For a number of years I taught a wonderful Bible study class (along with the late Dr. James Hennesy) at Trinity Church, Cedar Hill, TX – “TRUTH SEEKERS CLASS” – that over and over again beautifully exemplified the passage I am about to post. This reflection, in part at least, is a tribute to them…
“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 there it is… LOVING GENEROSITY! SELF-GIVING! In fact, actually “pleading 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 “FIRST OF ALL GIVE THEMSELVES TO THE LORD!”
Kudos to “Truth Seekers!” … And all the generous, self-giving and sacrificial-giving people like them!