A Montrose Church Advent Devotional by Pastor Rick
Advent Day 13: We Are Great Givers Because of Jesus
Today's reading: 2 Corinthians 9:1-15
The Christ-like life is a life of generosity, a generosity born of the generosity of God. The apostle Paul wrote, "God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed" (v. 8). Earlier he had said, "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 wrote these words to the church at Corinth, which had committed to financially assist the followers of Christ in Judaea and Jerusalem. He used an example to motivate them to give. He spoke of Christians in Macedonia who, in spite of great affliction in their own world, as well as extreme poverty, pleaded with Paul to allow them to be a part of the ministry of giving to the needy Christians in Jerusalem. Paul says of them,
In a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality... For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord (2 Corinthians 8:2-3).
As Paul spoke to the Corinthians it became very clear that he was speaking about far more than raising some money for hurting people. He was speaking about a generosity of mind and spirit based upon the mind and spirit of God, expressed in God's abundant, marvelous, and amazing grace. In other words, followers of Jesus are great givers in every aspect of life because their God, "emptied Himself of all but love and bled for Adam's helpless race" (Charles Wesley, 1738).
Advent is that annual reminder that God has joined us with a massive invitation for us to join Him in implementing in the world His redemptive, restorative, forgiving, healing, and absolutely amazing grace. We share because God has shared so very much with us.
"May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
live in me from day to day,
By His love and power
controlling all I do and say."
- Kate B. Wilkinson, 1925