THE CHRISTIANS IN THE Macedonian churches were servants who gave without any concern about receiving the credit for their generosity. But Paul reveals something else remarkable about the nature of their gift:
Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will.
When they gave, they "overflowed" in the process. Yet that cascade of generosity didn't spring from an overflow of material treasures but from a deep well of spiritual riches! You can be materially rich, but destitute spiritually. Conversely, yours can be an experience of extreme material poverty, but you can give out of an abundance of spiritual joy. I love that!
Moreover, the application of such generosity of spirit applies to so much more than monetary gifts. It includes giving ourselves . . . our time and energy, our care and compassion, even our belongings on occasion. What a need there is for this trait within the ranks of humanity today! And yet how rare it is!
Let's stop clutching our possessions so tightly that we wind up living most of our days with white knuckles. Instead, let's begin to relax our grip on our possessions and consider how some of the things we have could be used to bless someone else. Would you join me in prayerfully asking the Lord to make you into an open-handed, great-hearted, generous giver? Today would be an ideal day to start!
Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at tyndale.com.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.