But They Gave Themselves First to the Lord and Then to Us

Pastor Emmanouilidis explains how the members of the early Corinthian church devoted themselves spiritually to God, and how this total dedication led to their generosity towards the apostles who came to visit them. Though many give something to get something in return, when we give to God, to the church, and to those around us, we do it out of love sown by God. God’s gift of salvation should motivate us to give all that we have back to God wholeheartedly.

2 Corinthians 8:1-9

1 Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, 2 that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. 3 For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, 4 begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, 5 and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. 6 So we urged Titus that as he had previously made a beginning, so he would also complete in you this gracious work as well. 7 But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also. 8 I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

But They Gave Themselves First to the Lord and Then to Us