Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
2 Corinthians 8:16-9:5 (NIV)
Titus Sent to Receive the Collection
16 Thanks be to God, who put into the heart of Titus the same concern I have for you. 17 For Titus not only welcomed our appeal, but he is coming to you with much enthusiasm and on his own initiative. 18 And we are sending along with him the brother who is praised by all the churches for his service to the gospel. 19 What is more, he was chosen by the churches to accompany us as we carry the offering, which we administer in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help. 20 We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. 21 For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of man. 22 In addition, we are sending with them our brother who has often proved to us in many ways that he is zealous, and now even more so because of his great confidence in you. 23 As for Titus, he is my partner and co-worker among you; as for our brothers, they are representatives of the churches and an honor to Christ. 24 Therefore show these men the proof of your love and the reason for our pride in you, so that the churches can see it. 9 There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people. 2 For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. 3 But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. 4 For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.
What would you have to change in your life to become more generous?
Possibly the fear of not having enough for me is what needs to change. Even though I have enough food, housing, and clothing I was brought up to put something away for later. There have been times in the past where the basics were hard to come by so a little of that fear still lurks in the back of my mind. I do try to give as much as I possibly can financially but sometimes even being generous with time is hard. So I guess just getting priorities in order would be helpful.
Lord you have given me so much, your love, your comfort, and assurance, You gave your life for me, yet sometimes my own short-sighted fears keep me from being as generous as I could be. Even in the hard times, you got me through, once again showing me how much you care. Lord touch my heart that I would become the generous person you want me to be. You have always asked churches to be aware of the poverty around them and to respond to it generously and willingly. I am blessed to live in an area of much comfort and abundance but not too far away there are many who hungry, cold and homeless in the midst of a difficult world situation. Even if I can’t reach out personally, help me to be your hands and feet in my church and give abundantly to organizations that are helping feed, clothe and house those in need. May you constantly remind me of the great love and comfort you gave me in my times of trouble. Teach me Lord to give willingly, out of great love as you did. I pray those receiving would feel your great care for them and give praise and thanksgiving to you. Amen
Today’s prayer submitted by Jo Schneider