2 Cor.8:3-5 – For I can verify that they spontaneously gave, not only according to their means but far beyond what they could afford. They actually begged us for the privilege of sharing in this ministry of giving to God’s holy people who are living in poverty. They exceeded our expectations by first dedicating themselves fully to the Lord and then to us, according to God’s pleasure.
If you think about it, from God’s perspective giving is really quite strange. What could God possibly need? He has created everything that exists and nothing I give to Him could ever enrich Him in any way. In Ps.50:11-13 the Lord says it like this
“Every animal of field and forest belongs to me, the Creator.
I know every movement of the birds in the sky,
and every animal of the field is in my thoughts.
The entire world and everything it contains is mine.
If I were hungry, do you think I would tell you?
For all that I have created, the fullness of the earth, is mine.
Am I fed by your sacrifices? Of course not!”
So if God has no need why would He insist on our giving? Really you could divide the answer into two parts; first, He is after our heart. Our heart is often attached to our finances and this is His way of testing and changing us. Secondly, it is in giving that we step into a lifestyle of harvest. All of creation flows with God’s plan of seedtime and harvest. This is the way to a blessed life. Here is how Brian Simmons describes today’s verse.
“Under persecution and desperately poor, the churches of Macedonia gave more than just an extravagant offering. They fully surrendered themselves to the Lord and gave out of a longing to fulfill God’s pleasure. This is the key to generous giving. First we dedicate our hearts to God, which includes our finances, then we give to God’s work as he directs us. Throughout 2 Corinthians, giving is described as a “grace” that God places on our lives, which empowers our generosity.”
So there you have it, the Lord has never been after your stuff, He is after you. When your heart belongs to Him then you can become a channel of God’s blessing to others. So give Him your heart (and your offerings), you will be quite surprised at all the ways this will change your life.