June 5, 2020 – Giving in Sincerity

Read 1 John 3

“I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.” 2 Corinthians 8:8 

 

The Corinthians at that time were willing to give. But being willing is one thing and giving is quite another. Paul had boasted to those in Macedonia of the willingness of the Corinthians, but now he is concerned lest he would find them unprepared when he came to gather what they had put aside.
 
Now let me say that it is a typical problem in each church. The problem is that what we say of our love for others is not always backed up by how we live. We can say we are a family, but we don’t know if that is true until we see one of the family members in need, and whether the church responds in the way that they would respond to family. We can say that we have a love for one another, but that does not necessarily mean that that is true. It is easy to say that “I love you brother.” It is easy to feel that warm feeling until we are forced to back up that claim with our lives. Love has a price tag.
 
Paul wants the Corinthians to prove the sincerity of their love through their giving. They are a wealthy area and people. They have the wherewithal to meet the needs of the saints in Jerusalem, but they are not under any commandment. They must do it for no other reason than to prove that they have the love of Christ within them. James 2 speaks out on this principle. We are Christians of belief far more than we are Christians of action.
 
We say that we love God. In 1 John 3:17, we read, “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?” The writer, John, is saying something similar. He writes, “how can we say that we love God whom we have not seen when we hate our brothers whom we have seen?” 
 

He also says in 1 John 3:18, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” Sincere love means that we not only talk about love, but we act in love. That’s where the subject of giving comes in. We love therefore we give. It is not enough to say, we must show the sincerity of our love by doing. 

 

An Exercise to Increase my Faith: Giving is not always about money. God can meet needs without using our wallet. What God desires most is us. He wants us to first give ourselves to Him and to people on this earth. As we give of ourselves, we can be used of God to meet the most important need of men which includes His word and His salvation.    

 


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