Rich and Poor and Praying and Giving — 2 Corinthians 8

A man once told me that no matter how hard he worked he could remember a time when he didn’t have, to use an old expression, “two nickels to rub together” beyond paying for his family’s absolute necessities. But the Lord had led him to depend entirely on Him for all their needs. He never asked anyone for money for any reason, and he never asked for a salary increase. He prayed to the Lord, and he only asked the Lord for the money to meet his family’s needs, and the Lord always answered his prayers. He said that there had been many trials of faith, and he had almost broken his resolution at times, but the Lord had given him the grace to keep trusting in Him no matter what. He also kept giving to his church as Paul described in his letter. Though he was never rich, and many would have considered him poor, the Lord never failed to meet his real needs and the needs of his family. I believe he is still trusting in and working for Jesus today.

I also once knew a man who prayed differently from the other. He was a strong Christian and man of faith. He prayed for the Lord to give him the resources to meet the needs of others and for the Lord to show him how to give and to whom to give from these resources. The Lord answered his prayers as well. The Lord would show him who needed financial help or what congregation needed help, and he always had the resources to give what was needed to answer the prayers of those who prayed for the Lord to meet their needs. He told me, “I want to give where I know I can make a difference,” and he did.

Though we often think of giving as only giving money, there are many ways to give. For example, Sunday school teachers give of their time when they pray and study the Bible to prepare a lesson. And Bible students give of their time when they study the Sunday school lesson in advance to help others and their teacher in their class. If we are in a church for very long, we can begin to list all the ways that rich and poor pray and give of their time, talent, and treasure to serve the Lord Jesus and help others. Because they have little money to give, many times those who are financially poor give the most of themselves to the Lord’s work and they become spiritually richer as they do so.

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