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  • Ahikam son of Shaphan supported Jeremiah, and so he was not handed over to the people to be put to death. Jeremiah 26:24

  • Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. Hebrews 12:1

  • They gave as much as they were able. 2 Corinthians 8:3

    During the pandemic lockdown, Jerry was forced to close his fitness center and had no income for months. One day he received a text from a friend asking to meet him at his facility at 6:00 p.m. Jerry wasn’t sure why but made his way there. Soon cars started streaming into the parking lot. The driver in the first car placed a basket on the sidewalk near the building. Then car after car (maybe fifty of them) came by. Those inside waved at Jerry or hollered out a hello, stopped at the basket, and dropped in a card or cash. Some sacrificed their money; all gave their time to encourage him.

    The true nature of love is sacrificial, according to the apostle Paul. He explained to the Corinthians that the Macedonians gave “even beyond their ability” so they could meet the needs of the apostles and others (2 Corinthians 8:3). They even “pleaded” with Paul for the opportunity to give to them and to God’s people. The basis for their giving was the sacrificial heart of Jesus Himself. He left the riches of heaven to come to earth to be a servant and to give His very life. “Though he was rich, yet for [our] sake he became poor” (v. 9).

    May we too plead with God so that we might “excel in this grace of giving” (v. 7) in order to lovingly meet the needs of others. 

    Read: 2 Corinthians 8:1–9 (NIV)

    The Collection for the Lord’s People

    And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you[a]—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

    I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 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.



    1. How might sacrificial service or giving fit into your life this week?
    2. Who needs your encouragement?

    Most of Paul’s epistles are bookended with greetings and benedictions that include the word grace. We see this in 2 Corinthians: “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1:2) and “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ . . . be with you all” (13:14). What’s in view is “favor or kindness of some sort that’s freely given.” Grace is a translation of the Greek word cháris. Next to the book of Romans, this word appears in 2 Corinthians more than any other book in the New Testament. In 2 Corinthians 8, cháris occurs seven times. In the NIV in verses 1, 6, 7, and 9, it’s translated as grace. However, it can also be translated “the privilege” (v. 4), “thanks” (v. 16), and “the offering” (v. 19).


    Loving God, You are so good. Please give me opportunities to bless others for You in Your power and wisdom. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen!!

    Read: 2 Corinthians 8:1–9 (NIV) | Bible in a Year: Psalms 87–88; Romans 13

  • I will not forget you! Isaiah 49:15

  • Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all. Mark 9:35

  • Though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again. Proverbs 24:16

  • Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him. Genesis 33:4

  • Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream! Amos 5:24

  • We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 1 John 3:14

  • Do not despise the Lord’s discipline. Proverbs 3:11

  • Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:14

  • I will listen to what God the Lord says. Psalm 85:8

  • In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. Job 2:10

  • God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. Acts 4:33–34

  • Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress. James 1:27

  • When your words came, I ate them. Jeremiah 15:16

  • Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Psalm 139:23

  • [Jesus] took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19

  • [Our] help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:2

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