But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also. 2 Corinthians 8:7
We are programmed to seek the “best.” The best job, use of our time, stuff, church and friends. But in striving for the best, we miss it. So often, in pursuit of the next best thing, we hold tight to our money and our time.
Our checkbooks tend to reflect what’s in our hearts. A tight fist generally does not lead to a growing spirit. Remember, you can never out-give God.” (START! The Bible for New Believers)
In today’s verse, Paul is explaining to the people of Corinth why they should continue to take up a collection that had been started. Living graciously allows us to experience what “best” actually is in this life.
gracious– godly …pleasing, acceptable …marked by kindness and courtesy …marked by tact and delicacy …characterized by charm, good taste, generosity of spirit ….-Merriam Webster
We all have our gracious moments, but to accomplish such a state consistently requires more than our sinful nature can handle. In the depths of our souls, we all seek our Creator. We know that there is something beyond, simultaneously holding us together and attempting to tear us a part. Jesus died to free us from the weight of that war. Through the power of God’s Holy Spirit in us, we can live graciously on this earth.
There’s an element of confession and forgiveness in grace. Christianity is accepting that we cannot honor God with our own efforts. All of humanity suffers from a sin-soaked existence, but Jesus saved us from our inability to achieve holiness by opening up the gates of forgiveness on the cross.
We are called to give away money, yes. But also our time, our control …our grip on this life that does nothing but strangle the breath out of it. When we can do that, and seek Him first, we honor God with our lives. It sucks not to fit in to a crowd that we love. It’s hard to sacrifice our opinions on the alter of grace. Giving up our time to play to serve others in need is not always what we feel like doing.
But all of this graciousness blesses us. The fight we endure from our own voice and those around us always reveals something that God wants to show us, and a branch He intends to grow from us. Not necessarily richer or better …but definitely holier. Step by step. Until we come home.
Excel in everything. Most of all, in giving it away and letting it go …with arms free to reach for Him.
Father, Praise You for convicting our hearts today in what it means to honor You with our lives and seek graciousness over attainment. Thank You for Your Word. Forgive is for the times when we don’t let go …we don’t give …and we don’t forgive. It’s hard …bless us with the strength we need to stand firm in Your Word in this life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace!
Happy Giving ,
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