They urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. (2 Cor. 8:4)

Almost thirty years ago, as a ministerial intern in small-town South Dakota, I met two older gentlemen. Lloyd was a retired minister of humble means. His brother-in-law, Ray, a layman, had been able to accumulate a greater portion of wealth in his lifetime. Despite the difference, each was a giver. I enjoyed Lloyd’s hospitality one day when he treated me to a meal at a local buffet. And after I preached one evening at church, Ray extended a handshake containing a folded twenty-dollar bill. One day the two of them lightheartedly “fought” over which one would buy a tank of gas for my car. It was obvious that they both valued the ministry of giving, and neither wanted to miss the opportunity to bless me.

The Macedonian Christians had a similar heart. These Gentiles had received the good news of eternal life through Jesus Christ, who had come to the world as a Jew. They were eager to return some of the benefit God had extended to them through the Jews, and pleaded for the chance to help the church at Jerusalem, many of them Jewish Christians, during a crisis. This urgency should be easy to find among believers. In giving Jesus for us, God provided the ultimate example of a giving heart. As Christians, we should often find ourselves asking, pleading, and even fighting for the opportunity to give.

Ask God to help you give where it’s needed the most today.

Paul Zinter serves as a substitute teacher. He enjoys writing, bread making, and teaching at his local church.