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2 CORINTHIANS: Money (8 v 1-5)

Explore God's Word Daily
Explore God's Word Daily

We're focussing on a subject most people would rather avoid—what we do with our bank balances. Over the next seven studies we will look at chapters 8 and 9, to see what Paul wants us to learn about a godly, Christian attitude to money and giving.

Giving as response
Read 2 Corinthians 8:1

• What has prompted the Macedonian Christians to give (v 1-2)?
• What is striking, and challenging, about their generosity (v 2-3)?

Macedonia was an area to the north of Corinth. We know of a few churches in Macedonia—at Philippi, Thessalonica and Berea (you can read about them in Acts 16–17 and, of course, Philippians and 1 and 2 Thessalonians!). It is presumably these churches that Paul refers to here. And they give us a snapshot of how
God’s grace can transform people.
These people have been made generous by God, and they are very generous. They respond to what God has done for them in Jesus Christ.
Notice the amazing description of giving in v 1. Paul describes it as a “grace”, an undeserved kindness from God. Being in a position to give is itself a gift from God.

• Is that how you think about giving money to other Christians?

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TIME OUT… Read 1 Corinthians 16:1
This is the collection Paul is talking about in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9. He’s collected money for the churches in Jerusalem, where there are many poor people in need. Notice he mentions the Galatian churches—so we know that the churches in Galatia and Macedonia were all involved in this collection. Will the Corinthian church follow their example and join in?
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Giving as service
Read 2 Corinthians 8:3

• What is the “service to the saints” (v 3-4)?
• When the Macedonians gave, who were they giving to (v 5)?

The word used for “service” in verse 4 is the word that would have been used in Judaism for supporting the needs of the poor. Paul picks up on this idea here—giving for the relief of the poor in Jerusalem is an opportunity to serve others.

• Why does Paul tell the Corinthians about the Macedonians, do you think?

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APPLY
• How do you view financial giving? Is there any difference between your attitude and the Macedonians’?
• How do these verses, and their example, encourage or challenge you about your financial arrangements?
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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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Originally published April 12, 2012.

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