Answering the Call of God Quest For Facts
Let us begin, shall we? I'd like to start off today with a Daily
Bread Crumb. Most of the time, when you hear the word Grace, you
think of that wonderful gift from God that is mercy, forgiveness, and
pardon, but Grace has several meanings actually. In the beginning of
this chapter of Paul's second letter to the Corinthians, he begins by
talking about the Grace of God given to the churches in Macedonia.
This particular Grace is one of a different kind. This Grace is a
special favor, it's not something that's earned or deserved because
of good works, but it could be described as help from God, given to
man for spiritual betterment.
There's a great story in these first few verses of Chapter 8, and
many lessons as well. Read through these next several verses, and
then we'll study it deeper.
2 Corinthians 8:1-8
1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the Grace of God
bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of
their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their
3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their
power they were willing of themselves;
4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the
gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the
5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their
own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so
he would also finish in you the same Grace also.
7 Therefore, as ye abound [grow] in every thing, in faith, and
utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to
us, see that ye abound in this Grace also.
8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the
forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.
Answering the Call of God is Essential
A Willingness To Serve God Reminder ... You may remember at the end of Paul's first letter to the
Corinthians, how Paul asked for a collection for the saints to be
taken up before his visit, probably so that the awkwardness of asking
for money would be avoided for everyone. Well, in this letter, Paul
discusses the matter with no awkwardness at all. There's a time and a
place for everything, they say, and Paul found it very appropriate to
share the good Graces that God bestowed upon Macedonia, and their
eagerness to put that Grace into action.
Now, let's continue on our a Willingness to Serve God trek for Truth. Let's talk a little bit about the story that Paul just told.
Here we have the people of Macedonia, in great affliction. (Remember
in Acts 16:9,
Paul had a vision of a man from Macedonia saying, Come over
into Macedonia and help us. Aha, so now it's even more clear why
Paul's visit to Corinth was delayed. You can go back to Acts and read
Chapter 16 once again to refresh your memory about the troubles that
this country was enduring.) In spite of this, these people opened
their hearts to the Lord and He bestowed upon them Grace, so that
they were able to give more than they could seemingly afford to the
It appears that Titus must have assisted Paul in the collection for
the saints in Macedonia, and Paul asked him to go to Corinth to
continue the job. You'll hear more about that in a moment.
The next thing Paul does is encourage the Corinthians to take
advantage of this Grace that the Lord is giving, and make it flourish
like the other spiritual gifts they've received, following the
example of the people of Macedonia.
And then Paul says something very interesting. He says, This is not a
commandment, I'm not telling you this by order of the Lord, but
rather, I'm just joyful because of the willingness of the
Macedonians, and you can prove the sincerity of your love by doing
Answering the Call of God Path To Peace
What? Generosity shows love? Let me ask you this: In Mark
12:42-44, Do you think that Jesus felt that the woman who cast
two mites into the treasury was acting out of love? And did her
willingness have anything to do with it? Of course. You've heard it
several times in our studies, and you'll hear it more still, your
works must be effortless. Willingness to be generous is more
important than the generosity itself.
In fact, put yourself in the saints' shoes, or for that matter,
anyone who receives donations, contributions, tithes, or gifts of
charity of any kind. If it isn't given willingly, would you want it?
Therefore, if you don't give willingly, are you glorifying God by
your "good deed?" Just more points to ponder.
Now, back to our a Willingness to Serve God journey to see what Paul was saying:
2 Corinthians 8:9
For ye know the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was
rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty
might be rich.
So, if we want to follow in the footsteps of our Savior, this is an
excellent thing to remember and a wonderful attitude to have whenever
the opportunity arises for you to be generous to your fellow
Answering the Call of God Hope
Have you ever given something to someone, and it was totally
unexpected? How did you feel at their thankfulness? Is that not a
most precious gift? And also, don't forget about giving alms in
secret. Jesus explained this in Matthew 6:1-4.
You can read about that in Daily Bread's Gospels,
on the Mount Part 3.
Now, back to Paul.
2 Corinthians 8:10-12
10 And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for
you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a
11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there
was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of
that which ye have.
12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted
according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
As you see in our a Willingness to Serve God search for understanding, Paul, in his first letter to the people of Corinth,
asked them to save whatever they could, on the first day of the week
for the collection of the saints. This collection was a pledge of
sorts, being that Paul wouldn't be there to collect it for some time.
Then, Paul's visit was postponed, remember. So from what we just
read, a year has passed, so Paul is saying, Okay, it's time to give
what you've saved for the saints. Then he assures them that if they
were doing this with genuine generosity (a willing mind is what Paul
called it) any amount given was acceptable, again, just as the poor
woman that Jesus pointed out.
Are You Answering the Call of God?
2 Corinthians 8:13-15
13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
14 But by an equality, that now at this time your
abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also
may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:
15 As it is written [Exodus
16:18], He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that
had gathered little had no lack.
In our modern society, we have forgotten about the principles of
Commonwealth that the children of Israel practiced when they were
freed from Egypt, and also the early Christians in Acts 4:32.
People would find it very difficult today with all of their
'rights' and selfishness to adapt to such a thing. What about when
Times arrive? Christians will not be able to buy or sell
anything without the mark of the beast, because of the evil ruler to come antichrist
trying to find Christians in hiding. So, commonwealth among Christians may come into practice once again.
Answering the Call of God Adventure
Back to our a Willingness to Serve God discussion ... Let's pick up our letter from Paul again. He explains now that Titus
accepted his invitation willingly to go to Corinth and minister to
the people there, as he had in Macedonia, and assures them of the
worthiness of the others that accompanied him. (Remember that Titus
was the one who went to Corinth previously and brought Paul word that
they were so sad for their doubt in him and that they loved and
missed him dearly.)
2 Corinthians 8:16-24
16 But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care
into the heart of Titus for you.
17 For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more
forward [being more strongly inclined by God], of his own accord he
went unto you.
18 And we have sent with him the brother [assumed to be
Luke], whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;
19 And not that only, but who was also chosen of the
churches to travel with us with this Grace, which is administered by
us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:
20 Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this
abundance which is administered by us:
21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of
the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
22 And we have sent with them our brother [assumed to be
Apollos], whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but
now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you.
23 Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and
fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are
the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.
24 Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the
proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.
In short ... Having a Willingness to Serve God is very important and in Truth necessary when answering the Call of God.
Be sure to hurry back because Paul continues with this topic in the next
chapter, and we'll share it together next time, right here at Daily Bread.
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Excellent Christian Resources
Be Assured ... Willingness to serve - God loves a willing heart. More then natural talent, more then gifted talent. More then how many connections you have or who your friends are.
Bible Study Tools ... 25 Best Bible Verses About Serving Others - God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them
Church of Jesus Christ ... I Will Serve God with All My Heart, Might, Mind, and Strength. One must have a Willingness to serve God.
Compelling Truth ... I know I should serve God, but why should I want to? Why? In short, we desire to serve God out of love. Specific motivations for service to God may vary among Christians
Desiring God ... A Willingness to serve God. God Isn't Impressed with Your Duty: The Willing and Eager. God loves you too much to be happy with you living from a sense of duty. He will do what it takes to win you to willingness and eagerness.
Got Questions ... Why should I want to serve God? The Bible does make clear that, when a person is in a real relationship with God, he will serve God. We should want to serve God.
Holy Spirit ... Becoming much closer to the Holy Spirit of God is a special perk to those with a willingness to serve God.
Wix.com ... Are You Willing to Serve God? God wants willing workers. He doesn't want us to serve Him strictly because of a sense of duty. God wants us to do His work willingly.
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