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Excel in This Grace of Giving

Are you helping the persecuted church?

Did you know that approximately two-thirds of the New Testament references on giving apply to helping the poor, suffering, and persecuted Christians? These are our brothers and sisters in Christ. In his book, Heirloom Love, the author explains that one of the highest priorities of the early church was providing aid to persecuted Christians. We often fail to understand the biblical mandate and priority to help suffering saints. So we continue on our merry way in ignorance of the original meaning and how they apply to us today.

The Apostle Paul addressed this topic in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9. It was written to raise financial aid for suffering believers in another location, possibly due to their persecution. He commended the Corinthians but challenged them to give. Verse 8:7 reads: “Just as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us – see that you also excel in this grace of giving.”

Paul stressed the fact that meeting the needs of suffering believers is just as important as faithfulness and obedience. Now that’s important! Persecution was a major concern for the first-century church. It should be a concern of ours today. There are Christians being martyred, tortured, incarcerated, and oppressed in greater numbers. Ask the Lord to give you compassion for your persecuted brothers and sisters. Then, consider how you can excel in this grace of giving to meet their needs.

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