We consider today the aspect of growing in the grace of giving. The template we have as a perfect example is the Church at Macedonia. This Church was not financially endowed. It has people who were poor and of low social standing. This translated to meagre earnings and presumable, low giving in the Church....... at least the expectation is that the two should correspond. But it didn’t! This Church out did itself by giving far above its expectation. What was their secret?
1. They receive the grace of giving from God. [VI] the Lord gave them grace to give, and this meant that they were enabled from above to give. Grace is God’s enabling power. It does not take away our choices, meaning we can resist grace.
2. They embraced and aligned themselves to the grace of giving. Not only did they receive the grace of giving, they embraced this grace and aligned herself with the responsibilities there in.
3. Their ignored their economic status!- This means they did not allow their poverty to dictate their giving. Many people are hindered and inhibited by their poverty. They look at poverty as a permanent state of lack rather than a temporary state of deficiency. They forget that even in poverty, God still gives us something that we can give to others. Not so the Macedonians, they considered their poverty as an opportunity to give what they had.
4. Their choices led to abundance and generosity. Because they chose to give, God made them abound in all grace, and multiplied their gift so that it was overwhelming and generous. In like manner God is able to honor our giving to him in such a way that we will walk in abundance and generosity.
5. They pleaded with Paul to receive their gift. They were so willing to give that they could not stand the thought of their gift being rejected. Givers are usually very happy to give, and will not take kindly the thought of people rejecting their gift.
6. They gave according to their means, and beyond their means. Giving requires integrity and sacrifice. The Macedonians had both. They gave according to their means, which denotes integrity. They did not hide their ability to give and capacity to give. But they did not stop there they gave beyond their means. This means they gave even what they were not supposed to give. This is sacrificial and requires a lot of commitment.
7. They gave themselves to the Lord first. This means they were committed first to God. Their allegiance on all their giving was to God himself. Giving requires surrender to God. 2 Corinthians 8: 1 - 9