2 Corinthians 8:1-5
1And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. 5And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.
I received an email from someone who is serving in Ukraine today. The email talked about how the current economic crisis is effecting that country. But what was overwhelming to this American serving there was when he went to a small village to teach, they took up an offering for him. They prevailed on him to take the money. This is in a country where many economists don’t know how they will survive the crisis. They may not. Ukraine may implode, but these Christian brothers and sisters are setting an example for the rest of us to follow. No wonder a secular reporting agency names the Baptist Union of Ukraine as being the fastest growing denomination in the world.
As many of you know I just returned from Ukraine and heard similar stories myself. A family from the U.S. lost a son suddenly to an aggressive sickness. The boy was only 16 years old. The Ukrainian church this family serves took up an offering to cover expenses for the family. It was overwhelming for them. Our friends say that offerings in the churches in Ukraine are on the rise. These dear people who have lost so much are sacrificing for the sake of the gospel. They are the present day Macedonian Church. They are leading the way for the rest of us.
So, are you giving more as things get worse? Are you going to follow the examples of our Ukrainian brothers and sisters and give out of your “poverty”? Or will you play it safe and miss the opportunity to lead and set the example for others? It’s up to you.
That’s this leader’s view.