“We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of Macedonia; for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For, as I can testify, they voluntarily gave according to their means, and even beyond their means, begging us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in this ministry to the saints – and this, not merely as we expected; they gave themselves first to the Lord and by the will of God, to us, so that we might urge Titus that, as he had already made a beginning, so he should also complete this generous undertaking among you. Now as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you – so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking. I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:17
Read this slowly, “for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity.” The churches in Macedonia not only learned from Christ example, but lived it. “For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.” Ask yourself, Do I in extreme blessing give with abundant joy, overflowing in a wealth of generosity? Yet these gave abundantly with joy while suffering severely. During Advent we have the opportunity to anticipate the coming of our Savior, not just remembering His birth but looking forward to His promised return. In who or what do you hope? In who or what do you find peace? In who or what do you find joy? In who or what do you find love? Share the Savior with others, overflow in the wealth of His generosity!