2 Corinthians 8:1-7
Today we live under a new covenant established by God through the shed blood of His Son (Heb. 9:15). Based on what Christ did, Romans 12:1 tells us to present ourselves as “a living and holy sacrifice, [which is] acceptable” to the Lord. If you are a child of God, all of your abilities, time, and money belong to Him.
The principle of sacrificial living can be seen in the early church. Those new believers eagerly sold their possessions and property to meet needs around them (Acts 2:45). God blessed them for their generosity—they experienced glad hearts, favor with others, and growing numbers.
Macedonian churches also understood the priority of giving. Even though the believers there were extremely poor, they begged for the opportunity to help financially. Second Corinthians 8:7 says they excelled at the “grace of giving” (NIV).
Under Old Testament law, God required a tithe (a tenth of one’s crops and animals) to support the temple (Lev. 27:30-32). When the nation drifted away from this practice, the Lord sent Malachi to warn them of the consequences for disobeying. By holding onto their tithe, they were robbing God of what was rightfully His (Mal. 3:8). We certainly don’t want to be guilty of withholding the Lord’s money from Him.
Having appointed us as His stewards and entrusted us with resources, God expects us to give generously. When the impoverished widow put two coins into the temple treasury, Jesus praised her sacrificial giving (Mark 12:41-44). If we trust God with our finances as the widow did, we will excel at the grace of giving.