2 Corinthians 9:6-11 The Message (MSG)
6-7 Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving.
8-11 God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways so that you’re ready for anything and everything, more than just ready to do what needs to be done. As one psalmist puts it,
He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon. His right-living, right-giving ways never run out, never wear out.
This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God.
Our God is a God of abundance. There are many stories in the Bible that remind us that He is a great big God, and can make anything from nothing. Water from a rock, wine from water, a banquet from a few fishes and loaves, grace and forgiveness from a life of depravity. It’s well documented that one of the most frequent phrases from God and His Son is “do not fear”. These verses remind us to begin giving from this knowledge of abundance, and that His gifts are for everyone, not just us. When we intentionally remember that we are daughters and sons of The King, we can be secure and trust that he has a plan for our lives and will take care of us. I doubt that royalty ever worries about the next meal, the next appliance that might go out, or the next financial challenge. As God’s “royalty” we are free to shower blessings on everyone around us.
So why do I still worry and fear? I don’t want to hoard blessings instead of sharing them, a “stingy sower”. For me, the “lavish planting” is a close bond with my Jesus. When I’m close to Him, regularly talking (praying) to Him, regularly studying The Word, my silly mind is free of fearful and doubting thoughts. Studying books like “Why Give” opens my mind to God’s possibilities in my life. In verse 10, it says that he will “increase your store of seed” and “will enlarge the harvest”. This isn’t a maintenance plan God has for us – this is an exceptional plan that God has for our lives! We are not to keep this abundance, but share it. What a wonderful time of year, the season of giving, to be studying and practicing abundant giving!
Dear Jesus, pull me close to You, so that I remember that you don’t just have a maintenance plan for my life, but an exceptional plan for my life. Mold my thoughts, so that I am a kind, boldly giving, loving and sharing daughter of The King. Thank you for your abundant sacrifice, grace, and forgiveness. I love you! Amen.