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Cheryl was in for a surprise as she pulled up to deliver her next pizza. Expecting to arrive at a home, she instead found herself outside a church. Cheryl confusedly carried the pepperoni pizza inside, where she was met by the pastor.
“Is it fair to say life hasn’t been easy for you?” the pastor asked her. Cheryl agreed it hadn’t. With that, he brought out two offering plates that church members had filled with money. The pastor then poured over $750 into Cheryl’s delivery bag as a tip! Unbeknownst to Cheryl, the pastor had asked the pizza shop to send their most financially strapped driver over. Cheryl was stunned. She could now pay some bills.
When the first Christians in Jerusalem faced poverty, it was a church that rushed to their aid. Though in need themselves, the Macedonian Christians gave sacrificially, considering it a privilege to do so (2 Cor. 8:1–4). Paul cited their generosity as an example for the Corinthians, and us, to follow. When we use our plenty to supply another’s need, we reflect Jesus, who gave away His riches to meet our own spiritual poverty (v. 9).
Cheryl told all her customers about the church’s kindness that day, and, following its example, donated the rest of the day’s tips to others in need. An act of generosity multiplied. And Christ was glorified.
Lord, You meet our needs in surprising ways sometimes. Use us to do that for others as well.
The believers in Jerusalem were suffering because of a severe famine (see Acts 11:28–29), and the Macedonians—though needy themselves—responded with generous financial aid (2 Cor. 8:1–5). The Corinthians had enthusiastically offered help, but they were slack in carrying it out (8:10–11; 9:1–3). Paul reminded them that God had blessed them abundantly so that they could be generous and share that abundance (8:14–15; 9:8–11). He challenged them to honor their promise completely (8:6–12; 9:5) and quotes Psalm 112:9 to encourage their generous giving (2 Cor. 9:9).
How might God be leading you to show generosity today?