Sunday morning in worship, it came time for the contribution and 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 was read.
“Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.”
Most of the time when that group of scripture is read at the time of our giving, the reader will stop with the “God loves a cheerful giver” part. I was so glad that this time verse 8 was included because I believe that the point of this passage is to remind us that God blesses us with material possessions so that we have an abundance for every good deed. Paul continues this point in verses 10 and 11 with “…and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.” God has promised to take care of our every day needs (Matthew 6:25-32) and has over and abundantly done that in our lives. But do we remember that our material blessings are given to us to share with others? We continually work for more money and then we go buy more material possessions. When was the last time you had people in your home? Or did you just fix it up for you to enjoy? When was the last time you made a meal to share with another family?
Continuing on, 2 Corinthians 9:13 reminds us that our material possessions are to be used for the purpose of doing for others so that God is glorified. Do you watch for ways to touch the lives of those around you that are lost? You can first touch them by sharing from the material blessings that God has so generously given you. People are more open to the gospel when they feel cared about. Being a cheerful giver means understanding that God didn’t bless you so that you are rich but so that you are richly equipped to serve. Be a cheerful giver this week!
* Editor’s note: There are some excellent podcasts available on the Parker church of Christ site. Be sure to download a few and listen (click here).