Lord, before the words of the day assail me, I wait for your word to me. Speak Lord, I am listening.
Read 2 CORINTHIANS 9:6-15
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. 9 As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”[a]
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
- 2 Corinthians 9:9 Psalm 112:9
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectAsk God to show you how to share what you have in order to help others.
In his hometown of Leeds, Robert Arthington (1823–1900) was known as the ‘Miser of Headingley’. He had inherited a fortune but lived frugally. Unknown to his neighbors, he was using his wealth to transform thousands of lives by funding mission stations, clinics, ships and many other projects to spread the good news of Jesus.* Although we may not have a fortune at our disposal, we all have the opportunity not only to meet the needs of others, but to enable them to give thanks to God (v 12). Have you experienced the blessing of being able to help others (Proverbs 22:9)?
Summing up his plea for funds on behalf of the impoverished Christians in Jerusalem, Paul reminds the Corinthians that they are privileged to work with a generous God. As God supplies our needs, we can help meet the needs of others.
The principle of sowing generously and reaping generously has been misused in ‘prosperity gospel’ teaching, but in verses 10 and 11 the emphasis is on receiving so as to be able to give more. What can you share with others in response to God’s generosity to you?
‘O teach me, Lord, to walk this road, / The road of simple living; / To be content with what I own / And generous in giving … / … I’d rather lose all the things of earth / To gain the things of heaven.’**
Generous One, I long to give in thankfulness and joy, for the furtherance of the gospel around the world.
*Brian Stanley, The History of the Baptist Missionary Society, 1792–1992, T&T Clark, 1992
**From ‘Simple Living’, Stuart Townend, Keith and Kristyn Getty, Thankyou Music, 2011
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