Reach Out and Trust is a faith-based 30-minute program brought to you each Sunday morning at 7:30 am and 11:30 am. Reach Out and Trust is a ministry of Whitney United Methodist Church here in Boise. Rev. Christina Thompson is the pastor at Whitney and each week brings her sermon to the radio. Each program is designed to encourage trust in the Lord and seeks to bring everyone who listens to a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.
This morning, Reverend Christina continues her sermon series in 2 Corinthians. The subject is giving, something that Paul felt strongly about. In fact, Paul wanted believers in the Corinthian church to be leaders in giving. Knowing that giving is a natural response of love, Paul refrained from ordering the Corinthians to give, but he did encourage them to give to the point that confirmed their love was sincere and their giving commensurate with that love. Paul also gave the church several principles to use as a guide for giving. These included: (1) each person should follow through on previous promises; (2) each person should give as much as he or she is able; (3) each person must not be swayed by others but must personally make the final determination as to the amount of the gift; (4) and lastly, each person must take into account that which God has given him or her. In this connection, we, like the ancient Christians, must also remember that God gives to us so we can give to others. However we give to God–monetarily or through ministries, time, energy, witnessing–let us use Paul’s principles along with our hearts as a guide to responsible, faith-based giving.
In this week’s show, Reverend Christina Thompson takes listeners through 2 Corinthians 8:7-15 which says:
7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
10 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means.12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.
13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”