Summary: It's easy to say, "I love," but Paul challenges the Corinthian Christians to live out their love by giving freely and generously to those in need.
2 Corinthians 8:1-15 “Genuine Love”
Most of the world knows that Facebook recently went public and that it’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg shortly after the Facebook event was married to Priscilla Chan. At $19 billion, many media personalities speculated about whether or not the couple had a pre-nuptial agreement. The Zuckerbergs have not confirmed or denied the presence of an agreement. What they have confirmed is that they have a relationship contract. Priscilla Chan famously detailed her requirements of Mark Zuckerberg in a relationship contract before moving to California to be with him. Notably, she requested 100 minutes of shared time (neither to be spent in his apartment or in the Facebook headquarters) per week. Additionally, she required one date night per week. It makes a lot of sense to place a specific time requirement on the CEO of a multi-billion-dollar company, but what about your relationship with a normal guy or gal?
The Zuckerbergs appear to have a new way of stating, “I love you.” Instead of “I love you here’s several billion dollars,” they have decided to say, “I love you, let’s spend quality time together.”
The question, “how do I show you that I love you?” is the question that is before us today as we continue to read Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. Paul advocates that there are specific ways that we can demonstrate our love for God and for each other.
There is a frequently asked question, “Do you see the glass of water half empty or half full?” If you are an optimist you will say half full, and if you are a pessimist you will say half empty. I think if you are a Christian you will say, “The glass is overflowing.” Christians understand that God is a God of abundance.
• God’s abundance is shown by what abundance of manna that he provided for the Israelites during the Exodus.
• God’s abundance is seen in the feeding of the five thousand and the twelve baskets of left overs.
• God’s abundance is seen is in the abundance of dandelions, mosquitos, and rabbits that he provides.
• God’s abundance is demonstrated by the way in which God cares for us.
We have a battle on our hands however. Many of us by our words and actions do not believe that God is a God of abundance. We live in a culture that is built on consumption. Consumers believe that they need something more—a new car, a new pair of shoes, a new fishing lure, the latest techno gadget, etc. We need more because things are scarce and we don’t have enough. We accumulate because we wonder if there will be a time when we won’t be able to get more. Consumerism encourages us to act in opposition to the message of the gospel and the reality of God’s abundance.
This is not to say that we never by anything. It is to say that we question the voice within us that whispers that we don’t have enough and we need more.