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  • Writer's picturePastor Curtis A. May

We are small, God's Love is Great.

Article for June 30, 2024

2 Corinthians 8:1–2 1We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part.

I believe that churches at the time of the Apostles were very small churches as many of them met in the homes as one would host.  Being a church for God as a Christian was a trial, in itself.  Many had to fear being caught, imprisoned, and even being fed to the lions.  Like today, there are many who fear the church.  However, we do not have to fear for our lives…yet.

Our biggest test is not so much that we are a small church or even that we are a church of many elderly.  Rather our test is can we still be a church regardless of our size, our giving, and know our roots, whether are rooted in the church or rooted in the world. 

We have stood the test, and we are a church, and we are a church of God’s making.  Not that we should boast in ourselves, but that we should boast in our God who feeds us through His word and the generosity He has led us into.  Yes, we should give God the thanks for our “beautiful mess” that brings thanksgivings to my ears every day.  God works wonders even through us and we can praise and give the glory to God our Lord.

2 Corinthians 8:3–5 3For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own free will, 4begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— 5and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.

It amazes me that we can help our community in many ways.  For a church that has little we give much, and many prosper because of our community driven generosity.  Not that we are making anyone rich, but we have enriched many lives including our own.  I know there are some who take advantage of our generosity and that is ok.  Maybe one day God will open their mind and their heart to be generous to others and pass generosity forward.

We should always boast in God that He teaches us how to first give ourselves to Him.  God is our creator, our life, and even our breath that gives us life through His Spirit.  This love of our God is what makes loving one another so rich for one another.  When we realize the riches, our God has given us then it becomes easier to enrich others who are still searching for God.

As we reach out to our community we reach out with the arms of God and His love is spread to those who don’t know God’s love for them.  We are God’s arms and feet, but His voice is His own word.  We share the word of salvation so that the voice of God goes out to all who are deaf to His word.  Though we speak God’s word with our mouths, we shout God’s word with the actions of the love we show to others.

2 Corinthians 8:6–7 6Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. 7But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.

Everyone who believes in God, heaven, and hell wants God’s grace and rightly so.  We know we are not perfect people, and we know we sin every day.  So, if we see someone else sin should we hold them accountable through malice or hold them accountable through grace?

Though we are not perfect let us work hard to excel in faith, speech, and knowledge of God’s word.  Not to boast in ourselves or about our church, but that we can boast in God that He leads our hearts and our way of worship.  Not to say that we are the only ones, but that we take our faith in God seriously, not to flaunt it or use it as a sword to cut others down, but that what we learn is used in the form of grace to our community.

2 Corinthians 8:8–9 8I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. 9For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.

Jesus died so that we might live.  This act of love is greater than the love we show one another.  Jesus did not just die for us, but He suffered much physically, mentally, and spiritually. 

His physical suffering was more than that on the cross, but surely Jesus suffered great pain.  His mental suffering was to endure the insults, mocking, and humiliation, but surely Jesus suffered great pain.  His spiritual suffering is that He became just a man for us, He was forsaken for a time for us, He knew our hearts, our minds, our sadness, and surely Jesus suffered great pain.

But in the end of His suffering Jesus regained the joy of knowing He saved many of the Father’s creation.  Because Jesus knew He saved you.  Amen.

Written by Pastor Curtis A. May


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