From Agony to Eagerness - Part 3

Opening Prayer

Father God, would you continue to give me a heart of sacrifice? Make me an instrument you can use to pour into others. Amen.

 

Read: 2 Corinthians 8:3-4

“For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints.” (English Standard Version)

 

Reflect:

We live in a time in history when “gathering” is the norm, holding close the abundance we’ve worked hard to earn. Our first thought is generally the needs and wants of our family, then others next. After all, we need to save for a rainy day, right?!

It’s not often we see people like the Corinthians in today’s passage who were begging for the opportunity to give to others in need. They didn’t just give from their excess. They gave beyond what they really had in their possession to give.

Pastor Carter recently shared a story in our weekend services about a pastor friend who has given away his retirement 3 times. Most people would look at that as foolish…at least from our human understanding. We’re taught to put away money for our old age, not wanting to burden others for our daily needs. Yet this pastor understands that in God’s economy, “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (2 Cor 9:6)

 

Apply:

What does this mean for you? Are you holding tight to your possessions, focused on building for your pleasure and your future? Or maybe you’ve learned the heart of God is all about cheerful givers (2 Cor 9:7) and Christ-followers who are eager to give over and over from the blessings God has poured on them. In verse 8, Paul says, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”

Are you stepping out in faith during the Restore series? Will you join the Unfinished journey? Are you being called you to finish your commitment strong? Is God challenging you to increase your commitment? His good work is for us to do the will of the Father…eagerly desiring to give back all He’s given us so graciously. It all starts in the heart.

 

Closing Prayer:

Dear Father, I just want to thank you for how you supply all my needs. I pray you will give me the courage to be all in, giving that back to you. May I earnestly desire to pour the resources you’ve given me back out to the world you love beyond compare. Amen.

Terry Schneider