Characterized by Giving
2 Corinthians 8:1-15
Christmas is traditionally the time of year when many people freely demonstrate generosity. Since Jesus’ birth, life, and ministry were characterized by giving, His followers should also be known for that trait—but not just in December.
Generosity is part of our identity in Christ and should be our natural response to God’s blessings and provisions. Jesus Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). The New Testament church demonstrated this when they shared possessions with one another (Acts 2:44-45).
Sometimes we become rather inward-focused in our Christmas giving. We buy gifts for our immediate family and maybe even for extended family or close friends. But what can we do this Christmas to extend generosity beyond our own homes?
In today’s passage, Paul mentions the generosity of Macedonian churches that collected an offering to send to the poor saints in Jerusalem. In a similar way, we might give some of our Christmas spending budget to a family, friends, or neighbors who need it. Or we can give the gift of service, which could be as simple as babysitting, cleaning a house, or visiting a nursing home or hospital. And if we have a useful skill, we could offer our expertise in that area to help someone.
Giving reminds us that God is the source of all we have, and the most precious gift He’s given us is eternal life. We share that gift with others when we give our time and our money, because generosity reflects the lavish love and grace of God.
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