Scripture: II Corinthians 8

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READ and STUDY the WORD

For other translations of these verses below visit: https://classic.biblegateway.com/

Generously Encouraged

II Corinthians 8:1-15 (WEB) Moreover, brothers, we make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the assemblies of Macedonia, how in much proof of affliction, the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded to the riches of their generosity. For according to their power, I testify, yes and beyond their power, they gave of their own accord, begging us with much entreaty to receive this grace and the fellowship in the service to the saints. This was not as we had expected, but first they gave their own selves to the Lord, and to us through the will of God. So we urged Titus, that as he had made a beginning before, so he would also complete in you this grace. But as you abound in everything, in faith, utterance, knowledge, all earnestness, and in your love to us, see that you also abound in this grace. I speak not by way of commandment, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity also of your love. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich. 10 I give a judgment in this: for this is expedient for you who were the first to start a year ago, not only to do, but also to be willing. 11 But now complete the doing also, that as there was the readiness to be willing, so there may be the completion also out of your ability. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what you have, not according to what you don’t have. 13 For this is not that others may be eased and you distressed, 14 but for equality. Your abundance at this present time supplies their lack, that their abundance also may become a supply for your lack; that there may be equality. 15 As it is written, “He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack.”

Questions and Answers:

1. What had God given to the Macedonian churches and how did the Macedonian churches demonstrate that gift (II Corinthians 8:1-3)? God gave them grace.  The Macedonia churches out of their severe affliction and extreme poverty overflowed with joy and were generous.  The Macedonia churches gave as much as they were able, even beyond their ability, entirely on their own.

2. How did Paul describe the Macedonia churches’ behavior when they gave (II Corinthians 8:4-5)? They begged Paul for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.  They didn’t do as was expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to Paul in keeping with God’s will.

3. In what did Paul say the Macedonia churches abounded (II Corinthians 8:6-7a)? Paul said they abounded (excelled) in everything, in faith, utterance, knowledge, all earnestness and love to Paul and those with him.  

4. In what did Paul encourage them to excel (II Corinthians 8:7b)? Paul encouraged them to abound also in the grace of giving.

5. What did Paul say about the Lord Jesus Christ (II Corinthians 8:9)? Jesus though he was rich, yet for their (and our) sake He became poor, that they (and us) through His poverty might become rich.

Titus Sent To Corinth

II Corinthians 8:16-24 (WEB) 16 But thanks be to God, who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus. 17 For he indeed accepted our exhortation, but being himself very earnest, he went out to you of his own accord. 18 We have sent together with him the brother whose praise in the Good News is known throughout all the assemblies. 19 Not only so, but he was also appointed by the assemblies to travel with us in this grace, which is served by us to the glory of the Lord himself, and to show our readiness. 20 We are avoiding this, that any man should blame us concerning this abundance which is administered by us. 21 Having regard for honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. 22 We have sent with them our brother, whom we have many times proved earnest in many things, but now much more earnest, by reason of the great confidence which he has in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker for you. As for our brothers, they are the apostles of the assemblies, the glory of Christ. 24 Therefore show the proof of your love to them before the assemblies, and of our boasting on your behalf.

Questions and Answers:

1. Who else did Paul say had the same concern for them as he did (II Corinthians 8:16)? God put it in Titus’ heart an earnest care for the Corinthians.

2. How did Titus respond (II Corinthians 8:17)? Titus not only welcomed Paul’s exhortation (encouragement) but he (Titus) was earnest and was coming of his own accord (initiative).

3. Who was the other man traveling with Titus and why was he being sent (II Corinthians 8:18-21)? The other man was one who had been praised by all the other churches for his service to the gospel.  He had been chosen by the churches to accompany the offering.  Paul wanted to avoid any criticism of the way they were administering the gift. 

4. How did Paul refer to Titus and those traveling with him (II Corinthians 8:23)? Paul called Titus his partner and fellow worker.  And the other brothers as representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ.

5. What did Paul ask the Corinthian believers to show (I Corinthians 8:24)? Paul asked them to show the proof of their love.

HEAR the WORD

II Corinthians 8:8-15 I speak not by way of commandment, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity also of your love. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that you through his poverty might become rich. 10 I give a judgment in this: for this is expedient for you who were the first to start a year ago, not only to do, but also to be willing. 11 But now complete the doing also, that as there was the readiness to be willing, so there may be the completion also out of your ability. 12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what you have, not according to what you don’t have. 13 For this is not that others may be eased and you distressed, 14 but for equality. Your abundance at this present time supplies their lack, that their abundance also may become a supply for your lack; that there may be equality. 15 As it is written, “He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack.”

MEDITATE on the WORD

What can be learned from this passage about giving?  My Bible notes: Paul challenged them to act on their plans to give.  Four principles emerged. (1) Our willingness to give cheerfully is more important than the amount given.  (2) We should strive to fulfill any financial commitment.  (3) If we give to others in need, they will in turn help us when we are in need. (4) We should give in response to Christ and not for anything we might get out of it. 

MEMORIZE the WORD

II Corinthians 8:9 (NIV) For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

LOVE and LIVE the WORD

How will we show our devotion to God?

TEACH and SHARE the WORD

To whom can we give?

PRAY the WORD

Lord, I pray we will be generous.  Giving what we are able, even beyond our ability (II Corinthians 8:2-3).  Lord, I pray we will give of ourselves according to Your will (II Corinthians 8:5).  Lord, I pray we will excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in our love for one another (II Corinthians 8:7).  Lord, I pray we will not only make plans to give but to carry through on our commitment (II Corinthians 8:11).  Lord, I pray all we give will honor You and show our eagerness to help (II Corinthians 8:19).  Lord, I pray we will do what is right, not only in Your eyes but in the eyes of men (II Corinthians 21).  In Christ Jesus’ name I pray.  AMEN.

ENCOURAGEMENT

“May you and I do what is right in the Lord’s eyes.” <>< Dona