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.
2 CORINTHIANS 9:6-8
Have you ever noticed how when the Bible describes God’s character the language is always overflowing? God isn’t just loving – He’s abounding in steadfast love (Ps 103:8). He doesn’t just forgive – He does so according to the riches of his grace (Eph 1:7). And He doesn’t just give grace – He lavished it on us (Eph 1:8). Think long about God’s extravagance in the way He loves and leads, and we’ll exclaim like Paul, “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways!” (Rom 11:33)
It is God’s nature to overflow, and in today’s passage Paul encourages the church to remember that the extravagant, abounding God is able to make all grace abound to us. Theologians describe the way God’s grace abounds in two ways: common grace and specific grace. Common grace is how God provides and cares for creation. Rain falls on the just and the unjust alike. Atheists and Christians are both given breath in their lungs. God takes care of the world – common grace.
There’s also specific, or special, grace. This is the grace that God gives when He opens our eyes to our sinful and lost state, causing us to run to the cross of Jesus Christ for a salvation we don’t deserve nor have earned. Both common grace and specific grace are unmerited, unearned favor from God.
Paul reminds the church that God pours His grace – both common and special – to the church SO THAT they can abound in every good work. And pay attention to the prior two verses (9:6-7). Paul encourages the Corinthians to give to the church in Jerusalem, a church made up of people they didn’t know. His assurance to them? God is able to make all grace abound to you so you can do this. God’s grace is meant to be poured out, overflowing to us so that we might overflow to others. Abounding for every good work.
- How has God poured out His blessings to you today? Spend a few minutes making a grace inventory. How has grace abounded to you? What good work might God have in store for you?
- List a few of the ways common grace has abounded to you. Then list some of the ways special grace has abounded to you. Namely, how has God met you and cared for you through your relationship with Jesus (think about your identity, your purpose, your calling, etc.)
- What good work might God be calling you to abound in? How is your list connected to that work?
Today’s devotional was prayed over and prepared by Mitchel Lee, Lead Pastor