(Thursday November 22, 2018)
TOPIC: What We Have
Read: 2 Corinthians 8:1–12
Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 18–19; James 4
For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have. 2 Corinthians 8:12
My friend was eager to gather her family and friends for a festive holiday celebration at her home. Each of the guests looked forward to gathering around the table together and wanted to help defray the expense of feeding so many by contributing to the meal. Some would bring bread, others salad or a side dish. For one guest, however, money was exceptionally tight. Although she looked forward to spending the evening with those whom she loved, she couldn’t afford to purchase any food. So, instead, she offered to clean the host’s home as her gift.
She would have been welcome at the table had she come empty-handed. Yet she looked at what she did have to offer—her time and skills—and brought them to the gathering with her whole heart. I think that’s precisely the spirit of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 8. They had been eager to give to help some fellow Christians, and he urged them to follow through on that effort. He commended them for their desire and their willingness, saying their motivation to give is what makes a gift of any size or amount acceptable (v. 12).
We’re often quick to compare our giving to that of others, especially when our resources don’t afford us the luxury of giving as much as we’d like to. But God views our giving differently: it’s our willingness to give what we have that He loves.
Lord, help me see what You’ve given me, even if it doesn’t seem like much by the world’s standards. Help me to give generously.
God loves wholehearted giving of any measure.
By Kirsten Holmberg
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