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3 For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing,

 

3 For I bear witness [testify] that according to their ability,

The churches of Macedonia gave as they were able. Paul personally testified to their generosity. They gave “according to their ability,” not according to a standard of a fixed amount (1 Co 16:2; 2 Co 8:12).

yes, and beyond their ability,

These churches also gave beyond their capacity; they gave sacrificially. They gave in proportion to what they had, but they gave sacrificially. Paul did not ask for a specific amount to share but left it to their willingness.

they were freely willing,

Macedonia’s grace-driven churches gave of their own initiative; they did not give from human pressure (2 Co 8:5). They willingly and sacrificially gave to the church in Jerusalem of their own accord, of their free will.

PRINCIPLE:

It is a privilege to contribute to the cause of Christ.

APPLICATION:

Those who give without constraint contribute because it is a privilege. They in no way attempted to evade the opportunity to contribute to the cause of Christ. They did not plead poverty as an excuse not to give. Instead, they gave beyond their means.

Churches today need to give of their own accord or willingness. They should not be coerced, intimidated, or manipulated but give freely from their relationship with the Lord.

No one had to force the Philippians to give—they gave because they were highly motivated to contribute to the cause of Christ. It was not a matter of extortion, force, or gimmick.

Biblical giving is not mandatory but voluntary. It is not a matter of compulsion but an issue of a genuine expression of the soul.

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