SUNDAY, APRIL 9
Author: Rev. Cody Jensen, Pastor for Become
FROM THE BIBLE
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”
2 Corinthians 9:6-9
There is much that can be said about this passage, a lot.
For starters, who wouldn’t want to reap generously? Who wouldn’t like to receive God’s love? Who wouldn’t want to be blessed abundantly, I might add? And who wouldn’t want to have all that they need and abounding in every good work?
But for those things to happen, one must sow, do it generously, and give without reluctance.
So, what does Paul mean when he says this? He’s saying, as one scholar states, “All our giving, or also our failure to do so, is a response to the prior goodness, grace, and blessing of God. Our response is that of faith—or of unbelief.” God has provided us with so much, but how do we use it for His purposes is the question? Do we hoard our possessions for ourselves, or do we share in the goodness God has given us? Do we lend our car to someone in need? Do we allow others to use a second home for retreats and rest, or does it sit there most of the year? Do we give faithfully to the work God is doing in and through Peachtree and other organizations? Where do we invest our time and money?
These are all good questions to ponder, but what do we do next should we find ourselves reaping sparingly and giving reluctantly? Dallas Willard was once asked if a person wants to grow spiritually, what would your advice be? Where should they start? He responded by saying, “do the next right thing you know you ought to do.” If giving and sowing are difficult for you, yet you know they are things you should do, then begin forming the spiritual practice of giving; essentially, start doing the next right thing you know you ought to do. Take baby steps if necessary but take steps. Everything we own and possess, including our time, was given to us by Him to be used for His glory and purposes.
God, melt our hearts to give in ways that further Your kingdom. Immerse our reluctant hearts in the well of generosity and enrich our souls. And help us to be a people that put our ways before our desires. In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray, amen.