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Excel in Grace: Giving Beyond Measure

But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you —see that you also excel in this grace of giving. 2 Corinthians 8:7 NIV

A church is holding a donation drive for a new roof. The pastor preaches about the importance of donating and explains that "Donating is not about the money. It's about the principle. I know times are tough right now; you can contribute in other ways." 

A man in the audience looked thoughtful throughout the entire sermon. After the service, he approached the pastor and asked, "What other ways can I contribute? Times really are tough lately." 

The pastor smiles and says, "Well, that's easy. I know you like to go fishing on the weekends, and during football season, you like to watch the games on Sundays. Maybe during your weekends, you could skip fishing and work on the roof here instead, and during football season, you could skip a few games." 

The man looks thoughtful for a moment and then says, "A new roof, huh? Are you accepting checks?"

In his second letter to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul encourages generosity in giving. The donations collected benefit impoverished Christians in Jerusalem. Paul commends their faith, speech, knowledge, and earnestness, urging them to excel in giving out of love—not as a mere command. He also reminds them of Jesus' sacrificial love: despite being rich, Jesus became poor for our sake. 

The pastor's speech aligns with Paul's message. It emphasizes that giving transcends mere financial transactions; it's a principle rooted in love and generosity. When the man asks about writing a check, he inadvertently misses the deeper purpose behind giving. Our giving is not a mere transaction but a gift from our hearts. When we give, we are responding to Jesus' sacrificial gift to us and God's non-stop blessings. 

Excelling in the grace of giving involves both our attitude and actions. Drawing inspiration from the pastor's speech, let's explore how we can truly excel in this area.

Generosity with Joy:

  • Give willingly and cheerfully, not grudgingly (2 Corinthians 9:7).

  • Cultivate a joyful heart when giving, knowing it blesses others and honors God.

Prayerful Consideration:

  •  Seek God's guidance on where to give (Proverbs 3:9-10).

  •  Pray about your resources and how they can make a difference.

Sacrificial Giving:

  • Give sacrificially, even when it requires personal sacrifice (Mark 12:41-44).

  • Be willing to give beyond convenience or comfort.

Consistent and Faithful:

  • Set aside a portion of your income for giving (1 Corinthians 16:2).

  • Consistency matters; faithful giving builds trust.

Supporting Kingdom Work:

  • Prioritize giving to your local church and ministries (Malachi 3:10).

  • Invest in spreading the gospel and meeting practical needs.

Acts of Kindness:

  • Beyond money, give your time, talents, and resources to help others.

  • Acts of kindness reflect God's love.

Remember Jesus' Example:

  • Reflect on Jesus' sacrificial love (2 Corinthians 8:9).

  • He gave everything for us; we can follow His example.

Remember, it's not about the amount but the heart behind it. Whether big or small, our giving matters when done with love and purpose. 

Heavenly Father,

We come before You with hearts full of gratitude. Thank You for the gift of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who sacrificed Himself for our sake. As we reflect on the grace of giving, help us to excel in this area, not out of duty but out of love.

Lord, grant us cheerful hearts as we give. May our generosity reflect Your abundant love toward us. Let our giving bless others and honor Your name.

Guide us in our giving decisions. Show us where our resources can make a difference—whether it's supporting missions, helping the needy, or contributing to our local church. May our prayers align with Your will.

Teach us to give sacrificially, just as Jesus did. May we be willing to go beyond convenience, knowing that our sacrifices have an eternal impact.

Help us establish faithful patterns of giving. Let consistency build trust in our relationship with You and in our stewardship of resources.

Lord, use our gifts to advance Your kingdom. May our contributions spread the gospel, strengthen ministries, and bring hope to those in need.

Inspire us to give beyond money. May our time, talents, and resources be used to serve others, reflecting Your love in practical ways.

Jesus, our ultimate example, reminds us of Your sacrificial love. You gave everything willingly. May we follow in Your footsteps, giving with open hearts.

We ask this in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Pastor Tim

Note: I am on vacation between July 1 and 15. During that time, I will be taking a hiatus from writing. I look forward to sharing a new devotion with you all on July 16.

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