“And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord,
and then to us by the will of God”
– 2 Corinthians 8:5 –

A merciful life is spiritual, holy, and faithful, and places everything we have and are at the feet of the Lord. It is a response to God’s mercy. Love and faithfulness toward God are manifested as love and faithfulness to others. From this love toward God flows a fraternal love among men.

In this chapter, the grace of God and the mercy of the believers are evident in their generous actions toward the needy. For Paul, a merciful life aims to fulfill the needs of others, and is evidenced in the following ways:

  1. A sincere contribution: A believer’s generosity is the result of God’s blessings and an opportunity to demonstrate the authenticity of that love. It implies the sincerity to recognize oneself as the administrator and not the proprietor of God’s resources.
  2. A voluntary contribution: The good example of the Macedonians was not meant to create rivalry or competition. The contribution had to be free. No cause, however good it may be, can be motivated by pride, vanity, and selfishness.
  3. A realistic contribution: According to the possibilities each one had, proportionally. With good will, even a small amount is acceptable.
  4. A trustworthy contribution: The reference should always be Christ who, being rich due to His attributes as part of the Deity, made Himself poor (Phil. 2:7) – in other words, was incarnated into our misery – in order to enrich us and provide us a new life and an inheritance.

“The Pieta” is a sculpture from the Italian Renaissance created by Michalangelo Buonarrotu in 1499, when he was only twenty-four years old. the work is now found in the St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. The sculpture represents a scene which does not appear in the Gospels, where Mary holds the dead body of Christ after He was taken down from the cross.

The sculpture is made of Carrara marble. Marble is a compact rock, which when heated at high temperatures has a high degree of crystallization. After polishing, the marble achieves a high level of nature shine.

Our society is filled with brilliant people whose hearts are herd and cold as stone. Beleivers are not made of marble, but flesh and bone. They are called by God to shine and shimmer, through a life that is pious, dedicated and generous. This is only possible if you submit to the Rock, which is Jesus.

Let us not be a stone like marble, with our own shine;
it is better to live dependent and sustained by the Rock.

Then our shine will be a reflection of Jesus’s brilliance.

Be blessed…