There’s no better way to start the week than by filling up with God’s Word. So each Monday morning join me here to take a brief, but reflective look into a passage of Scripture.
Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. 2They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.
3 For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. 4 They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. 5 They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do. 2 Corinthians 8:1-5, NLT
Halfway through the first century, many Christians in Jerusalem lived in extreme poverty. When the Macedonian Christians learned of their need they immediately acted to relieve it.
Read verses 2 and 3 again. Was giving easy for them? If not, why not?
When my three children were still at home, they frequently offered to help me when I had a long list of chores. However, they usually rejected the tasks I needed help with the most because they required too much effort.
Once when this happened God pointed out to me that I often do the same thing with Him. I say I am willing and ready to serve him, but when he gives me direction I sometimes hesitate to obey. His plan may not be what I had in mind. I may prefer an easier task. What happened to my willing obedience?
The Macedonian Christians provide an example of predetermined obedience. 2 Corinthians 8:5 tells us they said “yes” to God in advance of his specific direction. They were completely committed to obedience whatever the cost might be. Although they were struggling financially, when God revealed the great need of the Christians in Jerusalem they quickly obeyed God and gave more than they could afford.
Have you ever struggled to obey God because it was too difficult? Or because obedience carried a great cost?
How could committment to “give yourself to the Lord” help with future obedience?