For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem. It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister to them in material things. (Romans 15:26-27)
Happy To Give
The true spirit of Christian fellowship is found in the pleasure of giving. From the early church, a pattern of love is exemplified as the saints in Macedonia and Achaia sent a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. They enjoyed being able to help people they had never met but knew they shared the kinship of brotherly love in the body of Christ. The higher part of love is going beyond the familiar and helping those who are not as fortunate. Sending a gift to a faraway place takes even more love and devotion. Possessing a heart of kindness and a ready hand to share material blessings is a sign of a church filled with benevolent brethren. Giving has always been a part of God’s people. Abraham showed his generous spirit in being hospitable to strangers when the three angels came to visit him. The Law of Moses stipulated the corners of the fields were to be left for strangers and the poor. When the church began on Pentecost, the first Christians readily gave of their own possessions to the saints in need. Now through the benevolent hand of the Christians in Macedonia and Achaia the poor among the saints in Jerusalem would be cared for.
It is a great test to take what is mine and share with others. There is a natural desire to hold on to what we have and being cautious of giving to others. There are dishonest people who look for opportunities to take from those willing to allow them to be taken advantage of. They will have their reward in the final day of judgment. The spirit of giving is a trait found in the hearts of God’s children that know what they possess is not theirs. All the blessings of life come from the hand of the Lord. Sharing with others is redistributing the wealth of God to share with His other children. The Father is pleased when He sees brethren in one place sending aid to those in another place. Jerusalem had a population of saints who were in need of a benevolent hand. More than a thousand miles away some brethren collected much needed funds and sent to the poor saints in Jerusalem to fill their needs. That is the love of God in action. Their faith was no in word alone but also in deed. Faith and works exemplified by the kindness of saints living in Macedonia and Achaia to help their fellow saints in another city.
Giving is an important part of the work of God’s family. Having faith in the Lord to take a portion of the material blessings given by the Lord sharing with others expresses trust in the God who gave them. It is certain we take none of these things with us when we die. Spreading the wealth of our bounty for the needs of God’s people is the image of the sacrifice of Jesus to share His life for all men. Macedonia and Achaia are the pattern of a giving heart the Lord has always wanted His people to have. There are needs that must be met by the kindness of those willing to give. A great work is yet to be realized in all that can be done with saints who are anxious to help others see Christ. Helping needy saints, spreading the word of the Lord and admonishing the faithful children of God is an ongoing experience requiring hearts of faith, hands of diligence and willing minds to share with others in need. There will be no grumbling or murmuring. Giving will be with a cheerful heart knowing the grace of God shines upon the spirit like those of Macedonia and Achaia.