Tuesday, May 17, 2022

          In 2 Corinthians 9:12, Paul wrote, “For I know your eagerness to help and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians.”  The backdrop for this statement was Paul’s collection for the saints (addressed in I Corinthians 8:1-9:15).  This offering or collection for the believers in the Jerusalem church occupied substantial passages of Paul’s letters and certainly a big part of his mind and heart.  This important aid collection spanned the course of years in Paul’s life and work and was even something that Paul claimed he was struggling to deliver as he dealt with opponents and opposition (Rom 15:30–31).  The key phrase for me is “your eagerness to help.”  We have all known people who were eager to help.  They are the first to respond or to answer a call for help.  You know them by name.  The mere mention of eagerness brings their faces to the mind’s eye. They are quick to apply their talents and resources.  They are glad for the glory to go to God while they take a space in the background.
            What makes you eager?  When were you eager for something?  Eagerness can be a good quality for Christians to possess.  We can be eager to serve, eager to share the gospel, eager to worship and eager to pray.  If someone asks you to pray, are you eager to do so?  Paul wrote about gentile believers who were eager to give so that Jerusalem believers could be helped and blessed by their generosity.  Hopefully, as believers and followers of Christ, we are known for being eager to be generous.  That is sort of a mouthful to write or say but it has good biblical and theological grounding to it.  We want to be eager to show generosity when occasions to do so arise.  Such occasions may involve money.  But they could just as easily involve time, energy, sweat-equity or serving.  Generosity and eagerness can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. 
            God often speaks and leads in those occasions where we feel eager to do something.  He often gives us nudges and nods to step forward in some way and make a difference.  He could create a sense of eagerness in you to share the gospel with someone who is lost.  He could nudge you toward offering encouragement and support to someone facing a challenge or hardship.  Usually, we do not have to look far or long to find a situation where we could offer some sort of blessing.  Be eager to do so.  Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 9:6, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”  There is a relationship between what we have and what we give.  God blesses and provides so we can react and respond eagerly and generously when occasions arise.  When we are eager and generous with small things, God gives us occasions to do likewise with greater things and greater moments. 
            Eagerness is an often-overlooked virtue.  But imagine how different homes and communities would be if believers were eager to be difference-makers.  Perhaps there is a place where you can eagerly serve and invest your life and faith.  Set a goal to be quick to pray, quick to serve, quick to give and quick to offer your blessings to make a difference.  Be content to be in the background and let the credit, praise and glory go to God alone.  If God is glorified, we will always be satisfied.  And if God is blessed by what we do then there is no need for us to seek attention or gain.  Take a few minutes today to ask God to cultivate a sense of eagerness in you.  Ask God to make you eager to serve, to give, to forgive, to love, to bless, to make peace or to make amends.  Do not put off until tomorrow what you could possibly and realistically do today.  Have a great Tuesday!  Remember you can always share our worship anytime at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.

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