Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of November 11, 2007
- Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of November 11, 2007
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As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
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The grace of giving money
"We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about
the grace of God that has been granted to the
churches of Macedonia; for during a severe ordeal
of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme
poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity
on their part. For, as I can testify, they
voluntarily gave according to their means, and
even beyond their means, begging us earnestly for
the privilege of sharing in this ministry to the
saints and this, not merely as we expected; they
gave themselves first to the Lord and, by the will
of God, to us, so that we might urge Titus that,
as he had already made a beginning, so he should
also complete this generous undertaking among you.
Now as you excel in everything, in faith, in speech,
in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love
for you, so we want you to excel also in this
generous undertaking. I do not say this as a
command, but I am testing the genuineness of your
love against the earnestness of others. For you
know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he
became poor, so that by his poverty you might
2 Corinthians 8:1-9
Today's Bible verses encourage the generosity of
God's people to give financially to those in dire
need. The inspired author of this material is
the apostle Paul, writing to the first century
Corinthian church in Greece. Paul's timeless
words of encouragement to complete the collection
of money for famine relief are appropriate today.
World hunger should be a Christian concern locally
and globally, wherever people routinely go to bed
hungry, and children perish daily from starvation.
Christians must be generous in giving their money
for hunger relief, teaches Paul, because of the
example of grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus
was supremely generous and gave his all for humanity,
so we could experience the riches of God. We are to
follow the generous example of Jesus and share our
abundance with others in need.
Paul understood Jesus was very concerned with world
hunger and suffering people. But the Corinthian
church was more concerned with their own needs and
was neglecting their earlier promise of famine relief
to the Jerusalem church in far away Israel. Perhaps
we too, need this refresher course in the grace of
giving money today.
God loves a cheerful giver and is pleased when we
share our resources generously with suffering
humanity. Christians are to excel in many graces
in speech, knowledge of God, sincerity, and love
for the saints. Christians are also expected by
God to give willingly from their abundance. When
in doubt of how much to give, consider the supremely
generous act of Christ going to the cross, and be
inspired to give without any hidden agenda or
expectations of payback, with or without interest
or profitable gain.
People of faith are often uncomfortable when the
subject comes to money. Paul expands his teachings
through chapters 8 and 9 in this letter to the
Corinthians. We are to give freely from the heart
and never reluctantly or under compulsion. As we
give generously to others in need, many will give
thanks and honor God as a result.
The grace of giving financially is one very practical
aspect of our confession of faith. Sometimes we have
to put our money where our mouth is. Talk can be
very cheap. It takes money to feed the starving,
clothe the poor, shelter the homeless, help the
orphan, and reach out with the compassion of Christ.
A church that is not giving is not living up to its
fullest God-given potential to make an impact in the
world. When in doubt, give more and not less.
All Christians, gay and straight alike, rich and poor,
are expected to open their wallets and pockets to
assist others less fortunate. This is the heart of
today's Bible verses.
Teach us, O God, to give generously to others in need
locally and globally. Help us be very concerned with
world hunger and act accordingly. May we always be
inspired through the generous act of giving,
demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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