Good morning my friends. Not a lot of time today so we are going to dive right into 2 Corinthians 9.
We are going to briefly re-visit God's desire for generosity from his children. It is a subject that I have been looking at in my life recently and have discovered that I am a calculating giver; sometimes giving reluctantly and sometimes resisting the need to give. The words of the Spirit today can be biting for someone like me:
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. v. 7
Cheerful? My problem is not so much money as it is time. Time works itself out in many different ways. It can be when my children do something they shouldn't have and it takes time out of my plans to correct it. It can be when someone asks for two minutes and takes 30 when I had none to spare in the first place. I was not always this way for me. I was once laid back, a go-with-the-flow type of guy but life has a way of changing us. Now, when I find myself having to do so much in such a short day time becomes something of greater worth than gold. But hear the words of the Spirit:
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. v. 8
Notice the "in all things" clause. Yah, so did I. But also notice the "having all that you need". All would also include time. How is that possible? That takes me back to the beginning of this passage:
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. v. 6
"Having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." All this because we have a generous God who "is able to make all grace abound to you". This is not the easiest lesson for me to learn but I want to learn it. I realize Paul was addressing the great collection he was making for the church of Jerusalem but this is the Word of God and this promise applies to any generosity. And there is purpose in all of it:
You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. v. 11
Rich in every way? Including rich in time? So that I can be generous with my time on every occasion? And God will receive thanksgiving because of my generosity? Wow! You may think I am crazy but I want to take this promise at face value. I know how this is applied when it comes to money but for me money takes second place to time. Perhaps for you it is a matter of your attitude toward money. Maybe it is something else. Whatever it is, if we are reluctant in being generous with it we will see it affect our relationship with Jesus. Generosity allows the Spirit to flow through us with the grace of God, affecting our heart and the hearts of others.
Take this to heart today:
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
We need to pay attention to our attitude in the day. Are we a generous people as our God is a generous God? Let's find out and then ask the Lord to increase our generosity in all things, that we would be a blessing in this world so that people will offer up thanksgiving to our God due to this generosity. Remember, it is no longer about us, it is about Jesus and the lost. If generosity of time or anything else will bring one soul to Jesus today then let us give with great joy.