Paul had written a letter (1 Corinthians) addressing several sins that were being tolerated in the church at Corinth. The letter had been a risk. The Corinthians may have rejected Paul, but they did not.
Paul wrote 2 Corinthians to celebrate what God had done in the church and to call on them for help. The church in Jerusalem was in desperate need of help, so Paul was collecting money from the other churches on their behalf.
Paul encouraged the Corinthians to be generous. He told them about the churches in Macedonia. Macedonia was an area north of Corinth. The Christians there were suffering, and they did not have a lot of wealth. Nevertheless, they had joy and gave as much as they could to help others.
Paul encouraged the believers at Corinth to give too. Giving is one way we can show we love God. God is generous to us, so we can be generous to others. Jesus was rich; He had glory and honor in heaven. But He gave that up and became poor by coming to earth to help sinners.
Jesus did this so that we, who had nothing, could become rich. Now we have salvation and eternal life in Jesus. As a result, Paul wanted the Corinthians to give generously and joyfully, out of gratitude for what God has done.
Your kids may feel like the churches in Macedonia who had little to give, but encourage them the same way Paul encouraged the church in Corinth. It is not the amount that we give that glorifies God—it is our level of generosity and joy when we give.
God has been merciful and generous to us. He gave us the greatest gift—His own Son. Jesus showed us what generosity looks like when He gave up His life to save us from sin. Because of Jesus, we can be merciful and generous to others.
Caution kids not to give out of duty but out of gratitude. God loves a cheerful giver. Help kids find ways they can give—whether time or money or talents—to advance the work of the gospel in your city, your nation, and the world.