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2 Corinthians 9





 

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Today’s reading in 2 Corinthians 9 focuses mainly on the topics of giving and generosity. What is generosity? Generosity is the act of being kind. We see this type of kindness when we give freely and abundantly to those in need, whether we are showing our kindness by giving an encouraging word, giving financially, volunteering our time, or even showering someone with attention.

Jesus said in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

I remember as a child, sitting at the kitchen table and my dad explaining this scripture to me. He said, “Look at this measuring cup. When I pour flour into it, the measurement is different than if I were to tap the cup. When you tap the cup, it allows for more flour to be added. Jesus gives generously so we should give generously too.” I watched my dad follow this teaching on more than one occasion. Many times, my dad was that man who stopped to help a stranded motorist, he was that man who would slip gas money into someone’s pocket if he knew they were in need, and he was that man who would drop what he was doing to go help others. Jesus said, “Lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind.”

God is a generous God who delights in blessing his children. His generous kindness is seen not only in a financial blessing but he blesses us with good health, joy, being rich in spirit, a long and peaceful life, plus so much more!

Chapter nine of Second Corinthians continues with the subject of the forgotten generosity of the church of Corinth, the church had pledged financial support to the believers of Jerusalem who had fallen into poverty due to a famine. Paul believes this forgotten generosity is a sign that the church of Corinth hasn't been completely transformed by the gospel of Christ. Paul hoped this unified gift from the Gentile churches to the Jewish believers would cement relations between the two groups of believers.

Paul once had bragged about the Corinthians and their initial desire to give to the relief fund. Hearing of the church of Corinth's enthusiasm to give, the Macedonian church, despite their poverty, gave generous gifts and was happy in their giving. Paul urges the church at Corinth to remember their promise to give because being a Christian means being generous givers.

It is important to Paul, that the church of Corinth follow through with their gift, so not to bring additional shame on themselves, especially after the falling out they had with Paul. To guard against this shame, Paul sends delegates, Titus and two other Christian brothers to ensure the Corinthian’s financial gift is ready for collection.

Paul expresses when a believer gives to God, the intent of the giver's heart should be willing and happy and not giving out of reluctance or sorrow.

Paul used farming as an illustration of giving. If a farmer plants a few seeds, he receives a small crop. However, a farmer can expect a large harvest by planting many seeds.

. Leviticus 27:30 and 2 Chronicles 31:4 defines tithing for us. We know we are to give ten percent of our income as our tithes. However, gift giving and offerings are anything above and beyond our tithes. Paul uses this farming example to illustrate that a believer must decide in their own heart, how much to give. Gift giving to God, shouldn’t be done in an attitude of reluctance or in response to pressure. For God loves a cheerful giver!

God provides for all of our needs. He does this generously so there is plenty leftover, so that we can share with others who are in need.

At this point, Paul then quotes from Psalms 112:9, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”

The Corinthian’s generosity would be matched by God’s generosity. Their giving would honor God, it would meet the needs of their fellow Jewish believers, and it would result in Jewish believers joyously expressing their thanks to God.

The ministry of this gift giving would cause a powerful reconciliation between the Jewish and Gentile believers who are all one in Christ Jesus and they both would give glory to God. And that, Paul says is too wonderful for words!



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