A Year of Giving
“Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.”
2 Corinthians 8:10-12 (NIVUK)
The Corinthian church became a very generous church. They had had more than their fair share of problems but the help of the Spirit and, under the direction of people like Timothy, Titus, Silas, and Paul himself, they had worked their way through them. “By all this we are encouraged,” Paul told them, “I am glad that I can have complete confidence in you” (7:13, 16).
“But just as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us – see that you also excel in this grace of giving”, Paul continued (8:7). To illustrate the concept of giving, Paul used the generosity of the Macedonian churches and also the incarnation of Jesus Christ. He noted that in the previous year the Corinthians had been the first to respond to the needs of the work and to calls to give to those in need. In this they had themselves become exemplary.
Now, however, that the old year is over, this does not mean that the giving should come to an end. Out of a willingness to give comes the desire to continue to give in the coming year ahead. There is always room to give more, as you are able, Paul explained.
There is a lesson here for us. Giving is a lifestyle that comes from God. It’s part of his work. So, as Paul noted, let’s finish the work.
The greatest way to celebrate any new year is through continuing to give.
Thank you, Father, for a new year in which we can celebrate your work by continuing a lifestyle of giving. In Jesus’ 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.