In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul wrote to the church at Corinth concerning the offering he was collecting for the purpose of helping the poor believers in Jerusalem. A year earlier, the Corinthian Christians asked Paul how they could financially help those in Jerusalem (1 Corinthians 16:1) and Paul provided them with some instructions (1 Corinthians 16:2-4); however, the Corinthians had not yet gathered that offering. The churches in Macedonia had already collected money to meet the needs of the poor believers in Jerusalem (8:1-5), so Paul sent Titus along with two other men to urge the Corinthians toward generosity in this matter (8:6-24). It is likely that the false teachers had called into question Paul’s motives for collecting this money and this is the reasoning behind Paul sending other men to collect the offering.
Paul had a great desire for the church at Corinth to participate in this offering, so he shared his heart with them in regards to this circumstance (9:1). It appears that Paul had made the Macedonian churches aware of the Corinthians’ desire to take a collection for the destitute believers in Jerusalem and hearing this caused the churches in Macedonia to also give (9:2). Now it was time for the Christians in Corinth to follow through with their offering so that Paul would not be ashamed of his boasting in them (9:3-5). The words Paul writes next provide the foundation for generous giving, “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (9:6-7). If the Corinthians would give generously and willingly, God would bring blessing to them because He has a special love for those who find pleasure in giving (9:8-9). Although God is the one who provides the means for people to give, He is also the One who can take generous gifts and multiply the effects in the giver as well as in the one who receives (9:10-15). If the Corinthians would practice generous giving, the believers at Jerusalem would give praise to God (9:12-13) and offer prayers on their behalf for the grace of God evidenced through them (9:14). Paul summed up his challenge of generous giving by reminding them of the “indescribable gift” given to them in Jesus Christ. Christ willingly and generously gave up His own life so that many could experience forgiveness and freedom from sin.
Dear God, may I be known as a willing and generous giver.