2 Corinthians 8-9, Psalm 74
Requesting financial offerings often requires explanation. Though the Corinthians have already made a large pledge to help the suffering church in Jerusalem, Paul understands the need to offer sufficient explanation on not just the need to give, but also the motivation and attitude attending what he calls “service” (2 Corinthians 9:1). Not only should the Corinthians give, but Paul desires they do so willingly (2 Corinthians 8:10-11), which is the only appropriate attitude for Christian offering. If a gift is compelled by any force but love for God, then even that gift requires repentance, for God doesn’t need our money, yet still desires our hearts. In fact the attitude (willing) we are to have while giving is powered by the motivation. This motivation is explained this way: “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) To be sure the motivation Paul intends behind their giving isn’t payback. Rather Jesus’ generosity is both a model and also reaffirmation of our Lord’s character who gave us the best, even at great sacrifice. That means even giving away money can be good for us, if that is what Jesus requires. We can know this because Jesus became poor that we become rich, and wealthier every day in the currency that matters, riches in heaven and deep communion with God. So when we give, lets give willingly, just like Jesus gave Himself willingly that we might have riches forever. Anything lost here, is not lost forever, and this empowers our giving.