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The Grace of Giving

Discussion in 'Bible Study' started by SueJLove, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. Thursday, October 02, 2014, 5:22 a.m. – the Lord Jesus put in mind the song, “I Sing of His Mercy.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 2 Corinthians 8 (NASB).

    In this section of scripture, the teaching is on the subject of the grace of giving, more specifically giving monetarily, from what I understand, and yet the gospel of Jesus Christ is presented throughout this passage, too. So, today I will be looking at the broader subject of giving, which includes what Jesus Christ gave to us, and what we are to give as a heart response of love to him and to others, in return.

    The Grace of God

    Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, 2 that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. 3 For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, 4 begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, 5 and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. ~ 2 Co. 8:1-5

    But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also. 8 I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also. 9 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 might become rich. ~ 2 Co. 8:7-9​

    The grace of God was made known to us by the writers of the New Testament (as inspired by God), who told us the story of how God sent his Son Jesus Christ to earth to take on human flesh, to suffer as we suffer, and then to die on the cross for our sins. By God’s grace Jesus Christ gave his life up for us on the cross. When he died, our sins died with him, and when he rose from the dead, he conquered death, hell, Satan and sin. By God’s grace, through faith, we can be forgiven of and delivered from slavery to sin, be set free from the ultimate punishment for sin, and be given the hope of eternal life with God in heaven.

    The way in which Jesus Christ was rich is that he, being God himself, was in heaven on a throne, yet he willingly gave that up for us by coming to earth, by taking on human flesh, and by him being willing to suffer and to be tempted as we are tempted, though without sin, so that he could become our compassionate and merciful high priest, and so he could become our perfect sacrificial Lamb given for us for the forgiveness of sins.

    Through his poverty, i.e. his willingness to humble himself by becoming obedient to death on a cross, we are made rich spiritually, by faith in Christ, in that we have been freed from the penalty and control of sin over our lives, and we have been freed and empowered to walk daily in Christ’s righteousness and holiness, as well as we have been given the hope of heaven. We have so many spiritual blessings in Christ that it is difficult to even begin to name them all. Jesus Christ, through his Spirit within us, fills us with his love. He counsels, guides and directs us in the way we should go. He empowers us to walk in holiness. He comforts us and encourages us in times of trouble. He meets our needs and gives us purpose for our lives. He is awesome! We are made complete (whole) in him. He heals our diseases and he purifies our hearts from all unrighteousness. Praise his holy name!

    Abundance of Joy

    This grace of God, i.e. this giving spirit, is thus transferred to us via our faith in Christ, and via his Spirit dwelling within us. Since we, by faith, have the living God dwelling within us, we also have his love, compassion, mercy, kindness, and giving spirit within us and available for us to tap into. He gives us the desire and the ability to give, even out of extreme poverty, and even during times of great opposition and persecution. And yet, this grace of God, i.e. this grace of giving stretches far beyond just giving money to help those in need, for what God gave us was forgiveness of sin, the gospel of salvation, and his love and compassion. And, that is what we are to share with others, too, and with joy!

    So, how can we, who are selfish creatures by nature, be so giving of ourselves to others? It says here that first of all they gave themselves to God (the Lord) and then to those in need, via the apostles, by the will of God. When we give our lives to the Lord Jesus as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, no longer conformed to the ways of this world, but transformed in the renewing of our minds, we give everything we are and have to God, and so we don’t consider anything our own – not our reputations, what people think about us, our possessions, money, etc. It is all his to do with what he wills. And, so when we submit our wills to his will for our lives, and we surrender in obedience to his word, then we can joyfully give of our time, resources, energies, money, possessions, etc. to the will of God.

    Equality

    For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality— at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality; as it is written, “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little had no lack.” ~ 2 Co. 8:12-15

    “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~ Matt. 6:19-21

    “For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds them; how much more valuable you are than the birds! …But if God so clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith! ~ Luke 12:22-28​

    For those of us in America, this idea of equality may seem foreign to us, yet this is the Biblical principle set down for us by God. We are not supposed to hoard wealth in order to make sure we have enough to live well in our senior years, and thus deprive the needy of what we could give to them if we are willing. Yet, the principle here is that we, too, should not feel so pressed to give to others that we suffer in want of what is needed in our own lives. I believe we should pay our bills, and not give to the point to where we don’t meet our own financial obligations, but I also believe we should give beyond what is comfortable for us sometimes, too, i.e. not just out of our surplus, but maybe sacrificing some things we would like to have in order to help others whose need is greater than our own.

    I believe, as we are able, that it makes sense to keep a reasonable amount of money on supply to meet our budget needs, including a supply for items which may not occur every month, so that we do not have to go into debt for emergency situations or for large expenditures, and so we do not become a burden to others because we are not able to financially provide for ourselves. Yet I think that, as Americans, this Biblical teaching goes against what is taught to us from early on about saving, investing, and making sure we have plenty of money, possessions, etc. to live comfortably on this earth until the day we die. Yet, we can’t take it with us. So, we need to understand that our God will supply all that we need, and so we need to have the attitude that our Lord owns it all, and so we should help others in need knowing that God will take care of us when we are in need.

    Yet, this grace of giving is not to be limited to or confined merely to giving monetarily to people in need. This grace of giving should carry over into every aspect of our lives to where we willingly share our possessions (wisely and responsibly), our money, resources, talents, spiritual gifts, time, and energies, etc. with those in need physically, emotionally and spiritually. For, in so doing, we are laying up treasures in heaven and not on this earth. We need to be more selfless and not be selfish with all that God has given to us, and that includes most especially with his gospel of salvation. Many need to know Jesus, and we should be sharing the grace and mercy of God with them so that they, too, can be set free from their sins, and so they can have eternal life with God, beginning right now and forever.

    I Sing of His Mercy / An Original Work
    Based off Psalm 32 / April 10, 2014

    Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven
    By the blood of Jesus Christ.
    Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does
    Not count against them; freedom found.
    When, in silence, I did not confess
    My sin to You; had no strength.
    Then I owned up to my sin and
    You forgave and cleansed me within.


    Therefore let the godly pray to You;
    Draw near to You; grace they’ll find.
    They will not be o’ertaken by afflictions,
    But in Christ peace abounds.
    Lord, You are my hiding place.
    I find my refuge in You secure.
    You protect me from all evil.
    You give songs of vict’ry in You.


    Lord, You teach me to walk in Your ways;
    Counsel me in love, I know.
    Help me to not be stubborn and
    Unwilling to follow in Your truth.
    Thank You for Your love and mercy.
    I put my trust in You always.
    I rejoice in my Lord and
    I sing of Him throughout all my days.


    http://originalworks.info/i-sing-of-his-mercy/
     

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