The Grace of Giving
In 2 Corinthians 8: 1-7, Paul writes to the church of Corinth about how three very poor
congregations in Macedonia collected money to give to the Jerusalem church who were in
desperate need. Paul tells them that the Gentile churches of Philippi, Thessalonica, and
Berea, even though they were poor congregations and also suffering tremendously from
a famine, gave above and beyond to help the Christians in Jerusalem. And what was so
astonishing about the Macedonian churches was that upon hearing the difficulty of the
Jewish Christians in Jerusalem urgently pleaded with Paul for the privilege of
sharing what they had. The Christians in Macedonian exemplified what it means to
engage in the grace of giving.
When we talk about Christian giving and stewardship, what are the takeaways that we
can appropriate for ourselves from this scripture text?
What are the faith lessons that can help us as growing believers?
I would suggest two takeaways, and two faith lessons and I want to give credit to Mike Hays for his writings on this. 
First, the Macedonian Christians gave themselves first to the Lord. We find this in
verse 5. Without first submitting ourselves to the lordship of Jesus and possessing a
desire to follow in his steps, we will never become a person with a joyous generous
spirit and lifestyle.
The goal is not to give of our resources, but to give ourselves, the totality of who we are and all that we have for the use of the Lord’s glory.
Secondly, the joyous generosity of the Macedonians was a work of divine grace.
Hays again writes that
Because of their understanding of Jesus’ grace demonstrated for them, they wanted to demonstrate that same grace in their relationship with others. As it was then, so it remains today, joyous generosity is a work of divine grace. We may very well be generous from time to time of our own accord, but without the Holy Spirit working in our life we will never become a person of joyous generosity.
This is a start, then, that in order to experience the grace of giving, we first give
ourselves to the Lord, and then through the Holy Spirit, we are able to demonstrate
grace to others.
1 Mike Hays, “A Recipe for Generosity: 2 Corinthians 8: 1-9,” https://www.brittonchurch.com/a-recipe-for-generosity-2-corinthians-81-9/.