Wednesday in the Twenty-Ninth Week of Ordinary Time

2 Corinthians 9:1-8

The Cheerful Giver

Chapter nine picks up more of Paul’s instructions about giving, instructions which will bless our lives if we follow them.  Please note that these instructions have to do first and foremost with the sincerity of our hearts, and not with the act of giving in and of itself.  Giving is a good thing, but only when it is accompanied with a willing and grateful heart.

Well, having said that, I suppose the first point Paul makes really is a practical matter.  We remember that he gently shamed, or perhaps challenged, them in chapter eight speaking of the generosity of their poorer brethren in the Macedonian churches who begged to give to the relief of the saints in Jerusalem.  Now Paul tells them that he is sending some brethren ahead of his impending visit to help them prepare their offering before he comes—so that no one will be embarrassed when he arrives with others from the various churches to gather theirs with the rest of the offerings.  That was nice of Paul.  But it also reminds us of a principle we covered from 1 Corinthians 16:1-4, that giving is a spiritual discipline, something done on a regular basis.  That way money will be laid in store rather than having to rush around gathering pennies when a brother or sister in the church has a crisis which needs immediate attention.

But there are spiritual principles here: 1) He who sows sparingly reaps sparingly, and he who sows bountifully reaps bountifully.  Here is real encouragement to be generous givers, not because God is going to rain dollar bills on us when we walk out the church’s doors, as I have sadly heard some preachers tell, but because He is a God who blesses generous givers, who has already blessed us beyond measure; 2) God loves a cheerful giver, not one who gives out of compulsion.  We are to love giving away our money and possessions, or at least being ready to let others borrow our possessions.  My wife and I own a large van with which we used to pull a camper.  But it has been very useful for mission trips and youth events as well, whether we went along or not.  We are to see anything and everything we own for its “Kingdom” value and use; and, 3) God gives us ever more grace to abound in every good work; that is, we will never out give God.  Indeed, God blesses us that we may bless others, and in giving to others we are never the losers because God just gives us more.  I do not mean money, though God does that, too; I mean however God chooses to bless us.  So we should never be afraid to give (though we should give wisely, but that’s another issue).  We have been blessed that we may bless others.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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