Earlier this morning, at prayer, we were reading and praying over the first few verses of Second Corinthians 8. Writing about the Macedonian churches, Paul says "their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity."
Toni and I have received many times because of other people's giving. We've even benefited by our own giving -- as our offerings are a part of what support my salary! Interesting, no? I am praying about how God will continue to direct us in giving in the weeks and months to come. I'm also praying right now for Andria Jasper and her need to receive support for her mission in Thailand.
Generosity is a clear sign of the Holy Spirit -- not just in individuals, but also in church bodies. Read the last quarter of Acts 2 if you doubt it. There is a flow of blessing, including material blessing, that binds the church together because of the Holy Spirit's ministry in and among us.
If you or I don't find joy in generosity, it's time to reconnect with God. The Holy Spirit leads people, and church bodies, to focus outward, on others, and not on maintaining security or building reserves. Generosity with Joy is a mark of faith.
If you are not experiencing joy in giving, ask someone to pray with you about it. Or maybe you need to be asking others to help you financially or in other ways. There are times it's best to receive.