For 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 is one of the greatest succinct one-verse pictures of the gospel and the glory and the grace of Jesus. The fact that it comes in a couple of chapters that are all about giving of our own resources for the building up of the church and the spread of the gospel and the glory of God makes this verse all the more potent.
2 Corinthians 8:9 Teaches Us Biblical Giving
So the context here, 2 Corinthians 8… Paul is writing about impoverished brothers and sisters among the churches in Macedonia. In the middle of their poverty and affliction, extreme poverty… He says in 2 Corinthians 8:2, they overflowed in a wealth of generosity. They gave so much.
In fact, they were begging earnestly for the favor of giving to help other impoverished brothers and sisters. They were taking up an offering for suffering brothers and sisters amidst famine in Jerusalem. And they gave generously and sacrificially not just from their means, but 2 Corinthians 8 says beyond their means. And in their example, Paul’s encouraging the church in Corinth to give like this. He’s encouraging and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, all of us to give like this. And then Paul goes in verse nine to the picture of Jesus. “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich in glory, yet for your sake, he became poor so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
This verse leads us to praise Jesus for his grace toward us, for becoming poor. For becoming like us, for coming to us, for experiencing not just humanity. But suffering and death on a cross, so that by his poverty we might become rich. So we might be forgiven of our sins, we might become the righteousness of God, to quote 2 Corinthians 5.
2 Corinthians 8:9 Reminds Us of Jesus’ Generosity
So that we might be welcomed into the family of God as heirs in a family that will never end. Rich beyond imagination is what we are as a result of Jesus, for our sake becoming poor. So in what ways is God by the example of Jesus and now the Spirit of Jesus inside of us? Leading us to do the same for others? How are we giving in a way that reflects the Spirit of Jesus? Maybe just ask that question. Are you and I giving of our financial resources in a way that reflects the Spirit of Jesus inside of us for the building up of the church, for the spread of the gospel in the world?
Oh God, help us not to hoard our money and not even to just give naturally. God, we want supernatural giving to be the overflow of the Spirit of Jesus in us. So we pray that you’d produce this kind of supernatural giving that we see in the churches in Macedonia, 2 Corinthians 8, where they were begging earnestly to be able to give to others in need.
God, help us to have that kind of spirit with our money. To hold it loosely, to give it generously sacrificially for the building up of your church, for the spread of the gospel in the world. God, we pray that our giving would be a reflection of the Spirit of Jesus more than it’s a reflection of the spirit of this world.
Prayer for the Orochi People
As we pray for unreached people in the world like the Orochi people of Ukraine and Russia who have little to no knowledge of the gospel, along with 3 billion other people who have little to no knowledge of the gospel.
God, help us transform our hearts so that we give for the spread of the gospel around the world. So we beg earnestly for opportunities to give, to get the gospel to people who’ve never heard it. God, please change our hearts and our giving to reflect the Spirit of Jesus in 2 Corinthians 8:9, for all of us with whatever resources you have given to us, some of us more, some of us less. God, just like these Macedonian brothers and sisters had little to nothing and they gave generously out of the overflow of the Spirit of Jesus, may it be so among us. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.