DAY 18 – DEEPEN MY GENEROSITY

By: Pastor Heiden Ratner

SCRIPTURE:
2 CORINTHIANS 8:1-3 ESV
1 “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…
DEVOTIONAL:

A long, long time ago, several churches in the Macedonia Region (modern-day Greece) decided to go deeper in their generosity. They believed in making disciples, and they financially supported one of the greatest missionaries of all time – the Apostle Paul. Their example so impacted Paul that he chose to honor them publicly in his second letter to the church in Corinth. In the above verses there are three things that are noteworthy when it comes to deepening our generosity.

First: They Gave in Affliction. I find it inspiring and convicting that though these churches were experiencing great “affliction” and were facing “extreme poverty,” they didn’t allow their circumstances and lack of resources to keep them from being generous. They had a no-excuses mentality. They continued to be a blessing even when times were tough and we continue to learn from them to this day.

Second: They Gave Joyfully. Generosity is not just about giving but also about the attitude behind our giving. Solomon writes in Proverbs 16:2: “All the ways of a person are clean in his own sight, But the LORD examines the motives.” (Proverbs 16:2 NASB) Paul lets us know that it was not a selfish motive that drove the Macedonians, nor was it an agenda-driven motive; instead, it was a joyful motive inspiring their generosity.

Third: They Gave Beyond their Means. These churches could have made any excuse in the world not to be generous or to give sparingly at this time; however, that was not their pursuit. They decided to give beyond their means and support the church planting efforts of Paul in a big way. They had a Kingdom mentality that resulted in a more profound display of generosity. They chose not to stay on the surface with their giving but to deeper. May we learn from the joyful example of the Macedonians and begin to apply these elements to our own lives.

ACTION STEPS:

→ Pray about new and fresh ways you can be more generous this year. Ask the Lord to give you increased boldness, trust, and faith.

→ If you don’t tithe regularly, consider starting now.

→ Watch the sermon “Green Christmas” by Pastor Heiden Ratner on WALK Church’s YouTube Channel.

PRAYER:

Father, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ for each and every person reading this devotional. Lord, I pray that we would go deeper in our generosity this year and trust You to provide everything we need. Lord, increase our joy this year as we trust You in this precious area of our lives. I pray we would keep an eternal mindset as we give and that You would use us to make a difference in this world through our giving. In Jesus Name, Amen!