We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 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—and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. 2 Cor. 8:1-6 ESV
Heavenly Father, we come before you today challenged by this picture of radical grace. This one story alone underscores why we can never emphasize your grace too much. Grace is never to be counter-balanced with law, only multiplied with more grace. Indeed, though Jesus you continue to give us grace upon grace (John 1:16 ESV).
What an amazing story—the severely afflicted and extremely poor Christians of Macedonia became a model of radical generosity to the much wealthier believers in Corinth. And, according to you, their motivation wasn’t fear and guilt, it was multiplied grace. For you love cheerful giving, not reluctant giving compelled by pressure from without (2 Cor. 9:7).
Father, only your grace is powerful enough to give us abundant joy in the absence of affluence, coupled with hearts that beg to give sacrificially beyond our means for the benefit of strangers! The law cannot produce …