October 24, 2015

Messy Money

“The Blessings of Giving” 2 Corinthians 9:6-11
The amount of blessing is in direct proportion to the level of one’s generosity. In this verse, Paul recounted a well-known proverbial saying: “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” The farmer chooses to either hold tightly to the seed and refuse to let it go or, with an open hand, release it generously over the ground. The Corinthians had a choice to make. Would they continue to withhold their gifts or would they rekindle the embers of generosity by finishing what they started the year before? Blessings were in the balance.

The Corinthians had agreed to participate in the offering for famine relief in Israel. Their commitment was based upon prayerful consideration. Their commitment lined up with priorities that would direct the funds to help meet the needs of Jewish Christians who were suffering. They made these decisions freely. Paul encouraged them to pick up where they left off and to give with a sense of cheer and delight. Their gifts would make a difference in the lives of people in need. This alone should have made them smile.

Generous giving brings with it a wonderful promise: “You will be enriched in everything.” Some have perverted this promise and claim God will grant wealth and prosperity to those who give. Paul referred not to material wealth, but to the many blessings God offered to those who gave generously. Sacrificial giving results in thanksgiving to God, who deserves all praise from those who give as well as those who receive.