Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. [2 Corinthians 8:1-5]
In the above verses, Paul commended the Macedonians for their giving, using the Macedonians as an example of generosity. He made the following points about their giving.
- Their giving encouraged unity.
- Their giving was a supernatural work of the Spirit.
- Their giving was surprising.
- Their giving was sacrificial.
- Their giving was spontaneous.
- Their giving was an act of submission.
Later in verse 9, Paul reminded the Corinthian church that Jesus was rich but became poor for our sakes. His point was to teach them, and us, the motivation to give generously should be because of a gratitude to Jesus as He gave all He had for us.
Adapted from Change and your relationships by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp (publisher: New Growth Press)