Today let’s read 2 Corinthians 9.
This chapter continued the subject Paul began in chapter 8. Both chapters are about the collection for the suffering believers in Jerusalem.
Yesterday, I’M SURE YOU RECALL, was about how the men collecting the offering would behave honorably with the money. They would do what is right in God’s sight and in the eyes of men.
Today, here in chapter 9, the subject shifted to the givers of the offering. The Corinthians had already eagerly agreed to give (vv. 1-2) but Paul was sending some of his associates to help the Corinthians to do what they had pledged to do (vv. 3-5). Starting with verse 6, Paul supplied some motivation for the believers in Corinth to give generously. There are two things that should motivate their giving:
- The opportunity to reap abundantly (vv. 6-11).
- The opportunity to cause other believers to give thanks to God (vv. 12-15).
Verses 6-11 describe the first reason to give generously which is that giving generously is an opportunity to reap abundantly. Although the New Testament never promises wealth and prosperity for believers, this passage tells us that God financially blesses those who give generously. Verse 11 is very clear about this: “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous....” God gives material blessings to those who give generously.
Verses 12-15 talk about the spiritual results of giving generously which is that those who benefit from your giving will give thanks to God. If you have ever received an unexpected gift, especially if it was one that met an immediate need in your life, you understand these verses. Financial problems create stress for people; they cause people to worry and feel anxiety. The Bible commands believers not to worry but to ask God for his help. When God uses the giving of another person to provide that help, the believer who was rescued financially will be awed at the power of God, grateful that he answers prayer, and will naturally return thanks to the Father for his provision.
How is your giving? Have you stopped giving because you’re worried about your finances? Have you made the excuse that you can’t afford to give but you will when your financial picture improves? This passage, and many others in the Old and New Testaments, call on us to give first and trust God to provide. Giving is an act of faith because when we give our money or our time or other resources for the Lord’s use, we lose the benefits of that money, time, or whatever. So we give it up in faith asking the Lord to provide for us in the future. This passage says he will. Are you willing to claim God’s promise on this and give generously to his work?