2 Corinthians 9
OH YEAH... THE GIFT WE PROMISED: Pledges are easy to make but hard to keep. The Corinthians had made a big pledge to contribute to the fund for the church suffering from the famine in Jerusalem, so big that Paul was excitingly sharing the news with the churches he visited in other parts of the Roman empire. This chapter is Paul's way of reminding them that the time is quickly coming for them to put their money where their mouths are.
HEALTH & WEALTH GOSPEL? Perhaps you've heard modern day hucksters like Joel Osteen or Benny Hinn who promised that if you just donated a little 'seed' money to them, God would turn and bless you far beyond your wildest dreams. This is the farthest thing from Paul's mind as he writes that those who 'sow generously will also reap generously... because God loves a cheerful giver (v6-8).' But you're not expected to give money with the expectation of a financial reward, rather, you are to give generously 'so that you will abound in every good work, and so that your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. (v8, 11).'
FARM YOUR GIVING: It does feel good to make a contribution to a worthwhile cause, but Paul's metaphor of sowing and reaping calls you to do more than just write a check. Just as you would not walk away from your newly seeded crop and not come back until harvest, you should be invested in the causes you give to. Give the non financial gifts you've been blessed with as well, such as your experience & talents, to help organizations grow & develop and become even better outlets of God's grace.
YOU HAVE WHAT YOU NEED TO GET IT DONE: It's always nice to be short of resources because it gives an excuse for not getting things done. But today's passage takes that excuse away. Verse 8 says that:
you have been blessed abundantly by God, so...
in all things and in all times,
you have everything you need to abundantly produce good works.
It may not always seem like you have the time and money to adequately serve God. In fact, it will hardly ever seem like you have enough time and money for anything you need to do. But know that even if you're penniless, you have everything you need to produce the good work God is calling you to do in the situation that you're in.
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father God, who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness (v10)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Realize how you have been enriched by God in every way so that you can be generous in every occasion (v11)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: