Explore God's Word Daily

A daily blog on Christianity.com

Not what, but why (2 Corinthians 8 v 10-15)

Both the Macedonian church and Jesus Christ have challenged us to give sacrificially. Now Paul gives us two more principles when it comes to financial giving, which answer two common heartattitudes Christians struggle with.

“Well, if I must…”
Read 2 Corinthians 8:10

• What is Paul’s advice to the Corinthians (v 10-11)?
• What makes the gift acceptable (v 12)?

Giving isn’t simply to be sacrificial, but also willing.

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APPLY
• Would you describe your regular giving to your church as voluntary—or grudging? To put it another way: if no one encouraged you to give, would you still do it?
If not—if deep down you’d rather not give—pray for a right attitude to giving, and ask that God will use these studies on 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 to help you to be a willing giver. Perhaps begin right now, by memorising verse 9.
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“Is that enough?”
Read 2 Corinthians 8:13

• What is the principle that Paul is working to in verses 13 and 14?
• How does verse 15 reinforce this principle?

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TIME OUT
Paul quotes here from Exodus 16 v 18. When Paul quotes from the Old Testament, he generally doesn’t just have one verse in mind, but also the passage where the verse comes from. Exodus 16 is the account of how Israel were fed by
God in the wilderness.
Read Exodus 16:13
• What happens in verses 19 and 20?
• How can this section help Christians in our thinking about the finances God has given us?
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So much of what Paul writes here is about attitude. It would probably be easier if he said: “Just give 10% of your income, and be done with it”. Tithing (giving a tenth) is not a bad principle. But Paul is less interested in what we do than why we do
it—he focuses on what’s going on in our hearts as and when we give.
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TIME OUT
• What wrong motivations could Christians have for giving their money?
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APPLY
• What does Paul challenge the Corinthians to do in verse 11?
How often good intentions don’t translate into real action!
• Is there any change to your finances you know you ought to make? Will you do it today?
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This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.

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About Explore God's Word Daily

Explore God's Word Daily helps you open up the Bible to be refreshed and encouraged in your walk with God. "Explore" is the daily Bible-reading devotional from The Good Book Company (www.thegoodbook.com). Contributors include: Dr Timothy Keller, Senior Pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York; Mike McKinley, Senior pastor of Guilford Baptist Church; Tim Chester, author and pastor of Crowded House, Sheffield, UK; Mark Meynell, Senior Associate Minister at All Soul’s Langham Place, London, UK. Editors: Tim Thornborough and Carl Laferton.

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