Act II: Eager Devotion for January 18, 2016

image2 Corinthians 8.10-15
10 Here is my advice: It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago. Last year you were the first who wanted to give, and you were the first to begin doing it. 11 Now you should finish what you started. Let the eagerness you showed in the beginning be matched now by your giving. Give in proportion to what you have. 12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have. 13 Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. 14 Right now you have plenty and can help those who are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it. In this way, things will be equal. 15 As the Scriptures say, “Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over,
and those who gathered only a little had enough.”*
Devotional Thought:
Paul begins hammering home the truth of being eager in giving.  He reminds the people of Corinth of their initial eagerness as shown by being the first to contribute support for the people in Jerusalem.  And it is eagerness that will be the key to completing the gift in such a way as to please God.
Paul is careful to not put an amount or a percentage as to what is acceptable.  It is less about the transaction and more about the transformation when he says “whatever you give is acceptable, if you give it eagerly.”  A desire to please God and help others.  That is what eagerly is all about.  Not having to pull teeth or beg for participation.  That is what eagerly is all about.  In fact, Paul refuses to tell sob stories about the condition of the saints in Jerusalem or place guilt upon the people of Corinth because that would lessen eagerness even though it may increase the offering!
Eagerness comes from our perspective that all our resources (time, talent, money, etc.) come from God.  These resources have a two-fold purpose.  They witness to God’s faithfulness.  Secondly, resources support our lives and the lives of others.  Therefore eagerness is more about the perspective of our resources as gifts from God more than agreeing with a building plan.  Eagerness is also more about honoring God than even meeting a need.
Lord God, make us eager.  Help us to see all the resources you have given to us as gifts to steward.  Use us fully to be being channels of blessing.  Change our perspective and make our hearts eager.
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