The Macedonian churches were facing a devastating multiyear famine. In spite of this struggle, Paul had told them other believers in Jerusalem were in even greater need then they were. Paul reports in II Corinthians 8:1-5, “…out of their most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. ?For…they gave as much as they were able, and…beyond their ability. …urgently pleading with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. ? …they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us….” How can such financially desperately people give so generously in the midst their own personal life-crisis. Paul tells us, “They first gave themselves to the Lord.” The beginning of living a genuinely generous life is giving yourself first to the Lord. Think about it.
For additional thoughts on this verse, read “When Giving Got Out of Control.”