In continuing to share Calvary University’s Advancement Department’s seven commitments, the second commitment I want to talk about today is:
- Trust God To Be The Fundraiser.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible on giving is II Corinthians 8:1-15, “We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. 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. And in this matter I give my judgment: this benefits you, who a year ago started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, ‘Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.’”
Paul is using this passage to encourage the Corinthian church with the example set by the Macedonian church. The Macedonian church was going through a severe trial, which might have been persecution because of their new belief in Christ or experiencing an economic downturn. Either way, the fact remains they were in a harsh time, but they gave beyond their means. I’m not saying this to place a guilt trip on anyone, but Paul is telling the Corinthian church that in spite of their severe trial, they can give beyond their ability. The two main points I desire to share are:
- vs. 5-“And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.” The Macedonians gave liberally because they FIRST gave themselves to the Lord. We must remember that whatever we give to the Lord, we are giving Him what is already His own. And, nowhere in the Bible does it instruct us to give away what we absolutely need for our existence.
- vs. 12-“For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.” There are numerous times when a small gift has been received by Calvary University and the giver states, “I wish I could give more.” My response is two-fold. God knows your heart and many small gifts add to a large one.
We just need to give ourselves to the Lord and HE will prompt your heart to give when He wants you to give. When you hear of a particular need, prayerfully ask God what part of that need can you supply. God is the ultimate fundraiser.
Have a joyful day!
Merv Wagner (Executive Director of Advancement)