2 Corinthians 8:8-14 (NIV) 8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 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 through his poverty might become rich.
10 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.
13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality,
It's Christmas time and many of us are scurrying around trying to find that perfect gift for each person on our list. When I'm shopping for a gift I spend time looking for the gift and then spend the money needed to buy it. If the gift costs more than I thought I would spend I will often spend it because it is for someone I love. It's fun to give the gift.
In this passage Paul is not commanding me to give. He wants me to give out of love. He wants me to give because I recognize how much Jesus gave for me. Jesus gave willingly and sacrificially because he loved me. Jesus was rich. He lived in heaven with his Father. It cost him to come to earth and live with us. He subjected himself to the bonds of space and time and he experienced earthly life and death. He gave me the best gift of all, eternal life with Him in heaven. I should willingly and eagerly give back to Him. This kind of giving tests the character of my love for Him. Do I eagerly give back to him? He is so worthy of anything and everything I give. I should be looking for ways to generously give to Him. I need to give something that cost me something. I need to give out of gratitude in thanksgiving for all He has done for me. Giving is a natural response when you love somebody. You want to please them and give to them.
What does my giving show about me and about my love for Jesus?
Am I generously giving, out of love for the Lord, so that others may be blessed?
This Christmas as I celebrate Jesus being born I need to remember that even though there is a baby in the manger that baby is God.
Is my giving reflecting that I truly love him and all He has done for me?
That is something I need to ponder as I prepare for Christmas?
Will you join me?
Dear Heavenly Father,
We love you. We thank you that you sent Jesus to earth as a baby and in obedience he completed the work you had for him to do. Because of his love for me I have the assurance of eternal life in heaven. Change my heart Lord. Create in me a giving heart that reflects everything you have done for me. You alone are worthy of all my love and my giving.
In Jesus name I pray, Amen