July 18, 2022 – Monday
2 Corinthians 8:8-9 NIV
8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.
9 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.
We noted the use of grace in verse one of this chapter on Friday July 15 along with grace in verse four and then again in verses six and seven. They were all about giving. Today it is much the same, but with a twist. Our attitude and actions concerning giving is what Paul addresses.
Look first at verse eight above where Paul writes, I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. Paul is going to look at our actual giving freely from the heart, but he is not commanding us to give. He will test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. Well, how bad can that be? Most of us think our giving is comparable to others we know and their giving or at least we hope so. But then comes the next verse, 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. Oh no! There is no way we can match the giving of our Creator. No way!
Turns out that is not who Paul will be comparing our giving to, not at all. Instead as Paul makes clear in the next three verses, we are going to be compared to what we implied or said or committed to give. 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. Modern day vernacular might put it this way, If you are going to talk the talk you will be judged on whether or not you walk the walk. In other words, will your actions match your words?
When it comes to giving, Jesus also has something to say. In Matthew 25:31-40 He said, 31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
And then He addressed the results for those who did nothing for those in need, 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” You don’t get more direct than that, the choice between hell and eternal life in heaven.
Bottom Line: Jesus gave us the bottom line.
Prayer: Almighty God, Heavenly Father, Please help me to walk the walk, in humility. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton