Blessed to be a blessing
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9
I love this scripture because it literally says that Jesus became poor so we could be rich. It is like the exchange He gave us for our salvation. He became our sin and gave us His righteousness. (2 Cor. 5:21) I know that some would say that this is talking about being rich spiritually, and it certainly is. He has given us an exceedingly “rich” salvation! However, the entire passage is talking about offerings and giving, so I believe it is also referring to tangible riches.
Think about it, we know that God wants us to be successful in life. We are His children and if we represent the kingdom as paupers, that doesn’t make our salvation look very appealing. No, our God is a God of abundance, and He wants to lavish us with His love and goodness. We have already seen in 2 Peter that He has given us all things that pertain to this life and godliness, so why wouldn’t we believe that He wants us to be rich in this world’s goods?
There are also many warnings in scripture on how to handle the world’s wealth which would also indicate instruction for righteous living in God’s success. 1 Timothy 6:17 says, “Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.” Once again, we see from this passage that God gives us all things to enjoy.
The truth is that having riches is not a sin but loving riches or putting wealth before God is. God wants to bless us so that we can bless others. Also, He trusts us with much, so that we can support His missions around the world. The sad part is that many Christians take on the world’s view and believe they need to go into debt to have all the comforts of life. That is not the blessing the LORD plans for His family. Debt brings stress and we are to owe no man anything but love. (Romans 13:8) Yes, He does want us to be rich, but it isn’t just to consume on ourselves, and it isn’t so we can pay all the bills we have accumulated. It is to bless and help others and to further the work of the ministry.
The passage in 2 Corinthians 8 says that the churches in Macedonia were “rich” in their giving (liberal). They were generous givers. Even though they were not rich, they brought their resources together to bless the work of God’s ministry. Verse 2 says they were abundant in joy in their giving. In being a blessing to Paul and the ministry of God, they were blessed with great joy in return.
Today I encourage you to consider how God has blessed you and the opportunities He has placed in your path to bless others. Whether it is financially or with your abilities and talents, ask Him how you can bless others with the gifts He has given to you. If you do have some debt, don’t feel bad about it, just ask for God’s wisdom to get you out and He will be glad to help you. God desires for us to wisely manage the things He gives us charge over and He will always give us His wisdom to distribute our “riches” in the best way.
Today scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 8:1-15
1 Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: 2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. 3 For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, 4 imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5 And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God. 6 So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this grace in you as well. 7 But as you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us—see that you abound in this grace also. 8 I speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.10 And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; 11 but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also maybe a completion out of what you have. 12 For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; 14 but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that there may be equality. 15 As it is written, “He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack.”