A scripture I have had difficulty in shaking from my mind recently is they gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us (2 Cor 8:5b). Paul, here, is giving commendation of the Macedonian churches as he writes to the Corinthian Christians. He is writing about the self-sacrificial giving of the Macedonian churches. When he reaches v5b he reaches the heart of the matter as points to why the Macedonians gave with such devotion. It all emanated from a commitment to trusting in the Lord. The primary thing we see is that they gave themselves to the Lord.
This applies specifically in this instance to our giving to help alleviate the plight of other believers. However, it establishes a general principle for life and that is of giving ourselves to the Lord before everything. As we enter any situation in life we should be first giving ourselves to the Lord. It is only when this is the general tenor of our lives that we will find ourselves living effective lives.
We will only have lives that really count for God when we have lives which are always pushing back into God. This connects with this post which dwelt upon how we can be part of an effective kingdom.
So I am happily having difficulty shrugging off this scripture because it helpfully means I am prompted to implement this “giving oneself to the Lord first” strategy reletlessly in my life.