Friday, June 26, 2015

2 Corinthians 8:7-15 The Grace of Giving

KEY TEXT: 2 Cor 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.

KEY THOT: The prosperity gospel preachers use this text to “prove” that God wants us to be rich, They teach that God made Jesus poor so that we can become rich. I think such teaching misses the point of what Paul is telling the Corinthians. He tells them to excel in this “act of grace” (v.6-7) like what Jesus did: though he was rich, he was willing to suffer loss in order to bless others. The focus is on the grace of GIVING, not the greed of GETTING: “I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness“ (2 Cor 8:13-15). Paul here is saying that we must be willing to exercise the grace of giving (like Jesus), even if exercising it impoverishes us, rather than make ourselves rich. 

Grace is not about GETTING but about GIVING—even when exercising this grace makes me poorer. We should not confuse grace with greed. Grace is always about giving to bless others; greed is always about getting to bless myself. 

My goal in life should be to exercise grace like Jesus did—a willingness to suffer loss in order that others might receive gain. That may involve sacrificing time, energy and money to help others gain the abundance of Christ in this life and the life to come.

Father, thank You for showing me what true grace is about. Help me to be like Jesus, willing to be made poor so that others might made rich. Amen.

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