The Macedonian Church excelled in giving as a result of the grace of giving, which was bestowed upon them. The Grace of God upon a man’s life changes his giving and receiving lifestyle. In other words, Grace causes you to give and not only to give but to receive.
In our last week part I of the series, I did say that one of the ways of provoking grace is by giving just like the Macedonian Church did and when Grace is provoked by one’s giving, it releases God’s blessings upon such a person’s life.
The Macedonian Church gave offerings of whatever they could—far more than they could afford!—pleading with Paul for the privilege of helping out in the relief of poor Christians in Jerusalem (2 Corinthians 8:4). As a result of their giving, Grace was released and their deep poverty was broken. They broke regional poverty by sending gifts to Paul and pleading with him to accept them. Why were they pleading with Paul to accept their gifts? The simple reason is that they came to the understanding that giving breaks lack. The Psalmist said, “Give me understanding, and I shall live.” The opposite of understanding is ignorance.
I want to make a statement of fact; there is no problem-free life. Your prayerfulness will not immune you from the problems of this life but the hard truth is that God did not create you to go through financial difficulties all through life.
In 1 Timothy 4:8b, the Bible says “Having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” We can see from this verse of the Bible that God Has made adequate provisions for us as we journey through this life. There is the promise of life that now is before we go to Heaven.No doubt sometimes we go through hard times but poverty should not have legal right of occupancy over our lives because God Has made sufficient provisions for the life that now is.
You are not permitted under God to go through hardship forever. You are made by God to enjoy His goodness here on earth.Sometimes God may allow hardship to humble us to the point of returning to do His will. Hardship humbles a person; God humbled the children of Israel during their forty years in the wilderness with hunger. Deuteronomy 8:3a says, “And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger…”
Proverbs 13:15b, “…but the way of transgressors is hard.” Every time God wants to humble a people, one of the things He uses is hunger. He humbled them with hunger, thirst and nakedness. It is easier to get at a man using food as a weapon.
There are dimensions of giving. You can give in support of God’s work in your local assembly, give to support missionary work, give to the poor and the needy, give to expand the kingdom of God, etc. Proverbs 19:17 says, “He who is gracious and lends a hand to the poor lends to the Lord, And the Lord will repay him for his good deed” (Amp).
Paul in preparing the hearts of members of the Corinthian Church towards giving said to them in 2 Corinthians 9:6, “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”
My prayer is that as you open your hands to give for a good cause, may every activity without productivity end in your life in Jesus Name, Amen.
Today’s Nugget: You can break regional poverty by giving.
Prayer: Lord, I break every activity without productivity in my life in Jesus Name, Amen.
Prayer lines: 09078154261.
Dr. Chidi Okoroafor, General Superintendent, Assemblies of God Nigeria
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