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Summary: We Christians want to please God in all things. Even in the act of giving, we want to please Him. The Apostle to the Gentiles provides instruction designed to ensure that we please Him in this act of worship.

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“In this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, ‘Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.’” [1]

Any Christian wants to please the Heavenly Father. Our desire to please the Father flows from filial devotion. God is our Father and as His children, we want always to do that which is pleasing to Him. We want to be wise administrators of all that He has entrusted to our care. Certainly, we are responsible to administer wisely the spiritual gifts He has entrusted to us. We are equally responsible to demonstrate wisdom in administering the earthly wealth He has entrusted to us. The wisdom we are to demonstrate in administering earthly goods begins with understanding that possessions are entrusted to us by God. This neither denies nor depreciates individual resourcefulness, personal integrity, intelligence or other positive character traits we associate with successful individuals. The Word of the Lord recorded by the Teacher in ECCLESIASTES 10:10 is yet true:

“If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge,

he must use more strength,

but wisdom helps one to succeed.”

In saying that we are to recognise God as the ultimate source of possessions I mean to refocus attention on the foundational issue, the understanding that it is the Lord God who distributes gifts—whether intelligence, strength or whatever abilities contribute to individual success. “What do you have that you did not receive” [1 CORINTHIANS 4:7]? This is the thought provoking biblical summary statement.

Paul, in his second letter to the Corinthian congregation, spoke of wise administration of possessions, and in particular instructed his readers in wise giving—giving that pleases God. Join me in examination of the biblical instruction that we may embrace those characteristics that are pleasing to Him who gives freely to all who call upon Him.

ZEAL — “In this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have.” Paul commends the Corinthians’ desire. They were eager to give and their eagerness is seen as a desirable trait. Lacklustre giving and grudging response to need in no way honours the Lord God. The congregation which will excel in the grace of giving is eager to give.


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