(I am using The Passion Translation, 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 for this article).
God loves an hilarious giver (2 Cor 9:7). When I was a baby christian one of God's principles that He impressed deeply upon me was that of helping the poor, and being a generous giver. I was barely a year old in my walk when He opened up 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 to me and revealed how generous His heart was and that it is His desire that ours be like that also. For me these two chapters reflect an attitude of heart we should strive for in all of our giving, however and to whomever we give. (I am not going to address the tithing question in here. If you're a tither do it with a generous spirited heart attitude).
Did you know that there is a grace that empowers us to give (8v1). In 2 Corinthians 8:7 Paul states that our grace-filled generosity is just as important as our unstoppable faith, powerful preaching, revelation knowledge, passionate devotion and sharing love. The Macedonian church was under tremendous suffering and extreme poverty, and yet they gave extravagantly, far beyond what they could afford, to their brothers and sisters in Christ in Jerusalem. It says that they gave with super-abundant, overflowing joy despite their circumstances. Wow, what a testimony of their love for Christ and their heart to please Him.
Let's go over some of the highlights of these two chapters:
SEED FOR THE SOWER
God gives us bread to eat and seed to sow. In other words He supplies our daily needs plus an abundance to sow out of, and then He multiplies it! I remember somebody saying to me one day 'if only people would realize what they are doing when they eat their seed all the time'. When we sow and God multiplies it there is more to give out of, but in addition we are blessed in every other area of our lives also.
Paul encourages us to be generous on every occasion. To me that means whenever I have the opportunity to sow I should, and also be as generous as I can within my ability to give, and with a joy-filled heart. In vs 11-13 it says 'it causes many to give thanks to God', and in vs 12 'it will cause them to give glory to God'.
Verse 14 - our giving will cause them to remember us in their prayers. You know one of the most wonderful things I find about giving is that it builds relationship between people. It causes them to hold us in their hearts, to lift their praises to God and to speak blessing over our lives.
However, the ultimate purpose of our giving is to bring glory to God! (vs 13)
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