If we have God's grace in us it will show itself in giving. If we want new grace, we must exercise what we have in giving. And in all we give we ought to do it in the consciousness of the grace of God that works it in us.
The Grace of God teaches to give liberally. "Their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality, for according to their power, yea, beyond their power, they gave of their own accord, beseeching us with much entreaty in regard of this grace." 2 Cor. 8:2. What a sight! And what a proof of the power of grace!
These newly converted Gentiles in Macedonia hear of the need of their Jewish brethren in Jerusalem -- men unknown and despised -- and at once are ready to share with them what they have.
It is remarkable how much more liberality there is among the poor than the rich.
It is as if they do not hold so fast what they have: they more easily part with all; the deceitfulness of riches has not hardened them; they have learned to trust God for tomorrow.
Their liberality is not indeed what men count such; their gifts are but small. Men say it does not cost them much to give all; they are so accustomed to have little. And yet the very fact of their giving it more easily is what makes it precious to God; it shows the childlike disposition that has not yet learnt to accumulate and to hold fast.
God's way in His kingdom of grace on earth is ever from below, upwards. "Not many wise and not many noble are called. God has chosen the weak and the base things." And even so He has chosen the poor in this world, as they give out of their deep poverty, to teach the rich what liberality is.
Far beyond their power gave they of their own accord, beseeching us with much entreaty that we would receive the gift." If this spirit were to pervade our churches and men of moderate means and of large possessions were to combine with the poor in their standard of giving, and the Macedonian example became the law of Christian liberality, what means would not flow in for the service of the kingdom
The Grace of God makes our giving part of the Christlike life.
See that you abound in this grace also, for you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor." (8:9.)
Every branch and leaf and blossom of the mightiest oak derives its life from the same strong root that bears the stem. The life in the tiniest bud is the same as in the strongest branch.
We are branches in Christ the Living Vine; the very life that lived and worked in Him. Of what consequence that we should know well what His life is, that we may intelligently and willingly yield to it.
Here we have one of its deepest roots laid open
Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he become poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
To enrich and bless us, He impoverished Himself.
That was why the widow's mite pleased Him so; her gift was of the same measure as His: She cast in all she had.
This is the life and grace that seeks to work in us; there is no other mold in which the Christ-life can be cast.
See that you abound in this grace also; for you know the grace of our Lord Jesus, that he became poor.
How little did the Macedonian Christians know that they were, in their deep poverty, and in the riches of their liberality, giving beyond their power, just acting out what the Spirit and grace of Jesus was working in them. How little we would have expected that the simple gift of these poor people would become the text of such high and holy and heart-searching teaching.
How much we need to pray that the Holy Spirit may so master our purses and our possessions, that the grace of our giving will, in some truly recognizable degree, be the reflection of our Lord's.
And how we need to bring our giving to the cross, and to seek Christ's death to the world and its possessions as the power for ours.
So will we make others rich through our poverty, and our life be somewhat like St. Paul's: "poor, yet making many rich."