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Friday, December 2, 2016

Your View of God and Generosity (2 Corinthians 9:6,8)

"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. . . And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."

Why is giving such a touchy subject among church people? Why do few preachers preach on giving? Messages on giving reveal hearts of stinginess/selfishness and challenge our priorities in life. Further, it must be difficult to preach on a subject that you yourself are disobedient in. It may be that many preachers avoid preaching from passages such as this one because they don't practice giving themselves!

What a great promise: "Whoever sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will reap generously . . . God is able to make all grace abound toward you, so that in all things at all times , having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." Nature teaches us that few seeds result in a small harvest and that many seeds produce an abundance. So too, generous giving produces abundance.

Really, giving has everything to do with our view of God and our priorities in life.
God is at work right now in our world. He has His servants spread out all over the world sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. Paul commends the Macedonians for their financial contribution toward the work of the ministry, in spite of economic downturn and financial difficulties. He, in turn, puts God on the spot as he promises God's multiplication of what remains after generous giving. 

Giving generously:
  • Releases us from the grip of greed
  • Empowers others to minister in difficult places
  • Demonstrates the care and provision of God to others
  • Rewards us as co-laborers in the ministry of others
  • Blesses and multiplies what remains so that our basic needs are met
  • And, even allows us occasionally to enjoy an abundance
No wonder Paul could say that God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:6). Real joy flows out of a heart surrendered to God. A yielded heart always is able to give possessions gladly and generously. This is true precisely because giving reflects the heart of God who Himself gave generously (John 3:16). Many Christians turn away from a deeper walk with God at this particular juncture--the place where they have to choose to give. No person can enjoy a deep and genuine walk with God without learning to give generously and joyfully.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
2 Corinthians 7:1-11:15
  • What promise does Paul refer to as he begins this subject on giving?
  • What news does Titus share with Paul that comforts Paul?
  • Read Proverbs 15:30; 25:25 and note what good news does.
  • Paul refers to the sexual immorality confronted in the reading on November 26. What is the result of Paul's dealing with this man's immorality and the church's response to his immorality?
  • What opportunities are created because some experience financial blessings while others do not?
  • What should be the basis of giving?
  • Why does Paul challenge the Corinthian believers to give to the work of the ministry in other places?
  • What battlefield does Paul refer to in chapter 10?
  • What does Paul use Eve to illustrate in chapter 11? Where does deception begin?
  • What does this passage teach you about Satan?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to help you sow generously.