“1弟兄们，我把 神赐给马其顿众教会的恩告诉你们， 2就是他们在患难中受大试炼的时候，仍有满足的快乐，在极穷之间还格外显出他们乐捐的厚恩。 3我可以证明，他们是按着力量，而且也过了力量，自己甘心乐意地捐助， 4再三地求我们，准他们在这供给圣徒的恩情上有分； 5并且他们所做的，不但照我们所想望的，更照 神的旨意先把自己献给主，又归附了我们。”
2 Corinthians ：8：1-5 Blessed are the cheerful givers
1And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.
Believers in Macedonia were under severe trial and extreme poverty, but they gave generously to the needed saints in Jerusalem. They did just like the poor widow, praised by Jesus, who offered everything she had to live on.
From world’s perspective, giving away your possession is a loss. From Word’s perspective, giving away is a gain of grace. If it is not by the grace of God, we cannot be freed from the control of our own money. When we put our belongings in front of God, our hearts will turn to God and receive spiritual blessings. Anything we offered with faith will be remembered by God and will be rewarded in heaven.
‘They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us’. What many of us want from God is peace and blessing. What God wants from us is ourselves. For our offerings to be pleased by God, first we need to offer ourselves to Him. Submit to God’s sovereignty, only then we can follow God’s will and do what He commands us.
1) We have a willing heart to truly offer ourselves to God
2) We have a willing heart to offer for God’s building