Excel in the Grace of Giving

2 Corinthians 9

In the first 5 verses, Paul wraps up his discussion from chapter 8 about the collection for the church in Jerusalem. In this conclusion, he tells the Corinthians that he has told the people in Macedonia all about their willingness to give, how the Corinthians have assured him that they will be all in when the time comes to produce their contribution to the fund. He gives them a heads up that the men are coming to collect their gift, so they won’t be surprised; so they can be prepared, in other words.

Of course, he did manage to mention how embarrassing it would be if they didn’t come through with their pledge… no pressure or anything.

After this, there is a subtle shift from this specific collection, to a more general theme on giving, one we can all benefit from.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 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. 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. (9:6-8)

Who can argue with any of this?

In my experience, quite a lot of people argue with this. Oh, of course they agree with every word when they’re talking about someone else, but if there is the slightest implication that it might apply to them, they become indignant: “They just want my money”, they say. If you ask me, I’d say that if this is how you feel about it, then you should keep your money; every penny of it.

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. 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. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (9:12-15)

With these verses, Paul makes the whole point of the exercise clear: We are asked to give because we need to give, not because God cannot provide in other ways. As people who have so fully received God’s blessings, doesn’t it follow that we would want to be a blessing to others, particularly to our brothers and sisters in Christ whom we love? Wouldn’t we want to be a blessing to that neighbor of ours whom we love as ourselves?

Wouldn’t we want to bring glory and praise to God through our giving to fill the legitimate needs of others?

Well, if the answer is no, then by all means, keep your money; we’ll pray for you that God will open your eyes to see the blessing you are missing out on.

Yes, I think that about sums up what Paul is saying here, don’t you?

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About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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10 Responses to Excel in the Grace of Giving

  1. Steve B says:

    Those who sow generously become poor, ok that was my experience anyway. 🙂

  2. gaustin00 says:

    I challenged God about the verse in Malachi 3 many years ago “Bring the entire tithe into the storehouse so that there may be food in my temple. Test me in this matter,” says the Lord who rules over all, “to see if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until there is no room for it all.” and you know what? God met that challenge and beyond. So the principle is that if you keep all of what you have God cannot nor will bless you, but if you put Him first He will bless abundantly and more! It begins in the heart and if your heart is not right, God will see through that and not bless you. So to Steve B I would say check your heart. Keep your accounts short with God and give, give, give. You may be surprised at what He will do! I have lived that verse for 55 yrs and He has never disappointed and I have become rich beyond measure and not always is it monetary but blessings in how you meet the needs of others.

  3. Gary Fultz says:

    It costs a lot to be a giving person. Time, money, talent and so many ways to give, Now that our kids are grown and seem to be outdoing us in the giving area (a fun side effect from growing up this way), I think it costs way more not to be a giver on so many fronts. Besides it’s a fun way to live, and we and all our stuff belongs to God anyway. The tithe thing? there’s way more to giving than that.

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