Thoughts for Today:Over the previous seven chapters, Paul has been discussing the comfort God provides from a variety of perspectives. I hope you have been blessed with a greater understanding of the Lord's provision for the strengthening and comfort of His people through the power of the Holy Spirit. I know I have.
In Chapters Eight and Nine, Paul transitions to new subject matter. He now begins to discuss giving. One of the things I truly enjoy about working sequentially through the Bible is it forces me to deal with issues and topics I might otherwise choose to avoid. This section on generosity is one I might skip over -- and I'm not the only one. I can visualize the Corinthians squirming in their seats and cringing as the subject of giving comes up. The Corinthian congregation was excited about spiritual gifts; however, they needed a little more focus on generosity. From Paul's perspective, they needed two chapters of it.
If you will remember (from Paul's first epistle to the Corinthians), he had suggested taking a collection for the believers in Jerusalem who were suffering as a result of a very severe famine. Unfortunately, enthusiasm for this endeavor had waned (although the need had not), and no money had been raised after the first year. Paul will begin teaching as it relates to this specific need and purpose; however, the principles we will be taught have far greater implications in our walk of faith.
Questions to Ponder:Any time Scripture makes me feel uncomfortable, I pay closer attention. It is God's Holy Spirit speaking to me about what I need to do to draw closer to Him. How do you feel about giving? Do you have the right perspective? What is God teaching you through your wallet?