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Enriching the Heart of the Giver

Monday, August 21, 2017

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 (2 Corinthians 9:10, esv).

God promises in His Word to bless the giver—He just comes right out and says it. Not once or twice but numerous times. Yet as nice as it sounds, maybe there’s something in you that feels uneasy about such a brash declaration. You detect a tinge of false theology imbedded in there somewhere—this idea that if you give a certain amount of money to God, you’re pegging Him in to respond to you in like fashion. You’re giving, yes (that’s good), but you’re expecting a payback in return. Something just doesn’t sound right about that.

Except that if God has decided He wants to motivate your giving by telling you up front what He’ll give you if you do, who are you to say His inducement is beneath you?

“It’s outright impossible to out-give God.”

And what if financial blessing is only the beginning (even the least) of the benefit package?

Based on what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9, it’s outright impossible to out-give God. If you are generous in your giving, you can be absolutely confident that “he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing.” Your needs will be abundantly met. And more.

And that’s not even the best part. You can also expect . . .

Abundant righteousness. “The harvest of your righteousness.” Within the dynamics of your genuine, non-compulsory giving, God may take the opportunity to set you free from a stubborn, sinful habit. He may relieve you from a debilitating bondage to anxiety. He may release you from a certain addiction or lifestyle pattern that has plagued your family for generations. In some measure, He will take action that impacts your personal righteousness for the better.

Abundant ministry. “You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way” (2 Corinthians 9:11). In being part of meeting others’ needs by giving to the Lord, your generosity will overflow “in many thanksgivings to God” (2 Corinthians 9:12). Lives will be touched. Hearts will be changed. You’ll be able to look down at the fruit of your investment and say, “I can’t believe how God is using me—me!—to bless and serve people like this.” Do you know how many never feel that? Largely because they’re not being generous in their giving.

Abundant relationships. Those to whom you minister “will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others” (2 Corinthians 9:13). As you give, God begins to surround you with those who are blessed by what you’re doing. He keeps filling your life with people who soon become new friends, as well as new brothers and sisters in Christ.

Abundant worship. “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15)! As if all these other things aren’t enough, God works through your giving to grow in you a deeper capacity for worship . . . because nothing else owns you now. Nothing else controls you. You are no longer enslaved by selfish wants and wishes. Therefore you’re unshackled, unburdened to worship Him with your whole heart.

And this is the kind of abundance that always flows from our generous Father as His children follow in His steps.

Journal

  • What keeps you from sowing as generously as you could?
  • How have you experienced some of these returns on your giving investment?

Pray
Lord God, thank You for making even something like personal sacrifice part of how You increase joy in my life. Thank You for Your good and generous heart, and for the fact that it is impossible to “out-give” You. Give me courage to repent where I have doubted and failed You in my willingness to sacrifice. And give me greater faith going forward, inspired by the abundance of Your grace and the joy of trusting You. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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