Just as I try to do my very best in all other areas of my life - more than 100% whenever I can - I, and you too, please - need to learn to excel in the grace of giving as well. Why?
Because the Bible says, "But as you excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in compete earnestness, and in your love for us - see that you also excel in this grace of giving." (2 Corinthians 8:7 nkjv)
May I assume just now that you are a Believer in the Lord Jesus Christ? Our first example in that verse implies that we have exercised our faith to receive Christ as our Saviour. That is something we had to do by an act of our will. If we have continued in that decision and path in life for a while, then we have since that first decision, grown to love and trust our dear Jesus more and more. We have seen some answers to our prayers. That's what normally happens to Believers.
As we start reading God's Word, the Bible, every day, and join in Bible study groups or classes at church, we begin to understand more of God's plans and character, and the impact of Christ's death for us causes us to trust Him - even love Him more and more.
Before long we want to share this great news with friends and family and strangers. We want them to have this dynamic relationship with Jesus too! Some folks just bubble it out of their mouths right away, others are more shy and take longer to come into this stage of our spiritual development. The more often we share the good news of salvation and new life in Christ, the more our faith and enthusiasm increases. If you have the gift to be very articulate about what you know and understand, you may already be a great apologist for the Christian faith. (That means, you can explain and defend it well with your words). You can even explain complicated doctrines in the Bible and show how they apply to us personally.
That's great! We all love to see someone who is dead serious about their faith, and very diligent in Christian ministry. I admire someone who is utterly devoted to Christ and the Christian life as the most important thing.
Perhaps you have grown to love all Christians, and pastors and missionaries in particular. You are passionate about missions. Let's get that Great Commission fulfilled!
But there's one area where you may still need to grow in - what about the grace of giving generousy and wisely? Are you at 100% of your capacity there? Many strong Believers, sadly, are not.
Most, if not all of us, still have a selfish streak in us. We look out for ourselves first as Number One.
We do need to take good care of ourselves, but there ought to be a deep shift in focus in our sub-conscious. If we are to have the mind of Christ, we will notice others' needs and try to meet them too. Maybe even before our own.
Furthermore, there is a skill in giving that we must practice and develop. Or, as 2 Corinthians 8:7 says it, excel in the grace of giving. Let's study God's Word on this topic, keep trying to grasp what it means, and to practice it. Not all at once, but gradually we can begin to excel in the grace of giving.
Remember, God is the Greatest Giver. Jesus gave Himself for us. We have the very finest models and authorities on giving to guide us.
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