2 Corinthians 9:11-15
11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. 13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. 15 Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!
Not only does thankful giving result in giving thanks to God but it also results in:
- Needs being met
Often when it comes to giving especially giving to God instead of being cheerful we complain. Instead of giving Him our best we tend to give Him our leftovers. But 2 Corinthians 9:11 tells us that when the Christians in Corinth cheerfully gave the result was that: “two good things will happen-the needs of the Christians in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanksgiving to God.” One of the results of people’s needs being met is praise. When needs are met, whether they are physical, spiritual, social or even intellectual they can result in a joyfully express of thanksgiving to God. So two thoughts here: first whose needs are you meeting and second when God meets your needs through others how do you respond? Let’s deal with the first question, who and how are you meeting the needs of others? What I have discovered in my life is that the enemy of service is so often self. We get so busy meeting our own needs that we often fail to even see the needs of others let alone serve them. If we are going to be a blessing to others we are first going to have to look outside of the circle of self. We have to learn to be intentional, and start looking for those who need loved. In reality they are there all around us, it’s just that we don’t take the time to look. Why are we not a blessing, because we have bowed to being busy, so we don’t have time to share God’s treasures. Instead of sharing God’s treasures and experiencing a sense of satisfaction we are serving treasure only to end up sick because of the stress. The Christians in Corinth gave because they cared; they looked beyond self and saw how they could serve. How intentional are you when it comes to being a blessing, do you look for those in need of God’s love? We live in a culture that is so caught up in consuming that we fail to contribute. Greed causes us to focus on self, where giving focuses on service. What is your go to giving or greed, do you make it about me or about ministering? What if this week you made self second to serving, what if you chose to be intentional, and purposefully paid attention to those in need around you? Second how do you respond when God meets your needs, is your response one of rejoicing? Luke chapter 12 tells us about ten lepers that cried out to Jesus for mercy. When Jesus healed them only one returned to say thank you to Jesus. Unlike the other nine he expressed his thanks to God. When was the last time you counted your blessings and thanked God for all He has given you? When we fail to count the blessings we forget how blessed we are. There is a poem penned by an unknown author that reads:
Today upon a bus, I saw a lovely maid with golden hair; I envied her, she seemed so happy, and how I wished I were so fair;
When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle; She had one foot and wore a crutch, but as she passed, a smile.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I have two feet – the world is mine.
And when I stopped to buy some sweets, the lad who served me had such charm;
He seemed to radiate good cheer, his manner was so kind and warm; O I said, “It’s nice to deal with you, such courtesy I seldom find;”
He turned and said, “Oh, thank you sir.” And then I saw that he was blind.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I have two eyes, the world is mine.
Then, when walking down the street, I saw a child with eyes of blue; He stood and watched the others play, it seemed he knew not what to do; I stopped a moment, then I said, “Why don’t you join the others, dear?” He looked ahead without a word, and then I knew he could not hear.
Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I have two ears, the world is mine.
With feet to take me where I’d go; with eyes to see the sunsets glow, with ears to hear what I would know. I am blessed indeed. The world is mine; oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
Thankful giving also:
- Glorifies God
2 Corinthians 9:13 says: “As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ.” Generous living glorifies God and helps both us and others to live a life of praise. Thankful people can serve as a catalyst to cause others to praise God for His provision. We need to always remember that our giving should be for God’s glory not ours. Ministry should magnify the master not me. Paul didn’t tell the Christians at Corinth that their giving would result in them getting the glory but rather in giving glory. How often do we give to get the glory? Are you serving to position the spotlight of self or on the Savior? The motive for ministry cannot be me it has to be the Master. Psalm 34:1,3 says “I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. Come let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together.” Thanksgiving is really recognizing our dependence upon God, and recognizing that He is the giver of all things. Are you going to live a generous life or a greedy one? A generous life involves giving thanks to the Lord, living a life that honors Him with all that we possess, lending a helping hand to meet the needs of others, and living a life that seeks to give the glory to God.