FIRST, WE GIVE OF OURSELVES: GIVING IN GRACE
Bible Study: “We Give of Ourselves”
You can watch here and respond below within the comment section.
Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-7
In this passage of Scripture, The Apostle Paul writes of what we might call the first “world hunger” offering. In the passage from 2 Corinthians 8, Paul commends to the church at Corinth, the Macedonian Christians who, despite their own trials, shared a grace filled offering for God’s people in Jerusalem. As Paul speaks of this gift from the Macedonians, he uses descriptive terms such as “the grace of God”, “abundant joy”, “wealth of generosity”, and others. But the most interesting description of the Macedonian giving is the phrase found in verse 5 of this text. Paul says this about the Macedonians offering: “and this, not merely as we expected; they gave themselves first to the Lord…” 2 Cor.8:5
Giving of oneself is set out by Paul as the spiritual understanding of our grace filled giving. Our giving is more than what is in our pocket book at any given moment. Giving in grace is a life filled response to God’s grace in Christ. It is the joy and delight in the giving of oneself in response to God’s rich and abundant gift of grace. This is the measure of grace filled stewardship.
What do you think Paul means when he says about the Macedonians; “…they gave themselves first to the Lord”?
- What characteristics might be present in this attitude of giving?
- How would this attitude that Paul describes affect your understanding of giving and your faith practices of giving?
- If we understand stewardship as “how we walk each day in the midst of God’s grace”, how might “giving oneself” be lived out in this context? Does this apply only to the sharing of gifts or does it impact other facets of life such as relationships with others?
- How does the concept of “giving oneself” impact your understanding of stewardship?
- Beyond the obvious, such as family, friends, and church, what are some examples of God’s grace that you’ve seen or experienced this past week?
- What are some ways you have “given yourself” in grace this past week?