need to write you, saints, about the money you plan to give… How marvelous to have that said about us!
Paul bragged about the Corinthian’s giving.
For their great testimony of generosity stirred others to give and serve!
Now it is superfluous for me to write to you about the ministry for the saints, for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year. And your zeal has stirred up most of them, (2 Corinthians 9:1-2).
One interesting thing about the Apostle Paul is that he never asked for money for himself; as far as I can remember. (If I’m wrong here, please correct me!) He asked for others. For the churches and for the poor (like here). But not for himself. He didn’t want to burden the churches. And he knew that God would always remain faithful.
And the Corinthians had caught his vision. Not that the Corinthian church was without problems. Paul rebuked them on more than one occasion for the envy, strife, and divisions among them. But they had caught the giving vision. And in this chapter Paul commends their generosity:
By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, (2 Corinthians 9:13).
“Because of your giving,” Paul told them, “people see that you really believe the Good News.” Because the proof, after all, is in the pudding. When we truly believe something, we act on it.
Generous, cheerful giving is proof that we believe the Gospel.
Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday, created to celebrate generosity! And as it always falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, I like tying it into Thanksgiving.
For what could be a more natural outflow of a thankful heart — than a spirit of generosity?
A true spirit of gratitude can help us see how many blessings we have. Not that we’re necessarily free of problems. But that even in the midst of our troubles, we can always find God’s blessings.
I complained I had no shoes. Then I saw a man without feet and I complained no longer. (Chinese proverb*)
And seeing how much we have to thank the Lord for, it becomes natural to want to share the bounty of those blessings! Proving that we believe the Gospel. And have certainty that God will always provide with enough abundance to share!
God loves the cheerful giver. How will you prove your faith on giving Tuesday, and afterward?
[*a Chinese proverb from Plenty for Everyone by Corrie ten Boom]