2 Corinthians 9

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Read 2 Corinthians 9

There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people. For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be.For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.

Generosity Encouraged

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.”

10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Go Deeper

If you have ever been coached, you have probably heard the term “mindset is everything”. In today’s reading, Paul’s words can help us reframe our mindset towards generosity.   

In the Old Testament, a new concept called “tithing” is introduced to the Israelites, God’s Chosen People. The practice of tithing was an obligatory offering requiring 10 percent of the Israelites harvest. Since tithing was a part of the Law of Moses, it carried on in Hebrew tradition all the way up to the time of Paul’s culture and became a part of traditional church practice. In fact, if you have spent any extended amount of time in a church setting, there is a pretty good chance that you might have come across that word whenever it comes to conversations in church involving finances.  

Before he became a missionary, Paul was a teacher of Jewish law. This means he would have been very familiar with the practice of tithing. However, we do not see Paul encouraging the idea of only giving 10%. Instead, he highlights the sacrificial giving habits of the Gentile Christians as a way of showing that giving without being constrained to a minimum percentage reflects the mindset that God desires from all of us when it comes to our generosity. 

One thing to notice in this chapter is that the gentile Christians here were not giving to the church as an organization, but rather coming alongside each other as believers and exercising generosity by locking arms together and meeting each other’s needs. A tendency of believers today is to think of the church exclusively as an organization. This is a misplaced understanding. The church is not a building. The church is people. You and I are the church! 

When it comes to generosity, God doesn’t want us to simply check a box, or cross an item off a list. The practice of generosity is not about reaching a particular standard, or even a suggested minimum/maximum. It’s about being generous from the depths of your heart. Christ is the ultimate example for us in this regard. He willingly sacrificed all of his life–not just 10% of it–so that we can live in relationship with him! In the same way, we should have a mindset towards generosity that finds us willing to lay our lives and resources down for others!  

In closing, Paul points out at the end of the chapter that our generosity directly correlates with our gratitude for God’s provision in our own lives. When we act out generosity, we express gratitude! To give is to be grateful. Therefore, it would be fair to ask the question, “If we are not being generous, are we actually grateful for God’s provision in our lives?” How’s that for a mindset shift? 

  1. Who is the most generous person you know? Why did you choose them? What motivates their generosity? 
  2. How would your life look different if you exercised generosity to the level of the Gentile Christians in this passage?  
  3. What would your generosity say about how grateful you are for all God has done in your life? 
Listen Here

Listen to this song about thanking God for his generosity towards us!  

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4 thoughts on “2 Corinthians 9”

  1. On December 7th, 26 years ago, our last child made a surprise arrival at 26 weeks gestation. Weighing 1 lb. 13 oz., she would spend the following 94 days in NICU. We were immediately wrapped in the generosity of our home church. Gift cards, meals, prayers, stocking our freezer with food, decorating our house for Christmas, buying gifts for our children, hospital visits and numerous other acts of kindness remained constant throughout this journey. This left an indelible mark on our family of 9 in the most profound way, as our local body ministered and carried us through one of the scariest times of our lives. We were shown the wonderful grace of God, which now compels us to do the same. I teared up this morning reading this chapter that reminds us “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” (v8). He did then, he will now!

  2. I am so thankful for Ella’s home church who were “the Church” for the Snodgrass family, WOOHOO!!! That is how it is suppose to work every single day.
    Today is also a day of remembrance for our country, of Pearl Harbor Day. Pearl Harbor Day, is observed annually in the United States on December 7, to remember and honor the 2,403 Americans who were killed in the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941, which led to the United States declaring war on Japan the next day and thus entering World War II. There were many wounded and all those that helped during this time are to be honored as well. I wonder how the “church” showed up during this time. I know during our “911” days we heard, read and saw how people rallied around others during these dark days. How terrible it is that it takes a tragedy to make us wake up to be the “church”.
    Instead of waiting for tragedy or a holiday we should be watching, listening and being the hands and feet of Jesus by cheerfully giving. I am mostly always (99%) at the East Commons door at the 11 AM service as a greeter. If you have a need come find me. If I can not meet it, I will find out who can come along side and help. Never be afraid to ask for help. Let me and others be what Paul is telling us to be and do here in Corinthians. The reason for the grace that overflows and the reason for every need being provided in every way is so that we may excel in every good work! To the Glory and Honor of God!!! WOOHOO!!!

    God thank You for cheerfully giving that is freeing me from the bondage of greed and materialism. God I want to be more content and to be a blessing for You. God I know Your point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. I must give as I have decided in my heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for You God loves a cheerful giver. God I know You are able to make all grace abound to me, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, I may abound in every good work. As it is written,
    “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
    his righteousness endures forever.”
    He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. I will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through me will produce thanksgiving to You, God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to You, God. I am so thankful for how You meet my needs. Thank You for eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart to do Your will in meeting someone elses needs in Jesus name amen.
    WOOHOO!!! again and again WOOHOO!!!!

  3. Amen! Thanks to God for the work of His people!

    v. 7 “for God loves a cheerful giver.”

    I am not always as “cheerful” as I should be . . . need to work on that!

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