Provisional grace accounts for any and every good thing in our lives, from people who love us to good health and material possessions. James 1:17 describes provisional grace: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights.”
Provisional grace transforms our understanding of material possessions so that we see ourselves as stewards of things God has given us. Too many people believe that everything they have is of their own earning, and as a result, they tend to not thank God in sincerity for His provision. Yet the Bible is clear that everything belongs to God and that anything we have is He allows us to borrow and steward His possessions. Furthermore, provisional grace should utterly condemn in us the propensity to covet. After all, if God has given us gifts we do not deserve, we should in no way lament that He gave other gifts to someone else. Instead, we should rejoice in the way that God has been gracious to us all.
One of the ways provisional grace comes to us is in the form of finances and wealth. Paul commends Christians who lived in Macedonia, saying, “We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia,” and he goes on to commend their generous financial giving to their church as an act of grace: “But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.”64
Financial provision is one of the more tangible ways in which we experience God’s grace. Simply, every dollar we have is a gracious gift from God. As 2 Corinthians 8–9 illustrates, understanding financial grace transforms our concept of giving. Once we understand financial grace, we see that God is a giver and that all things we have received come from God, including our wealth. We are thus graced to be generous and cheerful givers, which means that those who are stingy, greedy, and do not give generously to their church and to other needs have much to learn about provisional grace.
How are you at being a good steward of and generous with the wealth and possessions that God has entrusted to you?
67 2 Cor. 8:1, 7.