He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 2 Corinthians 9:6.
Liberality is one of the directions of the Holy Spirit, and when the professed people of God withhold from the Lord His own in gifts and offerings, they meet with spiritual loss….
It were better not to give at all than to give grudgingly, for if we impart of our means when we have not the spirit to give freely, we mock God. Let us bear in mind that we are dealing with One upon whom we depend for every blessing, One who reads every thought of the heart, every purpose of the mind.
The apostle Paul had a special work to present before his Corinthian brethren. There was a famine in Jerusalem, and the disciples, “every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judaea.” They presented the need to the churches, expecting to receive a small sum for the relief of the needy saints; and in prayer they presented before the Lord the necessity.
But the Macedonian believers, moved by the Spirit of God, first made an entire consecration of themselves to God, and then gave all that they had. They felt it a privilege thus to give expression to their trust in God. The Macedonian believers were poor, but they did not have to be urged to give. They rejoiced that they had opportunity to contribute of their means. Of themselves they came forward and made the offering, in their Christlike simplicity, their integrity and love for their brethren, denying themselves of food and clothing in cases where they had no money. And when the apostles would have restrained them, they pleaded with them to receive the contribution and carry it to the afflicted saints.
This self-denial and self-sacrifice far exceeded Paul’s expectations, and he was filled with thanksgiving; and taking courage by this example, by epistle he exhorted Titus to stir up the church in Corinth to the same good works….
“We desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.”
This movement on the part of the Macedonians was inspired of God to arouse in the Corinthian church the spirit of liberality.—The Review and Herald, May 15, 1900.