The “Coffee with the Lord” reflection today is a tribute to generous, self-giving Christians who over and over again beautifully exemplify what 2 Corinthians 8:1-7 talks about…
“And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own! They urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us… Since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” (2 Corinthians 8:1–7 NIV)
I’ve watched it over and over again… Those who give the most – those with the greatest capacity for generosity and selflessness – are NOT usually those with the most money. In fact, they are usually, people of ordinary means (even poverty)!! Thankfully there are exceptions – and what a wonderful thing that is! The beauty of it – the wonderful, exquisite, wonder of it – is NOT the amount of money that is given but the “grace of God” that prompts it. No arm twisting, no use of guilt motivation – a need surfaces and it happens… LOVING GENEROSITY! SELF-GIVING! In fact, they often actually “plead for the privilege of sharing in this service!” What kind of “spirit” motivates this incredible display? Paul nails it on the head… these kind of people “give themselves FIRST OF ALL to the Lord!”
My dad comes to mind – He was that kind of person… I saw him over and over again respond selflessly and sacrificially to a need! I saw him give when we really didn’t have it to give! I saw him give to help someone in need… give to a guy on the street… give to spread the gospel… give to the church he loved… most of all, he had that incredible ability to reach beyond what was the evident need and GIVE TO GOD! … “As you have done it to the least of these, you have done it unto me!” (Matthew 25.40)
Hey, check it out… in this passage sometimes “grace” is spelled “give” (and it’s not always money)!!