Giving faithfully - Explore the Bible for May 20, 2018
Explore the Bible
May 20, 2018
2 Corinthians 9:1-15 (ESV)
Have you ever committed to buy something, perhaps for a fundraiser, and then were surprised when the purchased item comes in? I often do this around fundraising time and find myself with way too many cookies.
After stirring up the proverbial hornets’ nest in the Corinthian church, Paul defended himself and called the church to a renewed commitment to the ministry. In these verses Paul dealt particularly with giving money to the “Jerusalem project.” The church had promised a large gift, and Paul wanted to ensure the church kept its promise. After all, it’s for the church in Jerusalem, not him. Paul believed, as he stated in 2 Corinthians 9, that their generosity would prove their love.
In 2 Corinthians 9:6-11, Paul promised that God uses and blesses the gift of the bountiful giver. Paul did not mention what they have or don’t have, but he encouraged them to sow into the ministry of the gospel cheerfully and abundantly. Paul didn’t promise that God would return the favor to the sower and make the sower rich. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 9:11 that God would increase the supply of the giver so that the giver could give more. The object of the gift is God’s glory, not one’s financial position. The gospel, Paul urged, is the motivation behind giving.
Supporting others in the work of the ministry is important. It was important to Paul, and it is important to the Lord. When the church at Corinth gave to the Jerusalem mission, they were displaying God’s glory to those in Jerusalem and displaying the work of Jesus in their own lives through their giving. Their actions became a testimony.
“You will be enriched in every way for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God” (2 Cor. 9:11-12).