But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also. I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. 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 by his poverty might become rich.
(2 Corinthians 8:7-9 ESV)
The church in Corinth was a very dynamic yet dysfunctional church. They were experiencing the supernatural workings of God, and excelling in their ability to channel those supernatural workings of God to the benefit of the entire community.
1. Faith to move mountains
2. Speech like the tongues of men and of angels, gifts of prophecy,
3. Knowledge to understand all mysteries
4. Earnestness to surrender their lives as martyrs for the kingdom
At some time, they had made pledges to support the church in Jerusalem. Unfortunately, they lack enthusiasm and the willingness to fulfill their pledge.
So Paul writes to them celebrating their growth in many areas of their Christian life, but challenges them to take some action in fulfilling their vows.
He uses two examples to drive his point home:
1. The Macedonians – out of their poverty, had given beyond their ability. In giving, the real issue isn’t giving money. It is giving ourselves to the Lord.
2. Our Lord Jesus Christ – out of his riches became poor so that we can know salvation. In giving, the real issue isn’t losing what you own. It is enriching other with what you have.
Like I said, at some point, the Corinthian Christians may have intended to give. They may have thought about it and may have been favorable to the idea. Yet all of this was useless unless their good intentions paid out.
Often, intentions, vows, and resolutions are useless without action. Don’t let your good intentions grow stale. Take action and fulfill your vows today.