The story is told of a man who tried to commit suicide by drowning. He jumped into water far from land; but after jumping in, he changed his mind and said, “God, if you let me make it to the shore I’ll give you 80% of all I own. When he got close to shore and still felt strong, he said, “Lord, I’ll give 10% if you let me make it to shore.” Sadly, some people think that giving to God is payback for what God has given them. But giving is not only a response to need; it shows gratitude to God. The Apostle Paul clarified that to the Christians at Corinth. In 2 Corinthians Chapter 8, he urged them to help poor people in Jerusalem. But in doing so, he used the example of the poor saints in Macedonia. He said, “I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord. Paul then uses the example of Christ’s giving. He says, “Though he was rich, for our sake He became poor, so that by his poverty, he could make us rich.” Giving is not paying God back for what He has done for us. We owe Him too much to pay it back. Giving to others in need is one way of saying “Thanks” to God for His generosity to us.
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