“Since you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you — see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” 2 Corinthians 8:7
History tells us that during the Middle Ages, whenever a soldier was baptized, he would leave his right hand extended above the water. Why? This was the hand he carried his sword in, and he was not offering it up to God. Today we might see a person with that same hand extended above the water but with a wallet in it.
Paul challenged the Corinthian believers to drop that hand with the wallet into the water and excel in the “grace of giving.” Notice he didn’t say the “obligation of giving.” We often miss this. In the opening words of 1 Corinthians Paul wrote, “I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus” (1:4, emphasis added). Aren’t you glad that when Jesus was baptized, His whole body went down into the water? Aren’t you glad His whole body went on the cross?
So grab your wallet and baptize it along with the rest of you, so you can excel in offering the same kind of grace Christ offered to you.
— from The 31 Day Believe Devotional by Randy and Rozanne Frazee