Sunday, June 28, 2009

Monday, June 29,2009

Read 2 Corinthians 8:7-15
In this passage Paul makes four additional points to the Corinthians about their participation in the collection for the poor.

First, he uses the example of Jesus' self-emptying love as an encouragement to the Corinthians. Echoing his words in Philippians 2:5-11, he speaks of "the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ" - though he was rich, for our sakes he became poor, in order that we might become rich in the graces of God. He advocates a non-clinging attitude toward our wealth and possessions, a willingness to give whatever it takes for our neighbor to live in health and peace.

Secondly, Paul encourages us to finish the good works we undertake. It is a tragedy to begin an act of love with enthusiasm and not finish it in the same spirit.

Then he reminds us that we are expected to give according to what we have, not according to what we don't have. He is not putting them under pressure to come up with an unreasonable amount. However, we must look at our resources with a clear-eyed honesty, because we so easily convince ourselves that we never have enough.

Finally, when helping others it's a matter of what Paul calls "a fair balance." Those experiencing a season of abundance should help those who are stuck in scarcity. After all, one day the positions may well be reversed.

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