Opening Prayer

Spirit of God, powerful and unpredictable as the wind, come upon me as I worship. Be the driving force of my life.

Read 2 CORINTHIANS 8:1-15

The Collection for the Lord’s People

8 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.

10 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.

13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”[b]

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  1. 2 Corinthians 8:7 Some manuscripts and in your love for us
  2. 2 Corinthians 8:15 Exodus 16:18

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Reflect today on what you are doing with your time, your talents, and your money.

Think Further

There are abrupt changes of direction in this letter. This has led some to speculate that it is not one letter but a compendium of several. Alternatively, we might imagine that, having met up with Titus, Paul is now dictating the letter during his long journey (the distance by road from Ephesus to Corinth via Troas is over 900 miles). He has a mental list of items to address and having reconciled with the church he is now able to deal with them. This section deals with Paul’s grand project, the world’s first international rescue fund, destined for the church in Jerusalem. Equality and generosity are his themes.

Interestingly, Paul never mentions money (perhaps it embarrassed him). Instead, he goes for the heart. For him, the example of Jesus is what determines everything. In a further flight of fine theology, he speaks of Christ who was rich, yet for our sakes became poor (v 9). Out of grace, Christ exchanges his riches for our poverty, making us rich in spiritual grace. He is the supreme example of what it means to give; imaging the love of God. This is where the inspiration to give comes from, as the Macedonian churches Paul has passed through on the way have already demonstrated (vs 1,2). Accordingly, giving can be invited but not commanded (v 5). It should spring from a willing heart (vs 11,12) and should be proportionate (v 12) though also sacrificial (v 2). And it should aim at equality (vs 13,14).

Equality is a slippery concept. We are all equal in God’s eyes – and yet by any worldly standards there is great inequality. Some have and some have not, so it is just and right that those who have should show care for those who have not. The implications of such a principle are massive. We should work them out.


‘Give, and it will be given to you … For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’1

Closing prayer

Lord Jesus, I am reminded that you were rich yet became poor for my sake. Thank you that I am saved and blessed in so many ways because of your obedience.

Last Updated on June 7, 2023 by kingstar

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