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Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
(2 Cor. 8:7)
The grace he is speaking of here is the grace of giving. In The Living Bible version, this expression is called the spirit of cheerful giving.

Remember that these early Christians were going through, much trouble, and hard times (2 Cor. 8:2). You and I should be able to relate to that situation. In fact, so should every Christian.

If you are going through "much trouble and hard times," you are in good company. I have often said that Satan attacks Christians only two times: when they have done something wrong, and when they have done something right.

Many believers get all upset when things go wrong, especially when they are trying so hard to do right. They somehow have the mistaken idea that their "doing good" ought to insure them against things "going bad." It doesn't. It certainly didn't for Paul and the first century Christians.

Sometimes you and I will have the most trouble not because we are doing wrong, but precisely because we are doing right. The "going" has not always been smooth in my life. The reason the first part of my life wasn't smooth going is because I was out of the will of God.

But even now that I am in the center of God's will, things are not always smooth or easy. But the Lord always supplies the power and grace and everything else we need to come through the trouble and hard times. That too is part of the heritage of the saints.

But remember that the result of the trouble and hard times, which the early church was going through, was an overflow of giving to others. That is an important principle for us to learn today.

In my own case, I realized a long time ago that the quickest way to get my own needs met is to get involved in meeting the needs of someone else.

I remember an incident that took place some years ago which illustrates this point. I had been invited by a small I church in West Texas to come and help dedicate their new building. While I was there, the pastor said he wanted to receive an offering for my wife and I.

He said, "Now I don't want this to go into your ministry; it will be for you two personally in appreciation of your work for the Lord and as an expression of our gratitude for what you have done for us in this church." The offering turned out to be a thousand dollars.

Normally, all the offerings go directly to the ministry. I am on a set salary just like everyone else in the organization. Carolyn and I have to live within our income just as you do.

So naturally it was a great joy and blessing to be able to bring in some extra cash just for our own use. In fact, in my mind I already had that money spent on several things we really needed.

But when I got home from that meeting, Carolyn met me at the door saying, "Jerry, there is a couple in town who are being evicted from their house. The movers are setting them and their children and their furniture out on the sidewalk right now. They have no money and no place to move. They don't know what they're going to do. They need a thousand dollars."

"Well, it just so happens that I have a thousand dollars on me," I replied. "When do they need it?" "Right now!" she said.

So we got in our car and drove over to the couple's house. The children were sitting out in the yard. The man and his wife were loading furniture into a trailer.

It was about one o'clock in the morning, and they had no idea where they were going. They had no money and no place to even spend the night.

Then the Lord spoke to me and said, "This is the reason I gave you that thousand dollars. This is where I want it to go. That money will keep this family in their home."

I want to tell you something. Of all the things I could have bought for myself or my family with that thousand dollars, nothing could have brought me more happiness than that which I received in being the instrument of God to help that family in their time of need.

There is no momentary thrill on earth that can ever compare with the deep, abiding joy of knowing that God has richly blessed you so you can be a blessing to others and prevent a misfortune or catastrophe in their lives.

Because of our willingness to pass on the blessings, which God had freely bestowed upon us, that family was able to stay in their home.

And God began to bless them and make them to be a blessing to our ministry as a result. They are partners in our outreach. They sow seed into our ministry all the time.

That is the real purpose of God's giving to us: to bless and to make us channels of His blessing to others.

That is also why our giving is a grace, a free and undeserved gift from God. Because as we have seen, an opportunity to give to help others in need is really an opportunity to have our own needs met.

Source: How God Supplies Your Every Need by Jerry Savelle.
Excerpt permission granted by Jerry Savelle Ministries International

Author Biography

Jerry Savelle
Web site: Jerry Savelle Ministries International
Dr. Jerry Savelle was an average, blue-collar man who was struggling and needed God's help. While he considered himself a "nobody," when he became a believer God told him not to worry about it because He was a master at making champions out of nobodies. God has since taken Dr. Savelle from being a constant quitter to a man who knows how to stand on the Word of God until victory is experienced. Because of the life-changing combination of God's faithfulness and Dr. Savelle's "no quit" attitude, his life is totally different than it was thirty-eight years ago.

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