Bible Society of South Africa
Neville Turley

Preserved in Jesus Christ – Day 5

They Gave What They Could – Part II

Bible text(s)

38Give to others, and God will give to you. Indeed, you will receive a full measure, a generous helping, poured into your hands — all that you can hold. The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you.”

Christian Giving

1Our brothers and sisters, we want you to know what God's grace has accomplished in the churches in Macedonia. 2They have been severely tested by the troubles they went through; but their joy was so great that they were extremely generous in their giving, even though they are very poor. 3I can assure you that they gave as much as they could, and even more than they could. Of their own free will 4they begged us and pleaded for the privilege of having a part in helping God's people in Judea.

2 Corinthians 8:1-4GNBOpen in Bible reader

Yesterday, I wrote of the sacrificial giving of the poor widow (Mark 12:41-44) and the boy who gave five barley loaves and two small fish (John 6:1-14).

The spirit of giving has always been a feature of Christian life. In 2 Corinthians 8:1-4, we read of the churches in Macedonia. They too were living in tough economic times, but their joy was so great that they were extremely generous in their giving. Even though they were extremely poor, they gave as much as they could.

The story continues. In the library in the Bible House in Cape Town, there is a rather weathered mealie. A little Zulu boy, in a one classroom rural school in KwaZulu-Natal, was deeply moved when his teacher had recounted the story of a little girl, Mary Jones. Her quest for a Bible had led to the formation of the Bible Society movement and making Bibles available for all.

The little boy’s mother had packed his lunch for the day – one mealie. He asked his teacher to send the mealie to the Bible Society, so that they could use it to make a Bible available to someone.

In due course, a neatly wrapped parcel containing the mealie arrived in the post at Bible House. He had done what he could.

The story did not end there. A Bible Society spokesperson shared the story at an international meeting of Bible Society representatives. The delegates were moved by the generosity of the little boy who was prepared to go hungry to give somebody a Bible. They publicised the story in their respective countries, which in turn motivated others to do what they could to make God’s word available to others.

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