we want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of macedonia,  for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.  for they gave according to their means, as i can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord,  begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints—  and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.  accordingly, we urged titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace.  but as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also. [2 corinthians 8:1-7]
what a passage. what a God. what a God who has undeservedly and extravagantly given his favor and power through his presence – this is grace.
my encouragement to you today, sit in this passage for as long as you can. read it over a few times. pray and ask for God to speak to you today about grace, about his extravagant, undeserved favor and power through his presence. how can you give yourself to his grace? how can you rest deeper in his grace? how can his grace move in and through you today toward others?
Father, thank you for your extravagant grace poured out on me through the work of Jesus and now given to me through the Holy Spirit. speak to me today, cause me to hear, to be moved, and to respond. show me how to give myself more fully to your grace, to rest deeper in your grace, and move toward others in your grace. in Jesus name and by his work i come into your throne room of grace to ask these things – amen!
~ john ryan