Wednesday, December 25, 2013

DAY 585 - Don't You Want This Grace of Generous Giving? (請按此處收聼廣東話Cantonese podcast click here)

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                               Today's Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:1-7

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Bible Study

     On Christmas Day to talk about giving is really such a blessing. Because Jesus is the biggest gift we can ever have, the biggest gift from God.

     Many people think of this passage about how we should give generously to our church. Actually it is not. It is all about a special work of grace to make that happen. If you can give generously, it is not you, it is God's grace. Why? Because human beings are so selfish, we really can't give that much. So, if you can give much, which means you have much grace. 

Bishop N.T. Wright says ( ) :
     What does it mean that God gave 'this grace' to the churches in Macedonia?  It didn't simply mean they had what we would call a wonderful spiritual experience.  It meant that, under an impulse which came from God himself, they gave money with almost reckless generosity…they were desperately poor, and had suffered serious persecution; these two things may have gone together, since the persecution may have included loss of jobs and income for some.  But such was their devotion to God, to the Lord Jesus, to Paul himself, and to the work of the gospel and of church unity, that they found it in their hearts to give not only according to their means but way beyond.  This, Paul declares, can only be a work of grace.
     So, he declares, don't you want this grace as well?  

N.T. Wright. Paul for Everyone:2 Corinthians. Louisville,KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004, p.86.
     How generous is your giving to your church? Do you have that grace Paul talks about?  

Let's have a time to be still and give the Holy Spirit space to speak through the passage of scripture we have just read. Offer this time up to Jesus as you listen to him, while listening to "Gabriel's Oboe":

Spiritual Journal

    What I heard from Jesus today is: Don't you want this grace of generous giving?

    What I got from Jesus today is an invitation to receive a very special grace from him. The grace of generous giving. Don't you want this grace?

    It is always so difficult to ask Christians to give, not even talking about tithing. Ah! Today we have the best answer!

    Giving is not about what you are willing to give. It is about how much do you allow the grace of God working in you! If you can give much, it must be God's grace working in you abundantly. Because you just can't do it!

    Don't you want this grace of generous giving? Don't you want God's grace working in you in a new way, a renewed way?  Then, try giving, giving and giving!

Dear Lord Jesus, 
Lead us to be willing to allow your grace to work in us so that we can give beyond what we can afford.  In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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