Thursday, 1 October 2015
But as you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us—see that you abound in this grace also. 2 Corinthians 8:7
Paul has been speaking to the Corinthians in a narrative fashion, explaining the events which have occurred concerning the giving of those in Macedonia. He now turns to exhortation in his address to them in order to spur them on to giving. In his words, he gives them hearty acknowledgments of their strengths in Christ.
He says first, “But as you abound in everything…” It is a way of saying that they have been richly supplied in so many ways. Though the list he will give includes spiritual gifts, he is certainly making a contrast to the “deep poverty” of the Macedonians which he previously mentioned. Due to their abounding (which surely included physical blessings as well as spiritual blessings), they should be able to supply a great gift to the saints in Jerusalem, just as those in Macedonia did.
He notes their “faith,” “speech,” “knowledge,” “diligence,” and “love.” He has addressed these attributes in one way or another already, and now he combines them to show how greatly God has lavished His grace upon them. Now he turns and exhorts them to “see that you abound in this grace also” when speaking of giving. It would be contrary for them to possess so many wonderful abilities and yet fail in the ability to share their material wealth with those who had less than they did.
God had supplied their every need, and now they were being shown a need in others that they could participate in alleviating. Paul has carefully tied all of these things into one summary exhortation to show them that they were in fact blessed in a marvelous way, and so they should be able to respond out of their abundance.
Life application: How much do you feel you have been blessed by the Lord? Have you considered that the gifts which have been lavished down upon you have been provided so that you could turn and help others? One can demonstrate their gratefulness to God by returning a portion of that to help in the needs of others.
Heavenly Father, You certainly have blessed me in a multitude of ways. I cannot thank You enough for every good gift which has rained down from Your hand of grace. Please help me to wisely pass on what I have received, helping others using the same gifts which You have granted to me. Help me to be one who freely passes on without attaching strings to the gifts as they go. They came freely from You; help me to freely hand them out as well. Amen.