Nov. 10 * 2 Corinthians 8:1-4 * Countdown to Nov. 23

I’m excited you’ve joined our church family in the 2nd week of this exciting adventure as we experience The Power of Everyone coming together to thank and seek God.  For 21 days leading up to Sunday, Nov. 23rd,  we’ve committed to pray, fast and seek God’s direction personally and for our church.  I hope you’ll pause at 10pm each night and pray for about 10 minutes; do this individually, as a couple, or as a family.

 

During the days leading up to Nov. 23 and our Celebration Offering and the Thanksgiving Family Festival, I’ll list a scripture for you to read and consider.  I’ll also share a few thoughts of my own, but my primary desire is that you ask God to reveal to you what this passage means in your life and how you should apply it as you think about what God would have you do.  I would also ask that you pray and ask God to speak to the hearts of all the people in our church about this particular passage concerning what they should do.  It’s already been a great adventure.  Can’t wait to see what this week brings.

 Bless you – Pastor BJ

 

Nov. 10                 2 Corinthians 8:1-4

1 And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.

 

The Christians who made up the churches in Macedonia didn’t live in luxury and wealth.  When Paul mentions “out of the most severe trial” in verse 2, he’s describing what these believers at Macedonia were facing.  They were enduring extreme poverty and persecution at the time of this letter.  High taxes, low economic status, slavery and persecution had caused the Believers in Macedonia to experience extreme poverty and stress.   In spite of their terrible circumstances they not only gave generously, but “urgently pleaded” for the privilege of giving to meet the needs of others.  I think one explanation for this is also found in verse 2; “their overflowing joy” in Christ.   The joy they experienced through God’s lavish grace caused them to overlook their pain, sorrow and suffering.  They realized as Paul had written to this church in Corinth that “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7).  They were filled with joy and cheer; and with this attitude they were free to be generous with what they had.  

If you want a little more joy in your life – even when things are tough – try some generosity.

About bjrutledge

BJ & Janet were married in July 1977 They have three grown children who are all married: Jeremy & Whitney Rutledge, Chris & Julie Hurst, and Josh and Hannah Rutledge. They also have four grandsons, and a granddaughter. BJ says perhaps our greatest legacy is even though our kids are PK's, they love Jesus and are all involved in ministry in the local church. BJ has served at churches in Dallas - Bossier City, LA - Houston - and was at Fellowship of the Woodlands (Woodlands Church) in The Woodlands before coming to Grace Fellowship. BJ is the Lead Pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Paradise, TX.
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