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June 17, 2019

The Ministry of Money

“Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord …” 2 Corinthians 8:1-3 

Supernatural giving is an act of grace. When believers completely surrender to Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit prompts them to give in extraordinary ways. The Macedonian churches exemplified this type of giving. The Apostle Paul used their example to motivate the Corinthians to also be generous. A closer look at these churches is both inspiring and convicting.

A major part of Paul’s third missionary journey was dedicated to a collection for the persecuted and impoverished churches of Judea. The church at Corinth quickly agreed to give. But a year later they still hadn’t followed through. It’s believed that Paul didn’t ask the Macedonians to participate because they, too, were persecuted and impoverished. The Macedonians, however, saw giving as a privilege. This was amazing to Paul. Not only did they ask to give; they gave in abundance. 

Verse 5 is the key to their supernatural giving, “they first gave themselves to the Lord.” The Macedonians gave generously and joyously because they were completely surrendered to the Savior. In sharing this, Paul wasn’t trying to manipulate the Corinthians through guilt but to encourage them in grace. That’s why Paul states in verse 7, “But just as you abound in everything…see that you abound in this gracious work also.” 

Are you more like the Corinthians or the Macedonians? How is the Holy Spirit prompting you to grow in the grace of giving? Supernatural giving looks beyond the material and sees the eternal. It was this kind of surrender that inspired missionary Jim Elliot. He wrote, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” We’ll never know the joy of supernatural giving without the obedience of complete surrender.