Let’s get right to it! GOD LOVES AN ENTHUSIASTIC GIVER OF WHAT HE HAS GIVEN TO US! This is Paul’s message that comes from God as he teaches God’s people how to give with reasons to give. Giving is actually for us! Giving is in direct response to all God has provided and given to us. God gives us a mind to give that decides how much to give with a heart that prompts us to give. God gives us His Holy Spirit to give us wisdom with a plan to give. Joy is in the giving. We become like Him in our giving. We become closer to God as we give.
Giving from what God has so generously given to us becomes pure joy when we realize His deep love for us as He teaches us to give. Here are a few points to ponder, listed by Paul as he shares these giving truths about God with the church:
- All we have comes from our generous, extravagant God who owns all.
- Giving is one of our spiritual acts of worship to our God who gives to us.
- Because God loves to give to us, He loves a cheerful giver who also loves to give.
- God loves the enthusiasm that builds when His people come to together with a plan to give. Last minute, emotional giving is less than what God desires.
- Giving reveals the conditions of our hearts to God who sees our hearts completely.
- Having a heart to heart with God about what to give is pleasing to God.
- God delights in a cheerful, thoughtful giver.
- God gives so we can give. Astonishing blessings are ready to be poured out to those who give with the heart and plan of God. He will give us more to give!
- The heart of God is explained: “His right-living, right-giving ways, never run out, never wear out. We cannot “outgive” God!
- To God be all the glory in giving. God provides so we can provide. “He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.”
- Giving begins and ends with God who gave. To God be the glory!
- Giving is far more than giving. Giving “produces abundant and bountiful thanksgivings to God. Giving is a prod to live at your very best, showing your gratitude to God by being openly obedient to the plain meaning of the Message of Christ”.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
God is at the center of all giving.
CORINTHIANS—CALLED AND SENT
2 Corinthians 9, The Message
1-2 If I wrote any more on this relief offering for the poor Christians, I’d be repeating myself. I know you’re on board and ready to go. I’ve been bragging about you all through Macedonia province, telling them, “Achaia province has been ready to go on this since last year.” Your enthusiasm by now has spread to most of them.
3-5 Now I’m sending the brothers to make sure you’re ready, as I said you would be, so my bragging won’t turn out to be just so much hot air. If some Macedonians and I happened to drop in on you and found you weren’t prepared, we’d all be pretty red-faced—you and us—for acting so sure of ourselves. So to make sure there will be no slipup, I’ve recruited these brothers as an advance team to get you and your promised offering all ready before I get there. I want you to have all the time you need to make this offering in your own way. I don’t want anything forced or hurried at the last minute.
6-7 Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.
8-11 God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it,
He throws caution to the winds,
giving to the needy in reckless abandon.
His right-living, right-giving ways
never run out, never wear out.
This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.
12-15 Carrying out this social relief work involves far more than helping meet the bare needs of poor Christians. It also produces abundant and bountiful thanksgivings to God. This relief offering is a prod to live at your very best, showing your gratitude to God by being openly obedient to the plain meaning of the Message of Christ. You show your gratitude through your generous offerings to your needy brothers and sisters, and really toward everyone. Meanwhile, moved by the extravagance of God in your lives, they’ll respond by praying for you in passionate intercession for whatever you need. Thank God for this gift, his gift. No language can praise it enough!
Thank you, indeed, for this gift of giving. We cannot praise you enough for all you have given to us. You gave us Jesus. Thank you, dear Jesus, for saving our souls, making things right with God, the Giver of Life itself. Thank you for all you have provided. Thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for your love that caused you to give. May we love and give like you do for us. To YOU be all the glory, honor and praise! We can give only because you gave to us. You are God. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the gift of giving.
In Jesus Name, Amen