Check out all the previous New Year’s readings here.
New Year’s Reading | Day 4
As you come to spend time with Jesus, calm your mind and body until you feel fully present.
Bible Reading: 2 Corinthians 8:1-8
Read these verses three times slowly.
And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.
Reflection & Questions
In our New Year’s Readings this week are looking at our priorities and how we might adjust them in 2024. Today, we read from Paul about giving. He’s writing to the Corinthians, who are doing so well in many areas, and he encourages them to “excel in this grace of giving.” In order to encourage this, he shares the powerful story of the Macedonian churches. They are in dire circumstances, but because of their great joy, they gave “even beyond their ability.” They “pleaded…for the privilege of sharing.” They were rich in their generosity. It’s an amazing challenge for us.
Paul’s encouragement to us in 2024 would be to consider our giving. Are we full of joy in our giving? Has it become comfortable and routine? Are we excelling in our generosity?
- Read the verses again and notice all the characteristics of the Macedonian churches and their generosity. What challenges you about the way they gave?
- What words would you use to describe your giving? What words would you like to be able to use to describe your giving in 2024?
Talk to God in response to the reading today.
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
Check out more Bible Reading Plans here.