Paul's Inspiration for Being a Generous Giver
Paul lifted up Jesus’ life and ministry as the ultimate example of giving.
"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich." (2 Corinthians 8:9)
Paul wanted his readers to see Jesus’ motivations for giving:
- His love for God and for us
- His compassion for our needs
- His desire to share what He has
The Apostle hoped that by seeing this model, believers would feel inspired as he did to look at giving not as a burden, but an opportunity to become more Christlike. Paul's letters modeled what it looks like to "live to give."
From him, I've learned five important lessons that have changed my attitudes and actions toward giving.
Lesson #1: God's Blessings Equip Us To Give To Others
It's said that we are meant to be streams of blessing, not reservoirs. To be a better giver, it helps to remember how much we already have. Paul's desire was for us to lift up thanks to God, then to ask Him if there's anything He wants us to pass forward. Doing that helps meet a need, and keeps us from holding onto our possessions too tightly.
"...and God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need you will abound in every good work." (2 Corinthians 9:8)
"Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds and to be generous and willing to share." (1 Timothy 6:17-18)
"Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God." (Corinthians 9:10-11)
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