The Lord has redeemed us from our sins and by His power, we are saved and adopted as His children. Our old man is a person who used to displease God, full of lusts of the world, selfish, and prioritized temporary flesh desires. After becoming a new man, however, our lives belong to the Lord, and the Lord will surely take our lives as His responsibility.
In our journey to become God's children, we must surrender a lot to God. Our submission is proof of our faith and belief in God; that He can act on our lives, and that He can help and provide spiritual, physical, and material blessings for us.
The Macedonian church is a real example for us. They realized that God was the source of blessing and they showed themselves as new men who were not selfish. They used the opportunity to be a channel of blessing for brothers and sisters in the faith and God's work. They also helped other fellow human beings.
The Lord calls us to be salt and light amid this world. One way to be the salt and light is by doing good to those around us.
How can we become rich in generosity like the Macedonian church?
1. Have an unselfish attitude (2 Corinthians 8:2, Philippians 2:4)
Even though the church in Macedonia was going through trials and tribulations, they were not selfish by loving only themselves. With overflowing joy and a heart attitude that was rich in generosity, the church helped other people around them who needed help.
Sometimes, people are reluctant to help because they feel that they are also having trouble. Some do the math and finally decide not to help because they are afraid that by helping others, they are going to lack something.
Selfishness will never make our lives happy, on the contrary, a compassionate heart for others will bring us joy that will make us be strong people in this life.
2. A delight to give (2 Corinthians 8: 3&5, Proverbs 11: 24-25)
The church in Macedonia loved to give. Even though they were very poor, they were rich in generosity. They had been a blessing according to their abilities, and even beyond their means.
The church in Macedonia understood how to enjoy God's grace and that drove them to have the courage to give.
Lord Jesus once said, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38)
We will never lack anything if we give out of goodness and do it for the glory of God. On the other hand, we will be filled by the Lord again when we give. Proverbs says that there are people who appear to be frugal but in reality are stingy people who are unhappy and lack things.
Blessed are those who choose to give rather than just receive. There is joy when we give (whether it is our time, energy, or materials) or when we become a channel of blessing.
3. Have a heart attitude that wants to serve and not to be served (2 Corinthians 8:7-8).
In verse 4, Apostle Paul testified that the church in Macedonia voluntarily asked and urged Paul to allow them to receive the grace to share in the ministries of the saints. Their desire to share in that ministry could be seen in their request – it was not something that was asked by Paul.
They volunteered themselves to serve. They understood that a believer’s life calling was to be like Christ, namely to serve, and not to be served (Mark 10:45).
Why do we want to be involved in a ministry? It’s because we have received the grace of salvation from Lord Jesus. A ministry is a sign of gratitude for God's deeds in this life.
If each of us has experienced the grace and goodness of God until today, then let us have generosity by doing and having an unselfish heart attitude. Let us share sincerely and give ourselves to serve.
Let's do our parts in the life that God has given us by being a channel of blessing for many people so that the name of Lord Jesus is glorified.
• What is generosity?
• How do we bring out an attitude of selflessness?
• What and how do we give in a way that is right and pleasing to the Lord?
• Have you been involved in the ministry? How can you give yourself to serve amid busyness?