Scripture:   2Corinthians 8:12   For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.  (NIV)

Observation:   There had been a drought in Jerusalem.  Before this letter was written; those in the Corinthian church had agreed to give some money to help the people in Jerusalem.  Paul would soon pass through Corinth.  He encouraged them to prepare their gift and invited some of their congregation to accompany him in taking their gift to Jerusalem. 

Two criteria are given in this verse for givers.  First they must be willing.  They were not being manipulated to give.  Second they must have money available to give.  This is not “going into debt” giving.  They were not being asked to put it on a credit card.  This was to be giving from what they had. 

Application:   My giving is an expression of appreciation for what the Lord has already given me.  (Tithing is based on 10% of what I have received, not what I do not have.)  I may give sacrificially by choosing to live on less in order to give more.  I may make a promise to give in the future from what the Lord provides in the future, but my giving is to come from what I have, not what I do not have.  I see this principle applying to Christmas gifts as well as gifts to the church and various ministries. 

Prayer:   Lord, my giving is an expression of my love for you.  May I give willingly and generously from what I have as you have given to me from what you have.   Amen 

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity!