We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints—and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace.
—2 Corinthians 8:1-6
by: Sheri Rood.
The saints in Jerusalem were suffering and would starve if not supported by their extended church family around the world. Even though the fellow believers in Macedonia were in deep poverty themselves, they had given generously to meet these needs—and of their own accord. Paul exhorted the church in Corinth to follow their example. Being generous has little to do with our economic status. It is a condition of the heart. Forced generosity is nothing more than taxation; benevolent generosity benefits both the giver and the receiver. Let us remember to generously support the persecuted church around the world.