2 Corinthians 8:1-5
The other day I had to have quick and cheap lunch. Since I didn't pack, that meant that McDonald's drivethrough would have to do. (Yeah, how am I going to continue to lose weight eating a hamburger????)
While at the drive through I felt really strongly that I should pay for the person's meal behind me. I've thought of doing this before, but I'm always afraid that I'll offer and then the order will be for a whole office or something and be $50! But I asked and the lady at the window told me the amount. It was about the same as my lunch and I had a $20 so I bought her lunch. The woman at the window asked me if I knew the woman behind me or something. When I told her that I didn't but just wanted to brighten her day, I think she thought I was nuts.
I have no idea how my gift was received. I drove away and I'll never know whether that woman behind me was shocked, happy, angry or whatever. But it was fun for me!
Today's scripture reading is Paul referring to the giving of the Macedonia church. If you read Romans 15:26 you will find out who they were giving to. They were not building a place to worship, nor were they supporting local beggars. They weren't even collecting for their own widows and orphans. Instead, they were giving to their brothers and sisters in Jerusalem. Folks that they likely had never nor would never meet in their lives.
They gave because they had submitted themselves to God. They gave not from riches but from poverty themselves--and (I love this part!) they begged for the chance to give. I wonder if any pastor has ever had the congregation beg to take up an offering???
Just as I was excited to share the little I had with the woman behind me, they were excited to give what they could to support the work of God through others that they surprised even Paul and his fellow missionaries.
DAILY CHALLENGE: Ask God how you can be more like the church in Macedonia. Perhaps you are not able to give from wealth, but let them be an example to you to give yourself first to God and then to support the work of others!