Excel in this act of grace
One of my favourite bible passages is this: ‘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 Cor 8:9). The Apostle Paul uses this incredible summary of the gospel in talking about one of the most intimate, personal, and sensitive issues – our giving.
To encourage the generosity of the Corinthians, Paul could have used other methods. He could have used guilt, ‘You selfish people! Think of all that God has given you’. He could have used pride, ‘A good Christian is known by how much that person gives.’ He could have used a command, ‘I’m your apostle! Thou shalt give 10 percent!’. But he doesn’t use any of these methods. Rather, he points his readers to the overwhelming generosity of Jesus, the one who gave himself to us, so that we could have the riches of an eternal relationship with God.
Understanding the grace of Jesus will be seen in our acts of grace. It should be seen in a transformed life, including how we sacrificially use what God has given us. Paul says earlier, ‘since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving’ (2 Cor 8:7).
What does this mean for us at St Andrew’s?
At the beginning of this calendar year, I want to warmly encourage you to prayerfully consider your giving. I do this for a few reasons. Firstly, St Andrew’s relies on the generosity of its members to conduct its ministries. Your giving is vital as we seek to proclaim Christ, grow his church, and serve our city. Secondly, giving is a personal act of grace and discipleship. We express our trust in God’s provision and our gratefulness to him as we give. We remind ourselves that our security is in him, not in our bank balance or possessions.
More details about how to give can be found on the church website or on the ‘Giving at St Andrew’s’ forms.
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