Verse: 2 Corinthians 8:9
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.
In this chapter of 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul is writing to the people of the church in the city of Corinth, Greece. Paul has been encouraging them to be generous in financially supporting other Christians who are in need. In the preceding verses of this chapter, Paul informs the Corinthians that other churches have been enthusiastically giving. He encourages them to do the same, and even offers what seems to be a challenge to their faith as he compares their giving to the generosity of the other churches.
Knowing myself, if I was a Corinthian at that time I heard this letter from Paul, I’m pretty sure that my first reaction would be to get upset at this challenge. Likely, I would be asking myself, “Why should I give my time and hard-earned money?” I might even be tempted to feel jealous of those Macedonian churches: “Who do they think they are? I bet they think they are better than me!” I’d probably also think, “Is that what this is all about – a competition?” In fact, at different times in my life, I think I have felt those same feelings and asked similar questions. Maybe you have too.
Thankfully, the answer to all these questions is simple: Jesus.
As Paul points out in verse 9, the love and generosity of Jesus is amazing. He put aside His riches in heaven and became a poor man in order to give His life to save us. He did this graciously – not that we deserve His love and salvation in any way, but, because He cares so much for us. He wants us to be loved and live in peace with Him forever – in this world and in the new heaven and earth. He wants us to have the fullness of a creative, vibrant, and joyous life, even in the midst of all the hurt, evil, and terrible things that happen in this broken world.
When we see all that Jesus has done for us, we have our reason for why we should give to others. Jesus set the example that we should follow. If He has been so generous and willing to give, then shouldn’t we also do the same?
Lord, thank you for your Son, Jesus, who was willing to give up His riches in heaven to save us, even though we have never deserved it. Jesus, thank you for who you are and what you have done. Please help us to follow your example. Holy Spirit, please change our hearts each day so that we can continually give our lives and all that we do to you and give to those around us. Amen.
Author: Chris Fraser