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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. 2 Cor. 8:1-2

Heavenly Father, we come before you today encouraged and challenged by this picture of freedom and grace. This one story alone underscores why we can never emphasize your grace too much. Through Jesus, you continue to give us “grace upon grace” (John 1:16)—such is your great generosity and love.

What an amazing story—the severely afflicted and economically strapped Macedonians became a model of kingdom joy and radical generosity. Guilt, fear and legalism can’t generate such big-hearted giving. Cheerful giving finds its source in your joyful, generous heart. (2 Cor. 9:7).

Father, grant us the same grace and freedom, you gave the churches of Macedonia. This pandemic has us scurrying to toilet paper and Lysol-wipes shelves in our grocery stores, strategically grabbing items before others can. That’s not who we want to be.

You have enriched us in every way that we might be generous in every way (2 Cor. 9:11)—with our time, talents, and treasures, with forbearance, forgiveness, and faith. May our serving be more obvious than our fearing. Whose yard to we mow, today? For whom do we shop? May churches, non-profits, and ministries be astonished at the increase of giving during these challenging times.

We know Jesus to be the ultimate cheerful giver. That’s what the Gospel is all about. Though he was rich, he gladly became poor for us, that by his self-imposed poverty we might become joyfully rich (2 Cor. 8:9).

For the joy set before him, he laid down his life for us on the cross (Heb. 12:2). Father, make his gladness ours. Make his generosity ours. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ great and gracious name.

 

 

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