This morning, after some of my morning routine and standard busyness; I finally sat down to read the Bible. With a big cup of coffee, a Bible, a journal, and a pen; I am ready. I have been studying through Nehemiah, but this morning my Bible was laying open to 2 Corinthians. I decided to read from there in chapter 8, I made it through seven verses and was in awe. I knew that I needed to share my thoughts; because this is beautiful, and my life may have a glimmer of this heart; but I have a long way to go to get to what is described in this passage of Scripture.
2 Corinthians 8:1-7
New International Version (NIV)
The Collection for the Lord’s People
"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."
I consider myself to be a generous person. And I am a firm believer in the tithe. This giving was above and beyond the Biblical 10%; it was a collection for believers that were impoverished. This was a true picture of sacrificial giving. The point that really stands out to me, is that it wasn't so much about the amount they gave, it was the attitude and the why behind the giving. The statement that they "urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing with the saints." If you and I are truly honest when was the last time that we urgently pleaded for the "privilege" of giving something away? Has that EVER happened?
Wow- I am challenged. I can't change the attitude of my heart in the past; but I can ask God to help me be that enthusiastic over opportunities that He brings into my life. As we move forward towards our missions convention at church; I plan to prayerfully ask God to show me how I can have the privilege of sharing with those who are making a huge impact in the World around them. Let's look to those before us; and strive to please God in the attitudes of our hearts, the way we speak, give, forgive, pray, and act.
Life is Beautiful!