“Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saint”
2 Corinthians 8:1-4
God wants to use you. He wants to entrust you with more so that He will position you for greater things within the household of faith. Many sons of God struggle to meet up with their financial commitments. This is because they have not understood how grace-giving operates. There is a difference between giving to meet a particular need in someone’s life, and giving God’s way. In the passage above, Paul was addressing the Corinthians who had a lot to learn from the Macedonians. The Macedonians gave in spite of their impoverished state. They gave as a result of the grace of God.
This principle of giving is not only addressed to the Corinthians but to every son of God. The essence of God’s grace is that it is extremely generous. Anyone who experiences the grace of God becomes characterized by this grace of extreme generosity. To walk in this grace of extreme generosity, there are certain aspects we must take in to consideration.
- Be Careful For Nothing
“Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.” Philippians 4:6 (Amp)
The power of the gospel lies in its simplicity. To be ‘careful for nothing’ sounds easy but it is one of the most impossible things to apply. The natural mind will always cause you to see something you are to be careful about. The power to live in simplicity is found in you acknowledging your need and desire for God’s grace. Satisfaction comes when God begins to take a hold of everything in your life. Stop worrying about your future, your health; all these things have been placed in the hands of the Lord and He cares for you. The more you depend on God, the less you would care about yourself, and respond to the grace of God’s generosity in you.
- Shut the Voice of Need
“For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves.”
2 Corinthians 8:3
The Corinthians refused to consider their needs. Their volition and willingness to participate in their giving transcended their need. The voice of your need will always be present in your mind, and it will want to influence every action or decision of yours. We do not shut the voice of our needs by meeting our needs; we shut the voice of need by giving priority to and investing in the work of ministry. The Corinthians went above the witchcraft of needs.
When the voice of need is prevalent in your life, you will give out of necessity or out of your ability. Giving after satisfying your need is not giving out of your volition. Your volition will only operate once you know how to discipline your mind. Giving out of volition is acknowledging that you have received the blessing of the Lord and you willingly give without considering the voice of your need.
- See Grace-Giving as a privilege
“Praying us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.”
“Begging us insistently for the privilege of participating in the service for [the support of] the saints [in Jerusalem]. (MSG)
2 Corinthians 8:4 (KJV)
The Macedonians begged to participate in their fellowship with the Apostle Paul by contributing financially in the work of ministry. They understood that giving was a privilege, that they needed to hear what they were hearing, and that there were others whom they had to support so they too could come to the knowledge of the gospel. When you begin to see that giving is a privilege, it is an indication of the operation of God in your life; giving would become effortless. When you give with the consciousness that you are averting calamity in someone else’s life, you will become consistent in your giving.
- Apply the Teaching
The Macedonians began by giving themselves to the Lord, then could they put themselves at the Lord’s disposal in the giving of their finances. They gave disregarding their personal needs and allowing themselves to be led by the Lord, by putting themselves at the disposal of His Word. The application of grace would require that you think differently from the way society thinks, and begin to think the way God thinks.
- Abound in Faith, Utterance and Knowledge
“Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.”
2 Corinthians 8:7 (KJV)
Abounding in faith speaks of the things we should ask for. Abounding in utterance means Christ should be the motivation of your actions and your speech, and to abound in knowledge means to continue to receive the new pattern of thought in all diligence. See that you continue to abound in this grace of receiving the Word of God and allowing it to transform your perspectives.
- Consider the Finished works of Christ
Our giving needs to be in relation to the finished works of Christ. You need to trade the poverty in your mind to receive and be enriched by the thoughts of Christ. Christ has taken away the mindset of poverty that we might receive His riches.
We respond to the teaching we receive when we sow in the spirit, and when we respond to knowledge by sowing, we receive spiritual edification – not money. Spiritual edification leads to the out-working of eternal things in us, fruits that can be experienced in the natural plane of time, space and matter.