2 Corinthians 8:3 “…beyond their ability, they were freely willing”
Sacrificial giving. Giving above what one could normally afford.
4 “imploring…that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints”
The saints of Macedonia wanted to have a part in ministering to others. Reminds me of listening to missionaries. Hearing how God is working through them stirs my spirit to want to participate with them. Sometimes God leads to actually work with them, sometimes it is through support of their work. Both are necessary.
7 “…see that you abound in this grace also”
Financial support is just as important as physical. Someone has to stay behind to look after things. As David said in 1 Samuel 30, as his part is that goes down to the battle, so shall his part be that stays by the supplies. Modern armies have entire logistical divisions which maintain supply lines for the troops on the front.
8 “…not by commandment…sincerity of your love…diligence of others”
He wanted to see how they would react then they heard what others were doing in the ministry. If they truly cared, it should stir them to act as well.
9 “…though He was rich…He became poor…”
Christ became what was needed to reach all people. He lowered Himself to the lowest level of humanity so that all could reach Him. That is the same attitude we should have toward others in order to show them Christ.
11 “…you also must complete the doing of it”
Apparently they had begun a year earlier to collect financial support, but had not completed the effort. He admonishes them to finish what they started.
12 “…a willing mind…accepted according to what one has”
God doesn’t judge our gift by the amount, but the desire of our heart. The widow gave only two mites, but gave more than all the others as her desire was to give all she had.
14 “…your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack…”
Paul calls this an equality, but I don’t think he was referring to quid pro quo or doing something just to get something. If each gives as he has opportunity out of love for his neighbor, then all needs can be met. Similar to marriage. If both spouses concern themselves with the needs of the other, both will have their own needs met.
15 “…He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack”
Reference to gathering manna for the day. Each gathered what they could, and it would be enough for all.
18 “…the brother whose praise is in the gospel…”
Commentary suggests he was referring to Luke as he would be well known and traveled with Paul for much of the missionary journeys.
20 “…that anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us”
While there is no need to question a person’s integrity, taking steps to avoid any appearance of impropriety shows good faith in others’ trust.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.