The Holy Spirit pointed something out to me that I want to share with you. 2 Corinthians 8 & 9 were written about giving financially. Yet we can apply this principle of giving freely from our hearts.
In 2 Corinthians 8:2, Paul was writing about the churches in Macedonia. Listen to the words. It says, “That in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.”
They were in a great trial and deep poverty. Verses 3-4 said that they gave beyond their ability. Verse 1 says that it came from God’s grace bestowed on them. They implored Paul urgently to let them be part of the ministry to help others in their need.
God’s grace abounds to us so that we are able to give freely. Think about when you fall into a trial. It is unexpected. There is no warning. Your life as it was before has taken a new course.
In my own life, when I fell into the ravine, everything that I did stopped. I was in intense pain, I could not breathe and talk at the same time. If someone was talking to me, I was three sentences behind them.
What did I do? I drew into myself in order to cope. My identity revolved around my health issues. I didn’t understand the power of God’s grace at that time of my life. It took many more trials before I learned to give out of my crucible of need.
Paul spoke to the Corinthians about their hearts. 2 Corinthians 6:11-12 says, “O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our hearts are wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections.” !!
Does that speak to you? It is so easy to be caught up in our misery. That is satan’s tactic. Self-absorption. Pride causes us to look at our lack, rather than leaning hard on His abundant grace, which is always available to the humble. Like the Macedonians, our greatest joy and fulfillment is in reaching out to others in our need to meet their needs. It is being other minded.
I remember one time after the fall I was feeling so lonely. I was a shut-in because I had no strength to be out and about. I asked the Lord who else was lonely. He gave me a name. I called them. It was a mutually encouraging gift of grace.
When I finally could sew for five minutes at a time, I made beautiful pillow cases for other shut-ins. It was a labor of love. It took me a long time, but it was worth it because it was a gift from my heart. I encourage you today to freely give from your heart to someone in need: a card, a phone call, a text, or something that you make especially for them.