Specific Text: 2 Corinthians 8:9-12
Remember Cain & Able way back at the beginning of the Bible? Both of them brought offerings to the Lord, but Cain's was deemed unacceptable, yet it doesn't say exactly why God would not accept Cain's offering. We do get a clue as to what was wrong when God told Cain, "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it."
Paul has been encouraging the Corinthians (and by extension, you) to give generously according to what you have been given. But just giving a sum of money isn't enough. Your entire attitude must be involved, not just your wallet. Paul says in other letters what he writes here in verse 9: your attitude must be the same as Jesus Christ, who became poor so that through His poverty you might become rich.
Paul goes on in verse 12 to identify the difference between an acceptable offering, and a worthless offering like Cain's: "For if the willingness (attitude) is there, the gift is acceptable."
This attitude principle extends to much more than giving. Are you eagerly looking for opportunities to help others? Do you anticipate getting to come to church, or are your just going through the motions on Sunday morning? Do you look forward to reading God's Word each day, or do you do this because otherwise you'll get a guilt trip laid on you?
God told Cain that a good attitude is the best defense against the sin that is crouching at your door. Keep your focus on imitating Jesus, and God promises you can rule over sin instead of it devouring you.
Prayer For The Day: Father in heaven, my desires and attitude get pulled in so many directions, and I confess I don't always have the best attitude towards You or Your church. Please forgive me, and keep me motivated to look more and more like your Son, Jesus Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.