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. 2 Corinthians 8:9
A famine sweeps across Jerusalem, and Jesus-followers in the city suffer. The Apostle Paul urges churches in the city of Corinth to contribute to relief efforts for the church in Jerusalem. They begin eagerly, but then their giving stalls. The Apostle Paul urges them to remember Jesus’s incredible generosity toward them. Jesus made himself poor so that we might become rich. This should be their motivation to give. The depth of his generosity toward us should motivate and empower our giving today, too. Our giving comes from the truth that Jesus has given us so much. We are generously loved, accepted and secure in him.
In his letter to believers in Ephesus, Paul urges sacrifice in family relationships. In Greek culture, marriage was for wealth advancement or to elevate a family’s status. When Paul urges believing husbands to sacrifice for their wives, it’s unheard of and completely counter-cultural. Yet Paul reminds them to tap into the great love and sacrifice Jesus displayed for them, “just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Knowing our position of forgiveness, love, mercy and grace allows us today to sacrifice for others, including our families.
Our response to the Gospel shapes our behavior over time. These changes are not automatic and may occur in small ways. As we continue to draw close to Jesus together and ask the Holy Spirit to transform us, we see God shape our lives into what he created us to be.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Reflect on which of these two—generosity and sacrifice—you most struggle to understand what God has done for you and how to live that out. Then, share with a trusted friend and ask them to pray for you in this area in the coming weeks.
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
February is SABBATH. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.