Today is a Time to Give
“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 through his poverty may become rich.”
2 Corinthians 8:9 (NIVUK)
In this passage Paul uses the birth of Jesus Christ to illustrate how important it is to give generously to the gospel work and to those in need.
He asked the Corinthian believers to “make room” for him in their hearts even if he had caused them sorrow by his previous letter to them (7:2,8). He hoped that this godly sorrow had led to repentance and to a change of attitude within the church, and was encouraged that he had heard that this was so. Now, his message was, it is the time to continue to give. For example, he continued, look at the Macedonian churches: “out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity” (8:2). Despite being in the most desperate situation, the Macedonians found a way to give to others and to the work of the gospel.
It is at this point that Paul refers to how God became one of us and dwelt among us. This was God becoming one of us in order to save us. Jesus had all the riches of the Godhead, but through his incarnation he put all the privileges related to them to one side in order that we could become rich. He was both fully God and fully human, and he took on our humanity that we might inherit God’s kingdom with him.
“I am not commanding you,” Paul told the Corinthians, but, surely, when you consider what Jesus has done for you through the act of the incarnation, your hearts should be moved to give generously (8:8).
The greatest way to celebrate the incarnation is through willing and grateful giving.
Thank you, Father, for the incarnation. Thank you that the Word became flesh that we may live eternally rich with you. Help us to celebrate his incarnation every day through participating in your Work and giving to others. In His name.
Study by James Henderson
About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations in the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.