“You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake, he became poor so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
– 2 Corinthians 8:9
This verse comes in the middle of a couple of chapters where Paul is encouraging the church at Corinth to give generously and sacrificially specifically for the support of the church in Jerusalem, in the middle of famine, because they were struggling and Paul was taking up an offering among many different churches to take to them.
Let’s be intentional to turn our attention during this Advent season toward those in urgent physical need around us. May we be compelled by the Spirit of God in us to give sacrificially.
2 Corinthians 8:9 Reminds Us of Christ’s Humility
And right in the middle of this exhortation to give, it gives us this picture of what we celebrate at Christmas, how Jesus though rich, think Philippians 2, being in very nature God for your sake, he became poor. He humbled himself and became a man, so that you by his poverty, by his humbling himself, giving of himself, laying down his life, you by his poverty might then become rich.
You might become children of God with all the riches. That means an inheritance. That means, and in this way, Paul is encouraging the church to give, so I want us to pray accordingly that God would give us the spirit of Christ in our giving and not just giving. So yes, I mean, that’s part of what we celebrate in giving gifts around Christmas is blessing others in different ways.
2 Corinthians 8:9 Challenges Us to See the Point of Giving
And that’s good. That’s the overflow of Christ in us. I think though we might miss the point, particularly in this passage as an offering is being taken up for a church in famine. If we just take this and we say yes, we give at Christmas. We give to a bunch of people that already have, for the most part, far more than they need and really probably even more than they want. Let’s make sure at some point to turn our eyes to brothers and sisters in famine, in need, maybe in our community, city or far from us.
The reality is we have brothers and sisters, our family, at Christmas who are starving right now, and the spirit of Christ in us compels us to give for their sake, for the spread of God’s grace and love in their lives. So let’s be intentional to turn our attention during this Advent season toward those in urgent physical need around us and by the spirit of Christ in us just be compelled to give generously and sacrificially.
This Verse Leads Us to Pray for Sacrificial Generosity in Our Own Lives
So God, we pray for that kind of spirit in us. And pray for that in my own life and family and church I pastor, you would help us to give generously and sacrificially as the overflow of the spirit of Christ in us. Jesus, we praise you for becoming poor so that we might become rich. Rich in a way that nothing in this world could ever compare with. Your riches, oh God, in Christ made available to us. All glory be to your name, for your generosity, for your sacrifice.
So God cause us as your people, me, my family, those who are listening, watching this and our families and our churches caus us to be a reflection of your sacrificial generosity. We pray, we pray this year round, but especially during this time where we were focused on the reality of what 2 Corinthians 8:9 teaches us about Jesus. In his name we pray. Amen.