Have you ever thought, I don’t have the energy, time or money to do another good thing for someone else? Or I’m used up so let God choose someone else to do this or someone else to meet this need? Today’s verses from 2 Corinthians 9:7-9 address these questions and needs and shows us how to keep our priorities straight and God focused.
Paul writes, “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.” He was mainly addressing the giving that Titus was going to be collecting when he arrived in Corinth. The churches were collecting moneys for the destitute Christians in Jerusalem. Paul knew that the Corinthians were generous but wanted to remind them of how much their giving pleased God and the benefits of giving to both the giver and receiver.
I want to focus on verse 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.” This principle of blessing when we give is applies to all things- money, time and our talents. God promises to meet all our needs from His great riches and give abundantly- not just adequately, but abundantly so we can abound, thrive and excel in doing His good works. If we look to Jesus, He will supply all our needs. That is cause for thanksgiving and celebration!! God blesses us as we give out of what we have. We don’t do His work for the blessings that will come but out of our love for Him. The blessings are a byproduct of serving Him.
Thank Him today for His blessings and the opportunities He gives to serve Him.
As I have reached the end of the book of Philippians, I have been encouraged each time I have written by the JOY that Paul conveys in this short letter. Our last portion is Philippians 4:14-23. Paul applauds the Philippians for their unending support for him spiritually and financially. He praises their generosity towards him even when others have forgotten. It truly made him feel loved and cared for.
14 Even so, you have done well to share with me in my present difficulty. 15 As you know, you Philippians were the only ones who gave me financial help when I first brought you the Good News and then traveled on from Macedonia. No other church did this.16 Even when I was in Thessalonica you sent help more than once.17 I don’t say this because I want a gift from you. Rather, I want you to receive a reward for your kindness.18 At the moment I have all I need—and more! I am generously supplied with the gifts you sent me with Epaphroditus. They are a sweet-smelling sacrifice that is acceptable and pleasing to God. 19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. 20 Now all glory to God our Father forever and ever! Amen. 21 Give my greetings to each of God’s holy people—all who belong to Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send you their greetings. 22 And all the rest of God’s people send you greetings, too, especially those in Caesar’s household.23 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.
As I read this closing portion of Paul’s letter, I was reminded that this month, October, is Pastor Appreciation month. These words and their stated generosity that is over and above that which others had done spoke to me. I asked myself, what have I done, how have I shown my appreciation to God’s servants at my church? Would they consider my generosity and loving care a love that goes over and above?
For their generosity and loving care, Paul pronounced a blessing promise on these believers and all of us in verse 19. “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Paul knew the one who took care of him and was sovereign over all his needs. God had placed those believers there in Philippi to take care of His servant Paul. We can know that same assurance of His care and love though our faith in Jesus. Don’t we need to do our part in taking care of the servants He has placed in our midst?
Consider this and count it as JOY that God has blessed you by giving you faithful servants in your life that love Jesus and love and care about you. How will you express your generosity this month towards those who serve you faithfully in the name of Jesus?
Have you ever thought that your gifts of love, food, blankets, or money bring back thanks to God? The New Testament believers in Corinth were asked to give donations to their suffering fellow believers in Jerusalem. Paul was headed to Jerusalem and would carry the offerings to them. Paul explains the benefits of giving to them in 2 Corinthians 9:11-15.
“Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.” Paul first tells them 2 good things will come from their generosity. Their needs will be met and then they will thank God for providing for them.
Paul then continues, “3 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ.14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you.15 Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!” Your giving and their thanks will bring glory to God and show your obedience to Christ. Then they will pray for you and give thanks for you and your giving.
Paul is showing us that giving generously to provide for others brings glory to God, and thank-filled prayers for ourselves. Giving comes back to you in thanks. Thanks is something that cannot be measured or quantified but received with grace and turned back to God brings Him glory and you good.
Your giving causes needs to be met and the receiver to be thankful = glorifies God.
Their thankfulness caused by your giving shows how much you love Jesus =glorifies God.
Their thankfulness spurs them to pray for you = glorifies God.
Consider your own generosity at this time of Thanksgiving. Do you know someone who is in need that you can help? Remember your generosity brings glory to God and will result in good for you too. At the very least, it makes you feel good to help others and pleases God by your actions, but knowing our Good God, it will achieve so much more!