God gives to us so we might give to those in need.
Golden Text: 2Co 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Our Lord is not concerned in receiving a gift that has been given grudgingly, sense of duty or out of obligation. While the giving of money is necessary for the operation of the church, it is not the only gift that can be offered. Giving of personal time, giving of work in ministry and giving of fellowship are also great tools that bring value and edification to the church. While sometimes it seems hard to give, wondering where the replenishment will come from, the reward is always greater than the sacrifice. God’s desire for us is to give out of a sense of joy, compassion and love for God and His people.
1. FOLLOW THROUGH ON YOUR PROMISE A. Excel in the Grace of Giving
2Co 8:1 Moreover (now then), brethren, we do you to wit (come to understanding) of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
…….Paul here begins this chapter by building a foundation on the example that the churches bestowed by giving at a time it wasn’t easy.
2Co 8:2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded (increased or exceeded) unto the riches of their liberality (generosity).
…….Though the church of Macedonia was afflicted, they never lost their joy of giving! Many of us wait on good times to come to bless others and find that good times rarely come.
2Co 8:3 For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;
…….When we give our best and our all, there is that power which only comes through the Spirit that performs mightily. By giving of themselves completely, they knew that the Spirit would multiply the gift.
2Co 8:4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
2Co 8:5 And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
…….Many of us approach ministry before or simply without at all, approaching the Lord for the ministry. This will always end in failure in some way. Though the intention is great, we can never work for God without Him working through us.
The first step in giving (or anything at all) has to be the giving of ourselves to God.
2Co 8:6 Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also.
…….The result of God performing through the vessel will always end completed.
Too many Christians today have works that are left incomplete.
2Co 8:7 Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.
…….Though the young rich ruler succeeded in every other thing, he walked away sadly when Jesus told him to give sell his possessions and give them to the needy. If we are excelling in on area, we cannot let that be the basis that holds us back from the entire purpose. When God says give, we can’t glory in all the other areas we have accomplished, hoping it will compensate for all!…..”yeah but I’ve done this, this and that”…..
B. Motivated by Sincere Love
2Co 8:8 I speak not by commandment, but by occasion (reason) of the forwardness (eagerness) of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.
2Co 8:9 For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.
…….He didn’t do anything whatsoever halfway! He left the throne of perfection so we might enter the throne of perfection. Think about what He really did!!!
2Co 8:10 And herein I give my advice: for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do, but also to be forward (eager) a year ago.
…….The Corinthians just like many of the church today, were compelled by God to do something great, and now an entire year had went by and they simply have not moved.
2Co 8:11 Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.
2Co 8:12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
…….if it comes to mind to accomplish, all we have to do is try our best and God will handle the rest! Ever place we lack, he will pick up the slack!
2Co 8:13 For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened:
2Co 8:14 But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:
…….If this isn’t proof of unity within the body, I don’t know what is. We have all been blessed and equipped diversely to shape the body like a puzzle. Though we all may appear to have different designs and characters, when we are all put together the picture is a perfect design. We must be plugged in where we fit in for the purpose to be fulfilled.
2Co 8:15 As it is written, He that had gathered much had nothing over; and he that had gathered little had no lack.
…….When we follow the instruction of Christ we will never go without. Though the work appears that it will be overwhelming, He will supply the strength.
2. GENEROUSLY SERVE GODS PEOPLE
A. A Delegation of Three
…….In this portion of scripture Paul is introducing three different ministers that are being sent to Corinth for ministry.
(Skip to vs. 24)
2Co 8:16 But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you.
2Co 8:17 For indeed he accepted the exhortation; but being more forward, of his own accord he went unto you.
2Co 8:18 And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches;
2Co 8:19 And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:
2Co 8:20 Avoiding this, that no man should blame us in this abundance which is administered by us:
2Co 8:21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
2Co 8:22 And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you.
2Co 8:23 Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.
2Co 8:24 Wherefore shew ye to them, and before the churches, the proof of your love, and of our boasting on your behalf.
…….Paul encourages the Corinthians to display a showing of what God had performed in them as a church. We should never be an embarrassment to those who have bragged on the work of God performed through us!
We must at all times be full of The Holy Ghost and ready to minister to those who are without! Stability and consistency is key in our relationship with God.
B. Be Ready to Give
2Co 9:1 For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous (unnecessary) for me to write to you:
…….Paul elaborated here concerning the operation of the church to the local saints. He was confident that everything they were doing at home was great, but goes on to explain that church within the four walls does not take precedence above any other ministry. We must be balanced in all environments!
2Co 9:2 For I know the forwardness (readiness, willingness) of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many.
…….First off, if the Apostle Paul was boasting about someone it must have been for the most part right.
Secondly, if he was having to encourage them to stay consistent, something may have been wrong.
Thirdly, since he was encouraging them through their inconsistencies, he was confident they would receive it and comply.
Dear Lord, please don’t ever let us be calloused to any form of ministry.
2Co 9:3 Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready:
2Co 9:4 Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting.
2Co 9:5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness.
……. Paul‘s instruction was not just a matter of avoiding embarrassment. Paul had not only commended the Corinthian‘s for their giving plan, but he also proclaimed their being transformed by the gospel. A be grudging attitude would contradict this.
3.GENEROUS THROUGH GODS ABUNDANCE
A. Giving and Contentment
2Co 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
…….An abundant harvest has never been produced by a sparingly sower. Pinching off a little seed here and there only produces limited crop.
2Co 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
2Co 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
……. those who give cheerfully and out of a heart of love will always be supplied with the ability to give cheerfully and out of the heart of love.
2Co 9:9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
B. Overflowing Thanksgiving
2Co 9:10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
…….He, the Lord that is, is the one who disperses (ministers seed) to the sower . He provides so we can provide. Out of our giving comes the multiplying of the gift and also increases our spiritual fruits of righteousness.
2Co 9:11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
2Co 9:12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
…….Not only does our giving supply the need to the poor, but it also shows our thankfulness to God, knowing that he will always provide and cause us to grow through our giving.
2Co 9:13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;
2Co 9:14 And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.
2Co 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
…….Notice that not one time were the Corinthian‘s promised that they would receive worldly blessings, but were guaranteed the spiritual blessings and provision in times of need.
Our human tendency is to view our actions, giving included, with an eye toward what is in it for us. This runs contrary to the heart of generosity God desires to cultivate within us. Selfish desires must not keep us from God’s plan to minister through us.
Giving generously is a matter of obedience to God but it should not be motivated by fear or obligation. Rather, generous giving to others flows naturally from the joy of receiving God’s profound marvelous grace. Generous giving proves that the giver is completely confident that God will continuously provide. This in itself boasts greatly on the faith of the giver and on the truth of God’s promises.