I have been continuing in my study of 2 Corinthians. I have reached chapter 9 and have been encouraged and challenged in my own ministry of generous giving. I know one “shouldn’t” talk about “how they give” but I think understanding generosity in light of scripture does require some sort of illustration or application. What really grabbed my attention this morning was the end of chapter 9, which says,
For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. Because of the proof given by this ministry they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
Some quick points:
- Generous giving doesn’t just “meet the need” – it produces thanksgiving to God. (many thanksgivings at that!) You might give intentionally to a church, ministry or organization – and that money may go to a specific practical need – but it really generates praise to our God!! Isn’t that energizing and motivating to give even more?!?
- Generous giving is a practical proof of believing the Gospel of Christ. Being a Christian is all about sacrificial giving and generous use of resources! If you take time to read the context of the verses above you will see that God supplies for this generosity as well. God gives to you generously, give to others generously andprove that you are a believer! Glory!
- Generous giving is a work of the grace of God in your life. Those receiving your generous gift not only are praising God for it, but praying for you as well. They are rejoicing in your “liberality”. Recognize that it is not something that you are manufacturing on your own – it is a grace…a surpassing grace…of God in your life.
No wonder Paul pens, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”
Think about how you are using your resources. (not just money, but time, creativity, gifts, energy, home, vehicles, abilities, etc) Are you being generous with them? Are you missing out on opportunities for God to receive glory in your life? Would you consider how to become more generous with your resources?
Take time to write out resources that are available to you – be specific. Try to list at least ten.
Pray about and list needs in your circle of community: church, family, neighbors, community at large.
Write down at least three ways that you can use your resources to meet those needs. Be specific.
Act on those needs before the end of the month. You can do this! Be generous and may God be glorified in your giving!