Monday, 28 September 2015
…imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 2 Corinthians 8:4
The idea in this verse is that the Macedonians almost begged to be allowed to participate in adding to the gift which was being collected for the Jerusalem saints. It is as if Paul said to them, “I’m gathering together a gift for the saints in Jerusalem because they are really in dire straits.” On hearing this, the Macedonians – without any prompting – then said, “Well let us help!” From there, Paul may have said, “Listen, you all are almost in the same condition as them.” In response they would then have begged, “Please, please allow us to give this gift.”
Although that is only a possible scenario for what occurred, it shows the general tenor of Paul’s words. The Macedonians prayed that they could be a part of what was going on. It shows a true, heartfelt attitude that excluded any sense of compulsion on Paul’s part. He simply said what he was doing and they immediately desired to participate.
Life application: When people feel giving is necessary, they will give. If they are the stingy sort and are placed under a guilt-trip, the only thing that will happen is that resentment will build up in them. Begging for, or mandating, something that should be voluntarily given is not a sound approach to meeting the needs of the saints. It may take care of the immediate need, but it is bound to cause other problems down the line.
Lord God, You are worthy of praise! And so today I praise You! Great are You O God. Marvelous are Your works. Rejoice in the words I utter, the actions I take, and the heart which yearns for You. May my every thought and deed be an act of praise and worship to You, my heavenly Father. Thank You above all for the greatest Gift… thank You for Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.