Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
2 Corinthians 9:6-15
6The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 9 As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” 10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 13 By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. 15 Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
The story is told that one day a beggar by the roadside asked for alms from Alexander the Great as he passed by. The man was poor and dirty and had no claim upon the ruler, no right even to ask for a handout from him. Yet the story goes that the emperor threw him several gold coins. A courtier was astonished at his generosity and commented, “Sir, copper coins would adequately meet a beggar’s need. Why give him gold?” Alexander responded in royal fashion, “Copper coins would suit the beggar’s need, but gold coins suit Alexander’s need.”
In 2 Corinthians chapter 9 Paul told the church they needed to give and gave them two reasons why. First, their brothers and sisters in Jerusalem needed their help. Second, they had a need to be generous. Jesus spoke to this need for each of us to be generous when He said where your treasure is there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21). Generosity destroys self-reliance and teaches us to rely fully on God for all things. We actually lead our heart closer to God by giving to others. Also, there are many needs around us and John said in his first letter if God’s love is in us then His desire to bless others will flow out of us (1 John 3:17).
In this passage Paul presents an incredible law to us. It’s the law of sowing and reaping. He uses a farming illustration to explain this very important lesson. Just as a farmer sows seed with the expectation of reaping a harvest, so we too plant and invest in others’ lives and in turn can expect God to meet all our needs. The purpose of giving is not to receive back, but when you give He has made a sovereign promise to increase the harvest of your righteousness. The level of our generosity leads to the amount of God’s reciprocity. When I give, God gives back. How awesome is that?!
Paul tells us how to give here. He says first of all the blessing comes when we give bountifully. The word bountifully means to give with the intent to bless. When we give with the intent to bless missions, the church, and others God pours out blessings on us. Second, He says we must give from a cheerful heart. True generosity is giving with a thankful heart. Every time we give it’s an opportunity to remember God’s faithfulness and thank Him for it. Also, something happens in our heart toward those we bless. Generosity births hospitality. When I give to someone else now I’m invested in their life and long to see them succeed spiritually and physically. It grows my love for people.
Is your life marked by generosity? Do you give to bless the church, missions, and those in need around you? If not you’re missing out on an incredible blessing. Giving in Jesus’ name leads to transformation in the lives of others and in your own heart. It is also a seed that grows into a great harvest, and you always reap more than you sow. You can’t outgive God, and His supply of blessings never runs out toward His obedient children! He will supply all of our needs according to His riches in glory, so let’s live like those who trust in our generous Father.
If you would like to give online today you can do so at www.livinghopeclarksville.org/give
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father, you are such a great provider. You are my Yahweh-Jireh, and I know you will supply all of my needs according to Your riches in glory. Lord, this week please place opportunities to give along my path. I want to bless others with what you have given me. Thank you Jesus, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.