For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9 (NIV)
The Macedonian church was alive. It heard the needs of others and wished to respond. The members gathered “according to their means”–and even beyond their means.” Out of their relative poverty, they still gave liberal gifts. But “they first gave themselves.” The gifts of money and means were important, but the gift of themselves was most vital.
We live in a time of impersonalness. We are numbers, part of the crowd. We find it hard to face ourselves, to give ourselves. The Macedonians began their stewardship program with self-giving, with involvement of the person. It was not a “relief” that was shared with needy brethren: it was their interest, concern, love, and means. First, themselves!
The riches they possessed were the riches of Christ. They were His children and owned his wealth. Their poverty became nothing, since they could share from the beauty of His riches to them.