Week 2: Give All
2 Corinthians 8:1-7
And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything —in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
We give all the time. We give attention to things and people that are important to us. We give time to school, family, jobs and hobbies. Times we give a lot and sometimes we just give a little bit. Giving generously means that we aren’t selfish with the things that we’re sharing. It means to give freely.
The scripture is a letter that Paul is writing to a city called Corinth. The people who lived there were called Corinthian’s. Paul is telling the Corinthians about a community in a city called Macedonia that gave to them and helped them. The Macedonians were excited to give even though they were having hard times, because they knew it was what God wanted. Paul says that they gave as much as they were able and some even gave more than they were able. More importantly, this community gave themselves to God.
To give yourself to God means that you are willing to listen and obey whatever is in his plan for you and your life. When we give ourselves to God, then we are able to give freely to do the work God asks us to do. The call to give generously isn’t just to the wealthy or people who have a lot of things. Everyone has something to give. If you like to cook or bake, you can give food to friends or family or anyone who needs it. If you like art, you can give pictures and crafts. In free time, you can spend it with a sibling or a grandparent or someone who just needs a friend.
The important thing to remember is that whatever you give, make sure you give it freely. When we give out of a pure heart and we give generously, God is pleased. In the last verse, Paul says that the Corinthians were really good at a lot of things and that they were smart and loving. The next step for them and for us is to be a really excellent at giving freely