And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.
Thoughts for Today:One of the great dangers for anyone involved in the study of the Bible is thinking that highlighting a particularly meaningful passage, or writing something down in our notes, is the same as doing whatever it says. It is not. It doesn't matter if our hearts agree with what we hear or have read, if we don't apply the information, then it has no effect upon our lives.
James likened this to looking at our face in a mirror, and then forgetting what it looked like as soon as we walk away (James 1:23-24). Jesus said, in John 13:17: "Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." So doing is perhaps the greatest portion of reading, hearing and learning. Think about it -- if we're down in the dumps emotionally, feeling discouraged and defeated -- could it be that we have heard the Lord speak to us, and yet have done little of what He's said? Could we in theory agree with the Lord's Word, but have failed to work it out practically in our own lives?
Questions to Ponder:In our passage today, Paul tells us to "now finish the work." In other words, don't put it off. Our willingness must be matched by our completion. Conceptually understanding what it means to give, and having the desire to give is not the same as actually writing a check. Will you do so today? How will you practically apply the Lord's instruction?