Cover to Cover
2 Corinthians 8
Paul genuinely cares for the people he leads, wanting them to “abound in everything” – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, in love for their leaders, and in the grace of giving. Their giving wasn’t just to meet the needs of the kingdom; but also to know a wide open heart, giving and receiving in the financial realm. There was a practical, applicable, natural responsibility to provide funds, but there was also liberal generosity God wanted them to experience in Him. It is a kingdom principle, that when we give, it causes us to abound both spiritually and naturally. What a blessing, honor, and joy to both give and receive because of our open heart.
This chapter begins with words from King Lemuel, quoting his mother. Most likely, the Proverbs 31 woman has been described by her, and shared with her son. Proverbs 31:10-31 is an acrostic poem, each verse starting with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It starts by asking, “Who can find a virtuous woman?” The Hebrew word for virtuous means, “powerful, strong, capable.” The rest of the chapter describes a productive woman that works hard for her family, has a business, gives to the poor. She is a blessing to her husband and her children. At the end of the poem, after all her work, what she is praised for is her fear of the Lord, her spirituality. She’s submitted and strong, together. God created His daughters to find their strength in Him, productive in this world, a minister in His kingdom, and a capable partner to her husband in the home and the community.