Monday after the Ninth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 8:1-24 (NKJV)
8:1 Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: 2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. 3 For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, 4 imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5 And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God. 6 So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this grace in you as well. 7 But as you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us—see that you abound in this grace also.
8 I speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
10 And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; 11 but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have. 12 For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have.
13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; 14 but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that there may be equality. 15 As it is written, “He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack.”
16 But thanks be to God who puts the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus. 17 For he not only accepted the exhortation, but being more diligent, he went to you of his own accord. 18 And we have sent with him the brother whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches, 19 and not only that, but who was also chosen by the churches to travel with us with this gift, which is administered by us to the glory of the Lord Himself and to show your ready mind, 20 avoiding this: that anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us—21 providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
22 And we have sent with them our brother whom we have often proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, because of the great confidence which we have in you. 23 If anyone inquires about Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker concerning you. Or if our brethren are inquired about, they are messengers of the churches, the glory of Christ. 24 Therefore show to them, and before the churches the proof of your love and of our boasting on your behalf.
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor.”
Who could know all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden in the divine nature of Christ, which He chose for our sakes to conceal under the poverty of His human nature? When He took upon Himself our mortality, He revealed himself in humility and poverty, but He promised us eternal riches through His death and subsequent exaltation. When He died He did not lose the rewards, as if His life were taken from Him. He freely gave His life for us, and gives us now the eternal gifts He paid for on the tree of the holy cross with His blood.
How great is the multitude of His gifts which remain hidden to those who reject Him! But to those who believe on and hope in Him these great eternal gifts have been revealed and enjoyed. On account of our sinful nature we understand only part of that great gift until we are made perfect in Heaven. To make us worthy of this perfect gift our Lord Jesus, equal to the Father in the form of God, became like us in the form of a servant and assumed our flesh into the Godhead so that we might be remade into the likeness of God with new and glorious bodies in Heaven (see Phil. 2:5-8). What a great gift!
We pray: Let Thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of Thy humble servants; and that they may obtain their petitions, make them to ask such things as shall please Thee; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.