Advent Devotional: Sacrificial Giving and the Macedonian Church
We are doing an Advent devotional at our church and this is the entry I wrote for tomorrow:
“Now, friends, I want to report on the surprising and generous ways in which God is working in the churches in Macedonia province. Fierce troubles came down on the people of those churches, pushing them to the very limit. The trial exposed their true colors: They were incredibly happy, though desperately poor. The pressure triggered something totally unexpected: an outpouring of pure and generous gifts” (2 Corinthians 8:1-2).
The story of the selfless giving of the Macedonian church serves an example of what God can do in a gathering of believers. The Macedonian church was going through some intense trials yet they were driven by the Holy Spirit to give beyond their means and give to the suffering church in Jerusalem. Paul writes later that the reason that they gave was because they had given themselves unreservedly to God.
How would our church be different if we all took up our crosses and lived the radical lifestyle of a Christ follower? The Christian life was never meant to be comfortable.
Craig Blomberg of Denver Seminary writes, “If we really believed that one day the new heavens and new earth pictured in Revelation 21–22 will be ours forever, we’d stop trying to get everything before we die and be content to wait, using our goods in this life to serve the least, the last, and the lost.”
This Christmas season let’s make the Macedonian church our example of what can happen when we give more than feels comfortable.