Week Four – Day 4
TODAY’S FAST – Eat only eggs for breakfast – Only rice, beans, vegetables and a small piece of chicken/fish for lunch and dinner.
“Look,” Paul says, “last year you had a real good start in giving to the poor, and your desire to do it was evident. Let’s pick up where that left off. You stayed consistent in coming to church. You were pretty regular in your small group attendance. Let’s get this giving thing under your belt too.”
That’s the gist of 2 Corinthians 8:7-11. Right in the middle of that passage, Paul gives the strongest motivating factor. In verse 9, he writes, “If Christ helped us out from His wealth, shouldn’t we do the same for others?” In other words, what He did for us spiritually, shouldn’t that show itself in our doing it for others physically?
During this time of prayer and fasting, our prayer for the poor should start with us praying for ourselves. After all, the means of their provision resides within our own wallets (2 Corinthians 8:14), and not the magical vault we sometimes think God draws from in Heaven. How are we doing in our giving in comparison to our other areas of growth? Do we need to complete the vow we made last year and fell away from? Maybe it will mean the percentage of your giving goes up. Or perhaps you clean out the closets more frequently and take more clothes to the drop-off box. Or you designate a part of your paycheck each month to a family struggling to get by.
Whatever the outcome, here’s the key: Don’t do it just during the fast. Use the fasting period to hear from God how you might begin doing this all year-round as you begin to see the generosity of God in your own life (2 Corinthians 8:4) as a source for helping others.
God, Help my heart be focused on things that matter to you. Help me invest in things that are eternal. Help me be content with what you have given me and help me hold everything that you have entrusted to me with an open hand. Help me be a blessing to others.
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” — 2 Corinthians 8:9 NIV