Give So The Lord Can Bless You
2 Corinthians 9:6-15
Last week, I closed the message by taking a quick look at 2 Corinthians 9:6-8. Today I want to look at verses 6-15. Let me give you a little review and background: When Paul was in Corinth he spoke passionately about collecting an offering for the troubled church in Jerusalem. They had started collecting somethings and some money, but it had not yet been sent. The Corinthian Church was eager to contribute something, they wanted to be counted among the number of those who were showing their love. Paul envisioned that in the collecting and sharing of this gift the relationships and fellowship of all the churches involved would be strengthened and the collective church would be blessed.
So, why give?
2 Corinthians 9:6 “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” There is a spiritual principle that you always reap from what you sow. You can sow seeds of corn and you will reap corn. You can sow doubt and fear and you will reap doubt and fear- and you may not even realize what you are saying and doing. You can’t sow bad seed and have a good harvest. Paul is saying if you sow sparingly into God’s Kingdom, He can only give you a small blessing. However, if you sow generously into God’s Kingdom He will bless you generously, bountifully. Bountifully implies more than you need!
Jesus said something similar in Luke 6:38
“Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
Back to Paul and Corinth, because this collection had been mentioned several times, Paul did not want anyone to feel like he was twisting their arms and forcing them to give more than they wanted to.
Verse 7, Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Seek the Lord’s wisdom in this matter through prayer. How much is the Lord leading you to give? Make up your mind, be settled on an amount, then give with a glad heart. Be thankful to contribute to the work that the Lord is doing. Then experience delight turning into joy as you see how God provides for you. God doesn’t want tithing or any of your giving to become legalistic or a drudgery. God’s generosity comes out of His goodness. Because He is so eager to bless you and provide for you it is almost like He is insulted if you don’t give with a glad and cheerful heart.
Verse 8, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”
This is an amazing Promise! You decide to sow abundantly, and God promises to make all grace abound to you. Grace is the means by which we access God. It is grace that gives us God’s power. You sow abundantly, and God promises to give you the resources to be sufficient in all things at all times. Why would God do that? Why would He make such a promise? The answer is at the end of the verse: So that you may abound in every good work. You are a steward of what God has entrusted to you. So, He blesses you abundantly so that you have the money to bless others. You have become part of God’s supply line. You gave generously, next God responded by giving you sufficiency in all that you need. Then you realize you have more than enough--so you look to see what assignment God has for you: you could hire another employee, you could do some extra mile giving and make a donation to the building fund, you could partner with a Christian ministry--whatever God leads you to.
Verse 9 “As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” Paul supports his claim in verse 8, with this quote from Psalm 112:9 The Psalmist is describing the Righteous Person: who shall not be moved.
Verse 10 “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.”
Paul now offers a prayer. The prayer brings to our attention that it is the Lord, who supplies the seed, and all the bread for our food. Paul prays that the Lord would multiply your seed, multiply the sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness--that is your good deeds and generosity! You could say Paul is praying this prayer for you!
Verse 11 “You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.” Paul is pointing out thatas you trust God that He will bountifully and graciously provide. God’s divine bounty gives you the ability to give generously which produces thanksgiving. It produces thanksgiving in two ways: One, you are thankful for God’s blessings and for working through you. Second, as in this case the saints in Jerusalem are thankful for the material goods and monetary blessings they received through the apostles from the Corinthians and other Christians.
Verses 12-13 “For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 13 By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others,” Paul stays with the same theme for two more verses. Let me lift up a couple of ideas. Paul is sharing a vision of praise and thanksgiving breaking out because of the benefits of this special offering the Corinthians are participating in. The goal of every Christian endeavor should be to glorify God; here Paul is reminding us that God inhabits the praise of His children. Along with the Church of Corinth, Christians in Macedonia and Achaia were also collecting donations for the church in Jerusalem. Paul is thinking of the collection as a ministry that unites and builds a sense of fellowship. Whole congregations gaining respect for other congregations thanking God for their encouragement and support. The long-term effects would include the ongoing gratitude for God’s goodness and generosity.
Verse 13, the believers participated in the ministry which gave glory to God, because they were willing to submit to the Gospel, their confession showed other Christians their sincerity. They have professed their faith in the Gospel and by their confession submitted to the Lord Jesus Christ now that submission was being acted out in a tangible way; and Paul is lifting up their example.
Verse 14 “While they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.” Here, the word of your generosity is spreading, which results in more people praying for you. You have enlarged the circle of people who want to be your friends and they presumably keep praying for God grace and blessing to remain on you. Why? Because of the surpassing grace of God. Because of the grace mentioned in verse 8 “making all grace abound to you.” God wants you and me to be generous--as He is generous!
I close with verse 15 A little explanation is need here. The natural flow of verses 6-14 would suggest that the inexpressible gift, of God is His grace. That is true. But it would seem like an exaggeration to think that the highest praise that Paul would give would be for our generosity. No, it would seem like all the thoughts of giving generously and the blessings that flow from being empowered by God’s grace--have brought Paul to his favorite subject, which is Jesus Christ and Him, crucified, raised from the dead, our living Savior. The inexpressible gift is God’s gift of His only Son to be our Savior! Because God loves you so much that He was willing to give you His Son, He is also willing to be generous and free with His grace to meet your needs to overflowing.