“And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.” (2 Co 8:1-2).
Grace is the empowering presence of God enabling you to be what God has created you to be, and to do what God has called you to do – right where you are. The miracle of Macedonia illustrates this perfectly.
In our verse today Paul is specifically speaking about the Philippian Church, to whom he wrote, “you Philippians yourselves know that in the early days of my work spreading the Good News, when I left Macedonia, not a single congregation shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving — only you” (Phil.4:15).
The miracle is seen in the fact that though they were greatly impoverished, they nevertheless gave sacrificially to the work of the Lord because of their love and faith. And their gift became a great provocation to several of the other churches who were in much better financial condition.
Paul boasted of the Philippians by writing to the Corinthians, “For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.” (2Co 8:3-5)
And his words did not fall upon deaf ears.
“If the Philippians, who have so little have now given so much,” the Corinthians mused to themselves, “How then can we who have so much dare to settle for giving so little?” As a result, they stepped up and gave an offering for the relief of those who were suffering greatly in Jerusalem.
It pleases God greatly when we are filled with a passion to share His goodness with others; when we abound in the grace of giving so much that it brings honor to His great generosity to us all.
In a day when the world is reeling to and fro with anxiety, fear, and unbelief; when the hands of many are closing tighter and tighter as they hold on for dear life to what they possess – let’s be instead a people of daring faith and audacious love. Let’s defy the dictates of Mammon by being deliberately generous towards others. Now that would be a miracle indeed!
And if we will do this, then there is a promise of Scripture that we may surely lay claim to – “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus”(Philippians 4:19)!