Generosity, joy go hand-in-hand

In a recent issue of the farragutpress, a resident commented on her special spring landscape, saying she was “happy to share” it because “this is God’s world.”

That sentiment reminds me of a passage in 2 Corinthians Chapter 8, described as an “encouragement to give generously.”

The passage in Corinthians grows out of a prophet who had come from Jerusalem to Antioch, named Agabus, who foretold that a “great famine would come,” and so the disciples decided that each, according to his ability, would send relief to those who would suffer.

In 2 Corinthians Chapter 8 we are told that the churches of Macedonia “gave according to their means and beyond their means.”

In fact, the text says that “in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.”

Moreover, we learn “they begged earnestly” for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints. This outpouring of generosity was not expected, according to the text.

So what motivated those in Macedonia to share so generously from their poverty?

The answer is given in verse 5. “They gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to” those who would suffer from the famine.

Indeed, this is God’s world and when the opportunity presents itself we need to be “happy to share it” with others, opening the scriptures and learning what God expects of us with regard to salvation and how we can bless others with what He has provided us.