accordingly, we urged titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. [2 corinthians 8:6]
there’s nothing more thrilling than a large group of people passionately on the same mission, linking arms together, for a cause. the result is a commonly shared joy, connection, and love for one another. satisfaction in unity. what a blessing.
i can only imagine the excitement of paul and titus as they saw churches experiencing this together, receiving grace, because they were beside themselves with excitement toward the work God was doing among the saints. they’d seen their joy in giving generously out of poverty. they’d seen their peace in giving through hardship. they’d seen their humility as they gave themselves to the Lord, gaining wisdom in their giving, knowing that all things were already his. in this, they were receiving grace, but their motivation for giving was not to receive grace, as our tendency so often is, but an outpouring and a manifestation of the grace they’ve already received from God in Christ Jesus. it’s no longer what they do, it’s who they are.
oh, that we could be this kind of people! God has given us grace upon grace out of his abundance of grace, through our Savior Jesus Christ. so what would it look like for us, our entire congregation, to give of ourselves in a way that actually reflected who we are as adopted sons and daughters of the King? galatians 5:22-23 shows us we would be…
a people of LOVE, giving ourselves to others in sacrificial serving
a people of JOY, giving of our resources, knowing the Father has given us the kingdom
a people of PEACE, giving grace to each other in a spirit of unity
a people of PATIENCE, giving our time to those who don’t seem to appreciate it
a people of KINDNESS, giving compassion and forgiveness the way Jesus does to us
a people of GOODNESS, giving an example to each other of walking humbly with God
a people of FAITHFULNESS, giving as God calls, knowing he will supply all our needs
a people of GENTLENESS, giving encouragement when others are hurting or straying
a people of SELF CONTROL, giving in humility, fighting the desire for our own glory
as we sit humbly and joyfully in God’s glorious presence today, let’s ask him for an overflow of grace that might pour out to this body in these ways, and then from this body, on mission together. let’s give of ourselves as heirs to God’s kingdom, to the praise of his glorious grace!