2 Corinthians 8:1-9 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; 2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. 3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; 4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. 6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. 7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. 8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. 9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
The grace of God is the finished and complete work of God through Jesus to redeem us. It cannot be added to or improved. We cannot work for it, earn it, and we certainly did not deserve it. Grace will also empower and motivate us to do what others cannot and will not do and one of those things is to sacrifice which can imply giving up something you love for something you love more. Some wrongly believe the word sacrifice shouldn’t even be used in the same context as grace. God’s grace will motivate you to sacrifice and God will use it as an example to motivate others which is what the Spirit of God through the Apostle Paul communicated to the carnal Corinthian church. He uses two examples of how grace motivated a sacrifice in giving that is worthy of emulating.
Firstly, the example of the Macedonians who, even while enduring personal trials and being in deep poverty themselves, prayed and pleaded for the opportunity to give into an offering for others. This they did willingly, joyfully, and liberally. Under grace, no one is too poor to give.
Secondly, the sacrificial example of the Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for our sakes He became poor that we through His poverty, might be made rich or have a full supply. He became poor in one way coming from Heaven to Earth, with Heaven being full of God’s riches but also becoming poor on the Cross, bearing the curse of poverty.
The reason these examples of sacrifice are mentioned is to get the Corinthians to realize what the grace of God can do in them and to follow through with their initial intentions to give into the offering for other saints.
Properly motivated sacrifices speak beyond the years of our life. The woman who sacrificed her precious oil to anoint Jesus created a memory never to be forgotten, even until this day Matthew 26:7-13.
Sacrifices that outwardly show our heart can also get the attention of God and open up doors of blessing. Cornelius’s sacrificial prayers and alms giving came up for a memorial (a memorandum/memo) before God (Acts 10:1-4) opening the door to the outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the Gentiles in Acts 10:44. Not that we can pay for blessings but that God sees the devotion and seeking of the heart.