walk in the word
1We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own free will, 4begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints. – 2 Corinthians 8:1-4
Fellowship involves sharing what I have. 2 Corinthians 8:3 describes fellowship in action as people who “gave according to their means.” What they had, they gave.
What do you have? Skip that small or large portfolio for a moment. That’s not all we have. I have time. I have experience and wisdom. I have compassion. Yes, I have certain resources. Whatever you have—that’s were fellowship in action begins. In the passage above, Paul told the Corinthians what a good example the Macedonians were about giving. If you skipped it, read it now.
Here’s what was going on. There were, because of persecution, some of the Jewish Christian in Jerusalem were starving. So, some of the churches in Asia Minor took up offerings for them. But amazingly, people who gave really didn’t have—humanly speaking—very much to give. Paul says, “You’ve got to hear about this grace that’s been given.” “For in a severe attest of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. They gave according to their means, as I can testify” (vs. 2-3a). So it wasn’t the biggest gifts, but it may have been the biggest sacrifice. “And beyond their means, of their own free will, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints” (vs. 3b-4). Every one’s “means” are different. God multiplies the products of an attitude of giving, no matter the size or nature of the gift. Remember what Jesus did with a boy’s sack lunch (John 6:1-14)?
That’s the heart of fellowship right there. Don’t you want your church to be a compelling testimony of the power of the Gospel in the way that the people love and care for one another? Every time you write a note. Each time you make a meal for someone who’s hurting; when you visit someone in the hospital. Every time you give what you have to meet someone’s need, you are practicing fellowship! Find a way to get connected and give yourself, sharing what you have in Christ with other people. It’s a powerful thing! And we all need it.
Prayer:Dear Father, open my eyes to see needs You have provided for me to help meet. Who I am and what I have come from You. I want to be directed by You in how I use what you give me. Help me never to lose sight that I belong to You and can be an instrument in Your hands for Your work in the world. Open my eyes, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
brought to you by change partners