A Remarkable Truth
Last June, Nancy and I served the children snacks while they attended Vacation Bible School. While the children ate we also drilled the children on their memory verses. During one drill we showed the children that each verse they memorized had something remarkable to say. For example, Romans 10:9 says that we must believe that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. To illustrate this we talked about all the pets the children had and most of them could remember a pet that had died. But no one had ever seen a pet come back to life after being dead. Remarkably, their memory verse said Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Raising from the dead is a feat none of us has ever witnessed either in the animal kingdom or among humans. From this observation, they understood that their memory verse said something remarkable.
This month let’s look at a verse that says something remarkable about giving.
2 Corinthians 9:6-11 (ESV) esp. Vs. 8
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 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. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” 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. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
The context of verse 8 teaches that the one who sows bountifully and gives cheerfully receives a remarkable assurance! God sees to it that the generous, cheerful giver is satisfied and always supplied with enough so that bountiful, cheerful giving can happen again. Giving is a collaboration between God and the giver. The giver determines how much and which good work to support, and God makes grace abound to the giver such that the giver can give again and again.
But the real wow factor in these verses is that the grace of God produces contentment in the life of the bountiful, cheerful giver. Miserly thinking believes that giving reduces wealth and takes away money that could be used for a personal purpose. Just like Scrooge, giving is an expense to avoid. Instead, God sees to it that the bountiful cheerful giver does not miss the funds given. There is no covetousness or regret or sorrow associated with the gift. God sees to it that the giver is content by being always supplied with enough. Wow! This is a truly remarkable passage.
Our own testimony is that this passage matches our experience. Over the years, we have spent money on things that are now obsolete and/or nonfunctional or were thrown away and many of those
purchases we regret. We would just as soon have the money back. However, we cannot think of an instance where we have regretted giving cheerfully or wished that we had the money back. Rather, such giving has been and continues to be filled with joy and contentment. As assured in verse 8, God has provided for us in many different and sometimes surprising ways and always there are funds enough to give again.
My exhortation, co-labor with God through cheerful and bountiful giving!