Friday, July 29, 2011

Do you need what you want?

2 Corinthians 8:9-15

    You know how full of love and kindness our Lord Jesus Christ was. Though he was very rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.
     I suggest that you finish what you started a year ago, for you were the first to propose this idea, and you were the first to begin doing something about it. Now you should carry this project through to completion just as enthusiastically as you began it. Give whatever you can according to what you have. If you are really eager to give, it isn’t important how much you are able to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you don’t have. Of course, I don’t mean you should give so much that you suffer from having too little. I only mean that there should be some equality. Right now you have plenty and can help them. Then at some other time they can share with you when you need it. In this way, everyone’s needs will be met. Do you remember what the Scriptures say about this? “Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough.”

     Christ gave up his throne and position and humbled himself to become a man just so we can experience salvation. In other words, he became poor so we could become rich. He gave up all that he had so we could have everything we need. That is powerful! When was the last time you gave enough of something to become uncomfortable so that someone else could gain what they needed? If Christ gave His all for us, we should at least be willing to give a little of ourselves.

     Paul is encouraging the Corinthian church to follow through on what they had promised to do a year earlier, which was to take up an offering for the Jerusalem church. They apparently had good intentions but failed to follow through with those intentions. Paul was making them live up to their commitments because he wanted to teach them some valuable lessons: 1) they needed to be a people of their word; 2) the principal of sowing and reaping; 3) God gives to us so that we can give to others.

     The last verse in this portion of scripture, Paul is quoting Exodus 16:18, which is in reference to God supplying manna each morning for the children of Israel. God knew that they were in the middle of the desert and had no means for supplying their own food, so each and every morning after the dew dried up; thin, white, frost-like flakes were left on the ground. God commanded that each person was to gather two quarts for themselves each day, no more, no less. So each family went out each morning and gathered manna, the larger the family, the more manna they had to gather, but still only two quarts per person. The smaller the family, the less they had to gather, but still only two quarts per person. With this principal, each family had enough manna to meet their needs for that day, no more or no less.

     Paul was using that story to teach the Corinthians the same principal. God would supply their NEEDS each and every day, no more or no less, as long as they were faithful and obedient to the Lord. The same holds true for us. As long as we are faithful and obedient to the Lord, He will supply or NEEDS each and every day. The problem that we have is our distinction between our needs and our wants. If we are faithful and true to God, often times, He blesses us with our wants, but we need to remember that we can survive in this world with just our needs. Overindulgence on self is not God’s will for our lives. He blesses us so that we can bless others, plain and simple.

     Have you ever gone a day where your NEEDS have not been met? Have you ever taken the time to thank God for meeting your NEEDS, or have you instead grumbled, complained, begged and pleaded for God’s help in paying for your wants? Take some time today to contemplate the difference between your needs and wants. Ask God to show you some things that you may need to get rid of in your life. Take some extra time today to sincerely thank God for all that He has supplied for you.

Have a great day!

No comments:

Post a Comment