The Wednesday feature of the Worldly Saints blog is a Scriptural meditation whereby I take a verse or passage I have been pondering lately and seek to edify my readers with it’s promises, encouragements, warnings, rebukes, etc.
The last 2 Wednesday’s. we have considered the liberal giving of the church in Macedonia (II Cor 8:1-8). This was a group of people who saw their monies and resource to be used for God’s glory and other’s benefit primarily. They were gracious givers. Their example gives us 12 motivations for giving to the church.
- Giving in the church is motivated by the grace of God (vs. 1).
- Giving in the church transcends difficult circumstances (vs. 2a).
- Giving in the church is meant to be a joyful experience (vs. 2b).
- Giving in the church is not hindered by any type of poverty (vs. 2c).
- Giving in the church is done with integrity (vs. 2d).
- Giving in the church is proportionate to one’s resources (vs. 3a).
- Giving in the church is sacrificial (vs. 3b).
NEXT 3 MOTIVATIONS
8. Giving in the church is voluntary – “… they were freely giving” (vs. 3c).
They chose to give generously. It wasn’t forced upon them by intimidation tactics. They voluntarily chose to give. No one had to convince them of being sacrificial. Their giving was spontaneous and self-motivated.
Later Paul would write in the same letter, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (II Cor 9:7)
9. Giving in the church is meant to be a privilege – “imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints” (vs. 4).
The Corinthians should be ashamed they were not giving as they should – even when asked – in comparison to the Macedonians who gave more than they should when they were never compelled to. Paul urged them to give as they ought and see it as a privilege.
How do we know the Macedonians viewed giving this way – as a privilege? They didn’t see their opportunity to give to the saints ministering in Jerusalem as obligation. The word “fellowship” is actually used here to emphasize a sharing of monetary collections. They demonstrated their act of giving as a privilege by ministering to the body of Christ in Jerusalem by giving monies to them.
Giving deepens fellowship; it enables ministries in the church to strengthen. Giving also expands the church’s ministry arm to win people to the kingdom of God. It won’t happen without us seeing giving as a privilege and joy.
10. Giving in the church is a form of worship – “And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, …” (vs. 5a).
People don’t like to talk about giving; in fact, some probably sighed when they read this blog post and realized we were going to talk about giving or tithing. Giving is a joy and form of worship.
Donald Whitney writes, “Giving is preeminently an act of worship. It ought then to be a focal point of thanksgiving and self-dedication in weekly worship….It’s worship because when you give to God through the church you are giving a part of yourself. You exchange a significant measure of your life and labor for salary or wages, and when you give some of that money to God you give that which represents you.”
Paul told the Philippians when he collected money from them their sacrificing were “a sweet-smelling aroma” to the Lord (Phil 4:18). He was teaching them their giving was a sacrificial lamb of the altar; it was a form of worshipping the Lord.
To be continued …