II CORINTHIANS 9:6-9: “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. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” (ESV)
OBSERVATION: Am I a generous and cheerful giver? Do I see the resources that God has placed into my hands as seed for sowing, or do I hold onto them in fear that they might fly away. A farmer who never sows his seed will never reap a harvest. If fear grips his heart and he keeps the seed tied up in a bag, eventually he will have nothing to show for his labor but the sack of seed which he holds. However, if he liberally and joyfully sows his seed into the ground – it will reap a bountiful harvest.
This same principle is true in our lives. It does not only apply to our finances, it applies to our time, our talents, and our love. However, in this passage Paul is dealing with our tangible resources. There is a direct correlation between how we steward our material resources (money) and how we steward the matters of our life and heart. If we are miserly with our money because of fear or selfishness, we will also be miserly with our lives. I once added a verse to the old song – “The wallet bone is connected to the heart bone…”
The call to generosity is a call to faith. It is not to be responded to with reluctance, or because one “has to” – it is to be a response of a cheerful and willing heart. The heart that is growing in both faith and joy will not argue about whether “tithing” is New Testament or Old Testament. The heart that is growing in faith and joy will respond in generosity that exceeds the tithe, as the Spirit leads him. And as he does, he will experience the abundant provision of God. It is a provision that allows all of his needs to be met – with abundance – so that he can continue to walk in the spirit of generosity.
Paul quotes from Psalms 112 when he speaks of this call to generous and joyful giving. The generous and joyful giver’s faith is anchored in the Lord and His provision. It is never anchored in the ever changing conditions of our world. With regards to the joyful giver Psalm 112 says:
“He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries. He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honor.” (Psalm 112:7-9 ESV)
So this morning I remind my heart – trust in the Lord! Do not be afraid when you hear bad news. Do not anchor your faith to the stock market, the changing conditions of our world, or the fear of others. Anchor your faith in the Lord. Be steady. Be generous. Be joyful. Give to the poor. Give to the Lord. He will abundantly supply your sufficiency in all things! In Jesus Name!