In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.
Thoughts for Today:Macedonia was located in the area we know as northern Greece. Corinth was located in the south. The northern churches, Thessalonica, Berea, and more specifically Philippi, were going through their own difficult financial times. But that didn't stop them from giving.
George Washington Carver once wisely said, "How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong, because someday in life, you will have been all of these."
Perhaps that is why some of us (particularly those of us who have been poor at one time in our lives), have an ability to identify with those in need, have a strong drive to claim lives for the Kingdom of God, and as a result -- a great desire to give generously. Philippi (one of the northern churches), gave out of what Paul describes as "extreme poverty". They had discovered the secret of how to express their overflowing joy and had become rich through giving. I don't think it is any coincidence that Paul's letter to the Philippians was one of the most joyous he ever wrote.
Questions to Ponder:How do we keep from becoming small-minded, selfish, self-centered, hard-hearted and harsh-minded people? By giving -- not just financial, but time, talent and network. Giving is both a privilege and a joy -- just look at the Philippians' example. Is there any area that touches your heart directly and stimulates a desire to help? Will you give generously now? Let the Lord speak and minister to you in this area.