There are a few places in the world where poverty and hardship have not quenched the joy of the Lord. As we have traveled to many places around the world, some have their hands out thinking that we are going to support them. In other words, they are more interested in our money than their souls being fed the Word of God.
We see a very different story with the churches of Macedonia. “We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord” (2 Corinthians 8:1–3).
Paul wrote this to the Corinthian church to inspire them to follow the Macedonian example. How many churches and Christians would Paul write the same thing to in our day. This generosity flowed out of a love for God. “I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine” (8:8).
Is your love for God genuine? Is it so real because of your walk with Him that it spills over in joy and love for other people? If it is, those who receive your love (in whatever form it is) will know intuitively if your love is the real thing. It will also follow the supreme model; “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” (8:9). That grace is love in action!
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