2 Corinthians 9:6-8
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
Paul reminds us that God not only longs to bless His kids but He loves it when givers delight in the giving. We are blessed to be a blessing. Our problem when it comes to desiring God’s blessings is our purpose behind the blessing. Many of us want to be blessed not to bless us but so that we can benefit. But the goal is not getting but giving. What about you, are you making it about giving or greed? While Paul is appealing to the Corinthian Christians for financial help the truth of the text applies to more than just money matters. The principles found in this passage deal more with character than cash. The focus is not on money but on ministry, and whether we will sow sparingly or sacrificially. Grace giving leads to a life of liberation, freeing us from things and circumstances. Instead of things possessing you, you start to possess them. Instead of money managing and moving your life it becomes a means for ministry. Instead of cash controlling you, and dictating your attitude and actions, you begin to control it. Financial freedom doesn’t come through getting more it comes through giving back. Today we are being taught that financial freedom comes from acquiring and amassing, that the more we have the freer we will be. Yet often more money means more managing, more possessions means more time polishing and protecting. Instead of being freed to enjoy life we become chained to our cash and slaves to the stuff. Today there are many who play the power ball hoping to become wealth because they believe that financial security will bring freedom, but statistics suggest that those who win often end up far from freed. Money becomes their master, and many end up miserable instead of merry. Money has many of the attributed of a god, power, the ability to fix problems, and provide but unlike God riches don’t provide a real relationship. The real craving of our hearts is not more but meaning, we want meaningful relationships not riches. But when we chase after the cash we end up worshipping wealth, our focus become finance not God the Father. But true satisfaction is found in God not gain. Not only does God’s grace lead to a life of liberation but it also enables us to have all-sufficiency so we can abound in giving. God is able to give us complete sufficiency so that we serve, and service is the secret to satisfaction. Today we are trying to find satisfaction in security instead of in service. As a result instead of helping out we tend to hoard. But Paul reminds us of where our resources really come from as he reminds us of the:
- Ability of the Almighty
One way God’s approval of the grateful giver finds expression is in the provision of both physical and spiritual prosperity. Do you give cheerfully or out of compulsion, are you a grateful giver or a grumpy giver? When we are stingy we start serving sparingly. Maybe it was the uncertainty of life in the ancient world that caused the Corinthians to become concern about their cash. But God doesn’t want the uncertainties of life to be a reason to withhold our resources. The Almighty is able to provide everything that we need and when we lose sight of this truth we will turn to trusting in self instead of the Savior. “God is able” is the consistent promise of Scripture: Romans 16:25 “Now all glory to God, who is able to make you strong.” Ephesians 3:20 “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Jude 24 “Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.” He is able is a promise that we need to pay attention to so that we will place our confidence in Him. As disciples we are dependent on the promise that God is able and we especially need to remember this because we are called to walk by faith not by sight. Are you trusting in your provision or in God’s power, providence and promises? The might and power of God is capable of taking care of you. God is able to give “all grace, all-sufficiency, for all things, for every good work.” Yet even with these staggering statements we don’t get the full picture of God’s provision without the word abounds. Abounds knows no limits, it describes God’s jam-packed overflowing fountain of provision and both the greatness and the goodness of His grace. The King James says “God is able to make all grace abound toward you.” Grace here is used to sum up the bigness of God’s blessings which come to us through Christ. The primary use of Grace in the New Testament reveals the unconditioned, undeserved, providing, pardoning love of God. All grace comes from one act of grace that comes through Christs work on the cross. Grace is like a diamond which has many facets, so that as you turn it more of its beauty and blessing is revealed. Grace is also like the gift of life which produces many results. Life gives shine in the eyes, color in the cheeks, strength to the arm, and swiftness to the feet. There are many sides to Grace, many manifested blessings but its source is Jesus Christ. The manifestation of grace giving is no different; being a blessing can be revealed in a variety of ways. The point is God’s gift of grace should change our lives from consumers to contributors. God not only gives all grace but gives it abundantly, He does not give it sparingly. God opens His whole hand not just His little finger. But notice that it says, God is able to make, not God will make. The responsibility for the overflowing is placed personally upon us, there are conditions we must meet. Although we have access to the full fountain of His blessing it will not pour on us unless we position our lives according to His promise. Unless we walk according to His Will we will not access God’s ability to give. So what opens the hand of God to bestow blessing? When we seek to sow, as we graciously give God opens the doors of heaven, if you want to be blessed don’t begrudge, sow with a smile not a scowl. The possibilities and provisions of God’s grace are up to individual Churches and Christians to receive. God is not stating that He will make every giving Christian wealthy in material things but it does mean that the Christian who practices “grace giving” will always have more than they needs when they needs it. Are you going to distribute God’s blessings or try to dam them up?