Vs. 7, “But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” In the early church, remember in the book of Acts that many of Christians both wealthy & poor were giving to all of those in need. As time went on and the ministry expanded, the first church in Jerusalem was now struggling. This is what Paul is addressing…and we see him commend the Macedonian church for their extravagant giving. Tithe & offering is absolutely biblical! But Paul is also talking about giving beyond that to the other churches in need…Missionary giving. The Corinthians were blessed in many ways and one of those ways were with material wealth. While they were giving…some of them were slacking off over time, so that is why Paul was reminding them of such a noble responsibility.
Regarding application…Giving Beyond. Vs. 3, “For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own.” Giving what you are required is not that commendable in all honesty. Even pagans (the world) give tithes & offerings to their respective recipients (Whether organizations, charities, etc.) But giving beyond with the right heart is what sets the Christian giver apart. That is what Christ did…He gave beyond what we could possibly imagine. I realize that it comes at a price. I must be willing to take His blessings and give with joy & sacrifice! Each of us should take to heart he example the Macedonian Christians set for us all! Though they were poor, they gave even more! May we do likewise…in all ways (material, time, prayer, giving, etc.)