2 Corinthians 8:1-5 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 (to beg, petition, make request) with much intreaty (exhortation and imploring) 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.
When our heart overflows with grace a certain amount of that love pours out to God in the giving of our finances. In 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 Paul began his teaching on grace impacting our giving by sharing the testimony and example of the impoverished Macedonians generous giving. These Macedonians were “in a great trial of affliction” as well as in “deep poverty”. The adjective “deep” describing their poverty is the word in the Greek “bathos.” Ships probe the ‘bathos’, which are the very depths of the ocean or the depths of the sea. Paul is saying these people were in the deepest depths of poverty, like the fathomless ocean beneath the surface. They gave out of their deep down to the depth poverty! Not only were they extremely poor, but they were in a great trial of affliction or being squeezed by the hardships of their life.
It was out of that circumstance that this grace giving came and Paul commends them for it. Out of extreme trial, severe poverty, they were overflowing with joy, Paul says, because it abounded unto the riches of their liberality or generosity. Because of what grace can do no one is too poor to give! Paul further describes them in verses 3 and 4. “For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves.” They gave beyond their means; they gave beyond how they really could, even contrary to their ability. This is grace impacting ones giving.
Now notice this: “Praying us (to beg, petition, make request), with much intreaty (exhortation and imploring) that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saint.” They did the begging, not Paul. They were saying: “Please Paul, come on Paul, let us do more, don’t hold us back in our giving.” They didn’t have it to give but are begging Paul, not for money, but begging to give money beyond their means. Now that is amazing grace! When has the grace of God ever made this kind of a beggar out of you?