Today: [2 Corinthians 8:] He Became Poor so that You Could be Rich: In our chapter today Paul declares the price that Jesus paid so that you could be delivered from all poverty and lack. Deceivers insist v. 9 has nothing whatsoever to do with money. The context of the chapter reveals otherwise. Jesus paid a price for you to walk in supply and that supply is activated by what you do in response to God’s promise.
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[2Co 8:1-24 KJV] 1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. 3 For to [their] power, I bear record, yea, and beyond [their] power [they were] willing of themselves; 4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and [take upon us] the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5 And [this they did], not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. 6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. 7 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. 8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. 9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 10 And herein I give [my] advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward a year ago. 11 Now therefore perform the doing [of it]; that as [there was] a readiness to will, so [there may be] a performance also out of that which ye have. 12 For if there be first a willing mind, [it is] accepted according to that a man hath, [and] not according to that he hath not. 13 For [I mean] not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: 14 But by an equality, [that] now at this time your abundance [may be a supply] for their want, that their abundance also may be [a supply] for your want: that there may be equality: 15 As it is written, He that [had gathered] much had nothing over; and he that [had gathered] little had no lack. 16 But thanks [be] to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you. 17 For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you. 18 And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise [is] in the gospel throughout all the churches; 19 And not [that] only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and [declaration of] your ready mind: 20 Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us: 21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. 22 And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which [I have] in you. 23 Whether [any do enquire] of Titus, [he is] my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren [be enquired of, they are] the messengers of the churches, [and] the glory of Christ. 24 Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.
In v. 1-3 of ch. 8, Paul boasts to the Corinthians of the liberality of the churches in Macedonia that sent support to help him in his gospel ministry. These churches were in the midst of great affliction and even deep poverty – but you couldn’t tell it by the abundance of their generosity toward Paul and his traveling companions Titus and Timothy. In v. 3 Paul says that these people gave according to their ability and far beyond their ability in sacrificial support of the kingdom of God as represented by Paul’s ministry. They gave so liberally that Paul was hesitant to receive from them so much so (v. 4) that they actually “prayed” or intreated him to take their gifts not thinking twice about the fact that it was extremely sacrificial on their part to do so. Have you ever given like this?
I remember as a young pastor when one of the members of the church explained to me his giving habits:
“I cash my check and buy my groceries. I pay any bills that I have due. I take my wife and family out to dinner, and we attend a movie or some other entertainment. Then if I have anything left over I give ten percent of that to the Lord…”
I was stunned. Not just because of what he said but because he did so in a boastful way sure in himself that he was one of the most sacrificial givers that walked the earth! In v. 6 Paul calls on the Corinthians to follow the example of the Macedonian churches in their own giving. The Macedonian churches gave out of their poverty, but v. 7 tells us that the Corinthian congregation was quite affluent “abounding in everything.” You can see by this that whether you struggle with lack in your life or have abundant supply the encouragement of the word of God is to give and give liberally.
The one area of your life that intimidates the devil is your giving. If you want to identify the tentacles of Satan himself in someone’s life look at their attitude toward supporting the work of God. This is so insidious that for centuries the church embraced the “vow of poverty” for gospel ministers and amazingly this has never been addressed or repented of by any group, ministry or denomination in a 1000 years. Do you believe in the vow of poverty? The vow of poverty calls on ministers to bind themselves by an oath to something (specifically poverty) that Jesus bled and died to deliver them from and their people from. Let’s read the following verse:
2 Corinthians 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
Religious decievers insist this verse has nothing to do with natural supply, resources or finances. You can see by our study of the entire chapter that this is an absolute and total lie. What Paul is saying to the Corinthians is that by their giving whether they are in poverty or wealth – by their giving they access the grace of God paid for on the cross to deliver them financially into the abundance and wealth consciousness of the kingdom. In the next verse Paul in effect says:
“Let me give you some advice – because of the price Jesus paid for your abundance I suggest you give and give liberally…”
What does this tell us? The kingdom of God is MOTION ACTIVATED. In v. nine we see that Jesus paid a terrible price that you might come out of poverty and lack and into financial abundance. But it is YOUR GIVING that activates that blessing and brings you into all that it promises in your own life and situation. Many people say “when God blesses me I will give…” That person will never know anything but lack and poverty. We access the blessing of God by faith and faith REQUIRES that we obey FIRST and then the blessing comes just as Paul indicates in v. 10.
What is the greatest deception people fall into in this area? They insist “I’ve already done that and it isn’t working…” That is the lie of the enemy. Acts 14:22 says through much tribulation (pressure) you enter the kingdom. The enemy isn’t going to roll over and play dead the day after you decide to walk in the transfer of the wealth. You must press into the pressure and believe God in your heart and by your actions. The word works. Faith produces. Faith in the area of giving will produce the transfer of the wealth of heaven into your life. Because of this in v. 11 Paul says “let there by a performance of doing what your heart is ready to do…” If your mind is willing (v. 12), then act not according to what you don’t have but according to what you do have. Stop waiting for your ship to come in. It is what you give NOW that brings the blessing not what you intend to give some day / one day. That is deception.
What was the response of the Corinthians? We know that they gave. They gave, and they didn’t just do so because Paul was in need. In v. 20 Paul talks about the abundance that he was enjoying at the time. He speaks of the administration of the wealth that the Macedonian churches had supplied to help Paul finance the ministry he was in. You don’t always give to a need. Some people will flatly state if they don’t see a need they will not give. They are robbing themselves of the blessing of God.
Sometimes you give into a need, and sometimes you give into an anointing. When you give into an anointing what is in that anointing will determine what happens next in your life. For our part, it would be our most significant answer to prayer to see YOU receive the blessing that we walk in this area of our life. We know what it is to see money move by the Spirit. Does that mean we don’t have challenges? No. We have people lurking like vultures over every penny that comes into this ministry. They have no faith for themselves, so they are destroyed by jealous and hate because we have experienced the blessing of God in this area of our life. We don’t walk in lack – neither do we walk in freedom from persecution as Jesus said “the hundredfold return with persecutions.” When you give into a ministry that doesn’t experience lack a door is open to destroy lack in your life.
This is the testimony of abundance Paul gave in v. 20. He knew people would blame and accuse him, but he still wanted the people to be blessed, so he invited them, actually urged them to give and to give sacrificially.
Paul closes the chapter in v. 24 with a call to the Corinthians to show the churches the proof of their love by their giving. That’s pretty brash by today’s standards. Paul would be called a charlatan and a con if he said “show me you love me by your liberality” but this is clearly what he is expressing. He wants to boast on their behalf. Is that your heart toward giving? If it is you will experience something in the area of breakthrough that cannot be accessed any other way. This is the promise of God’s word.
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