Anchored Daily: 2 Corinthians 8:10-15

posted by Bethel Communications | Jan 25, 2023


Hello Friends, welcome to Anchored Daily. This is Blaine and I’m one of the
Richland Campus Elders. Do you have trouble finishing what you start? This
can be a struggle for me, because sometimes I bite off more than I can
chew, and other times I let things that I don’t like to do pile up. This also
happened to the Corinthian church after they made a commitment to give
to the saints in Jerusalem.

This week we are reading in 2 Corinthians Chapter 8, and focusing on the
theme of Generous Giving. As Scott covered on Monday, the Macedonians
were in poverty, yet sacrificially gave to the church in Jerusalem. This was
additionally impressive because the Macedonians were Gentiles and they
gave to a Jewish church, although both groups were Christian. Let’s start at
verse 10:

10  And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago
started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it.
11  So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be
matched by your completing it out of what you have.
12  For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person
has, not according to what he does not have.

Paul is writing to the Church at Corinth. He is reminding them to complete
what they started. A year earlier the Corinthians started collecting for the
church in Jerusalem, as referenced in 1 Corinthians 16. Paul acknowledges
the Corinthians started to collect this gift, but it is clear they did not finish
what they desired in their hearts to do. So, Paul spurs them on, and I notice
a couple things in the way he does this. First, Paul prods them right after
praising the Macedonians. Upon my initial reading of 2 Corinthians 8, I
thought “uh-oh, this is going to get interesting”. Is Paul dissing on the
Corinthians? Let’s peek ahead at 2 Corinthians 9:1-2:

1 There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s
people.  2  For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about
it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were
ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action.

As it turns out, Paul boasted about the Corinthians to the Macedonians, and
it motivated the Macedonians in their generosity. After further pondering
this, I see Paul’s tactics as merely using the goodness of the Macedonians
and the Corinthians to light a fire under each group. Paul also makes it clear
that it will not reflect well on the Corinthians if they do not fulfill this
commitment. This is similar to a coach or a manager using positive
examples to promote competition or accountability across the greater team.

Second, Paul does not indicate how much the Corinthians should give.
Rather, he encourages them to give according to what they have, and they
did have much more than the Macedonians. This is an important concept for
us as we consider how much to give and our heart posture towards giving.
We need to recognize how we came about our possessions. Sure, our
diligence, hard work and wisdom might play into this, but how did we
acquire those traits? These are all part of God’s provision, as are
opportunities and windfalls. Knowing this, we should be eager to reinvest
much of what God has given us back into the church, other ministries, and
those in need. You can check out the Widow’s Mite in Luke 21 and the
Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25 for some bonus reading on sacrificial
giving and utilizing gifts. By the way, you might be encouraged to see in
Romans 15, that the Corinthians did in fact make good on their commitment
to give to the church in Jerusalem.

Okay, let’s continue on in verses 13 though 15 of our text:

13  For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that
as a matter of fairness
14  your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their
abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness.
15  As it is written, "Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and
whoever gathered little had no lack."

Let’s talk about the mention of fairness. Fairness is a good concept, yet, as
they say, “life isn’t always fair”. I don’t see this as equality, creation of a
commune, or at the extreme - Socialism. As I mentioned earlier, we don’t all
receive the same gifts, opportunities, or challenges in life. However, we can
use our blessings to help others in their times of need. At some point we
will also need assistance. If Paul intends that all resources be leveled out
equally amongst the people, they will miss out on the privilege of being a
blessing to and being blessed by, others. Verse 15 is a reference to the
distribution of manna in Exodus 16, so be sure to check that out as well.

To wrap this up, let’s review the main points. First, we should be diligent to
finish what we commit to. Second, we need to be mindful of how God has
blessed us and what he wants us to do with those talents and resources.
And, third, we ought to be humble and accept blessings and spurring on
from others.

Let’s Pray. Jesus, thank you for your Word, that we can read these
scriptures and apply them to our lives. You are very generous and give us
good gifts. Please help us to manage these gifts well and to follow your lead
on how much to give and where to give it. Please reveal to us our blind
spots and areas where money has a foothold in our lives, so we can have
hearts which continually seek out participation in your perfect plan. I love
you Jesus. Amen.

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