2 Corinthians 9:6-15
During the Christmas season, we hear messages of generosity. People donate to food banks during the holiday season more than any other time of year. Various businesses and churches may have a giving tree on display so people can buy Christmas gifts for families in need. This is a wonderful way to reach out to others and even be able to do so anonymously. In fact, it is wonderful to see that for many people Christmas isn't all about getting gifts, it is about giving to others. For those who follow Christ, it isn't just a good idea to give generously to those in need, it is something we are told to do. As I have been exploring how only God provides our needs, I want to look at what our response should be. Please look up 2 Corinthians 9:6-15.
Paul begins with an analogy about a farmer who plants seeds; he either plants sparingly or generously. Whatever he plants is what he sows. I have heard this used to tell people that if they give generously, they will receive generously; however, I believe that is taking this verse out of context. If you continue to read further on in this chapter you will see that Paul comes back to the farming analogy again in verse 10, "For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you." God is the one who provides seed for the farmer to sow! I think the way to look at these verses is that God gives to each person so they can give generously to those in need.
Verse 11 tells us that the reason that we receive from God so we can give to others. Paul explains that there are two things that happen when we give generously: the needs of others will be met and in return they will give God the glory. All of this is to give glory to God. I think all of this happens when we have a healthy perspective on who is the one who is our Provider. When we remember that everything that we have comes from God and it all really belongs to Him, we can have a more generous outlook when it comes to our money and possession.
What about the Christ followers who are out of work and are on the receiving end? This economy has been hard on many families who are on the receiving end of generosity for the first time. There are other ways that we are able to give generously. You have other gifts that God wants you to share with others. Perhaps you are an organizer and could help organize efforts to help others in need. Perhaps you have the gift of encouragement and you could visit and encourage those who are unable to leave their home or you could visit a nursing home. Perhaps you could generously give of your time by volunteering at your church or a local ministry while the kids are at school.
No matter what God has given you, He has also given you the opportunity to share it with others. Sometimes we can be in a spot where it can be difficult to see how can do it; pray to God to reveal what it is that He would like you to do and He will reveal it to you. Remember, the greatest gift He has given us is His unfailing love and grace and we are to share that with others. One way to share His love is to give to others. God gives to us so we will give to others.
Do you remember where your gifts come from? Do you remember who your Provider is? Are you giving to others out of the love you have received from God?
Linking up with iFellowship Blog Hop and Word Filled Wednesday.