Above and Beyond


2 Corinthians 8-9, Nehemiah 12-13

2 Corinthians 8:7 – But as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in your love for us – see that you also excel in this act of grace.

Lord God, you held nothing back when it came to loving me.  Though you had all things at your disposal and were rich, you gave it all up and held nothing back from me.  And you did all of that for me.  You gave up up your life, pouring out all of your life-blood for my salvation.  And there’s more.  Lord Jesus, you continue to give me grace in place of grace already given.  And you don’t just give a little bit, you give abundantly and extravagantly. You are over-the-top in your loving of me.  Fill me with your Spirit and help me to be just like you.  Help me to excel and abound in all that I do.  Forgive me for the times that I have done things half-heartedly.  And instead, help me to pursue you and your ways with reckless abandon, just throwing myself into it all.  Help me to excel in my believing and in my speaking.  Teach me to salt and pepper my every conversation with your Word and your truth. Fill me with more and more knowledge and an earnestness for the work to which you have called me.  Most of all, help me to abound in giving to others.  It’s easy to be stingy and closed-handed.  Lord God, move me by your love and promised care of me to give generously and with open hands to any and all who may need generosity from me.  Help me to be like you in this, dear Jesus.  Amen.