2 Corinthians 8:1–15 (ESV)
Encouragement to Give Generously
8 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 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. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord,
4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— 5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God
to us. 6 Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. 7 But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all
earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.
8 I say this not as a command,
but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. 9 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. 10 And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. 11 So now finish doing it as well, so that your
readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For
I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness.
15 As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”
The Macedonians forgot
themselves as they gave to others as though there were no tomorrow. God also calls us to give generously, because He endows us with earthly things for our neighbors’ benefit. God’s Son, the wealthiest of princes, became the most abject of slaves
and gave His all to enrich poor sinners as His royal Bride.
I Pray: Praise to You, Lord Jesus, for swapping places with us. Make our hearts like Yours so we may embrace
Your call to aid all in need. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht, The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009), 1991.