Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 2 Corinthians 8:3b-4
Listen: 2 Corinthians 8
The Macedonian churches were self-motivated even though they had absolutely no reason to be. You might think that experiencing “a very severe trial” and “extreme poverty” (2 Corinthians 8:2) would be more than enough reason to take a pass on helping others. But not only did they want to help, they actually “pleaded” with Paul for the “privilege” of helping provide famine relief. Paul didn’t have to press the Macedonians to give— they were begging him to help. They didn’t stumble into generosity—they were intentional. It was radical initiative.
In doing so, they were just following God’s example. We need to remember that God took the initiative in providing for our salvation through the finished work of Jesus on the cross. This same Apostle Paul wrote, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast,” (Ephesians 2:8-9). As Senior Pastor Jeff Manion has said, “We bring nothing. He brings everything.”
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Determine if you are radically initiative with your giving. Radical givers take initiative to the point where it looks like they’re begging people to take their money. With whom and to what are you taking initiative? Today, take the radical initiative to give to your church, a favorite nonprofit or someone you know in financial need.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.