Friday, May 20, 2016

Generosity and the Gospel

 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you by His poverty might become rich.” 
2 Corinthians 8:9

This passage is in the context of financial generosity.  Paul was strongly admonishing the church at Corinth to follow the example of the Macedonian churches in being rich in generosity toward the suffering believers in Jerusalem.  Paul motivates them by reminding them how we display the Gospel when we give, and especially when we give with joy! 

How does joyful generosity model the Gospel of Jesus?  Jesus was rich in glory and fellowship with the Father while in heaven.  He gave up that richness by coming to sinful earth, taking on a human body, suffering and dying the most painful death imaginable in crucifixion.  And Jesus sacrificed with joy.  “For the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross, despising its shame … “ (Hebr. 12:2).  The joy set before Jesus was knowing that He would purchase the church as His bride through His shed blood.

Through Jesus giving up His wealth to take on spiritual poverty, we can be made rich in forgiveness, love, acceptance, and in a future heavenly home.  Jesus’ sacrifice (with joy) benefits us in countless ways.

In the same way, as we joyfully give and sacrifice from our wealth (and most Americans are wealthy compared to the rest of the world), others benefit in countless ways.  God’s people should be rich in generosity, and do so with joy.  Our joy in giving comes in knowing we are modeling the Gospel, pleasing our Father, investing in eternity, and advancing the good news of salvation in Jesus.

Let’s be a joyfully generous people … “for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7)!