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
Praise God for His sustaining grace. You’ve spent the past 21 days considering God’s heart and character, His purposes, and the response such knowledge demands. As we close this devotional, let’s go back to the passage that launched this entire season. By now, you’ve seen how the Scriptures echo God’s abounding nature – how His grace calls us to, and enables us to abound in every good work.
Let’s consider 2 Cor 9:7. Following the simple principle that as we give generously, so the return will be generous, Paul describes how they ought to give. Each person should decide what they will give, and they should do it a) not out of grief or regret; b) not out of pressure or distress.
Paul could have had in mind the very first offering the Israelites took to build the very first Tabernacle (Exod 25). God commands Moses to receive an offering as each person’s heart was moved to give. And people gave joyfully. Perhaps they were responding to the lavish way in which God had saved them from Egypt (10 plagues and then the whole Red Sea incident!) Maybe the way that God had appeared on the mountain to give them the Law (God’s awesome presence before them) motivated them to give. I’m sure there were lots of different motivations with one common element – the privilege to participate in the work of the God who saved His people
Just as the people were instructed to give as their hearts moved them, Paul commands something very similar. He doesn’t want the church to be pressured. He doesn’t want them to give out of grief. Guilt and coercion are poor motivators to true generosity. Rather, he wants them to recognize the way grace has abounded to them (and will continue to abound to them), and to give in response to that. Paul knows that they can’t ever out-give God.
Because God is so prone to overflowing, their giving could never outpace the way God’s grace abounds to them. The constant stream of God’s grace would meet all their needs and allow them to abound in every good work.
And as we believe that, joy will arise in our hearts. That’s why God loves a cheerful giver. He loves the givers who know that God has been extravagantly abundant with them, who give out of the sheer thrill of being a part of God’s abounding work to others for their good and for His glory.
- What decision is God stirring in your heart?
- What role is God calling you to play in Grace’s next chapter of abounding?
Today’s devotional was prayed over and prepared by Mitchel Lee, Lead Pastor