GRACE- OVERFLOWING FROM INTERCESSION TO ACTION
2Cor. 8:1-2 ¶ We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.
Paul was magnifying what he called “the exceeding grace of God” in the church. What every Christian has received at conversion is nothing less than supernatural. God’s grace is overflowing and overflows in all of us in various ways. Paul seemed to be genuinely impressed at the supernatural nature of the generosity of the Macedonian church. Paul used their testimony of giving as an opportunity to magnify the grace of God as well as to challenge the church in Corinth to step up their giving toward the poor in the church in Jerusalem. Adam Clarke explains this exceeding grace in his comments on this passage.
“The exceeding grace of God in you – By the superabounding or transcending grace of God, which was in them, the apostle most evidently means the merciful and charitable disposition which they had towards the suffering saints. The whole connection, indeed the whole chapter, proves this; and the apostle attributes this to its right source, the grace or goodness of God. They had the means of charity, but God had given these means; they had a feeling, and charitable heart, but God was the author of it. Their charity was superabundant, and God had furnished both the disposition, the occasion, and the means by which that disposition was to be made manifest.”
Clarke points out the involvement of God in the whole matter. He had provided the ability to give by His provision, He had provided the desire or heart to give by the changed nature they received at conversion, and He provided the opportunity to give through the Apostle Paul and his commitment to the poor in Jerusalem. The Lord was involved in every detail of this project.
In our modern world the Lord operates in similar ways. He is the incredible provider, He gives us talents and jobs and harvest. He moves on our hearts for the hurting with His own love for the suffering in this world. Finally, He provides the vehicle or ministry which enables us to give. The end result is God is glorified and the hurting of this world are helped.
Have you experienced this exceeding grace of God? How will you know for sure? One of the sure ways is when your heart begins to be moved with compassion for those who are in need. In your day to day activities oftentimes the Lord will begin to stir your heart. It may start with intercession but it will inevitably move you to action. What has stirred you lately? Respond to the Lord’s nudging in prayer. If He keeps prompting you, it’s time to take action, it’s time to offer Him your time, your talents, and your resources.