Read This Week: 2 Corinthians 9

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you, their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
– 2 Corinthians 9:12-15 NIV

It has been said that people with good intentions make promises, but people with good character keep them. The Apostle Paul knew the Corinthians were willing to give. He didn’t find it necessary to guilt or force them into it. But he did see the need to remind and encourage them beyond their intent. The church at Corinth was not unlike so many of us today when it comes to giving. We need all the exhortation, teaching, and help that we can get to move from the seat of good intentions to the feet of action.

Paul understood this about human nature regarding generosity, and he outlines the proper motivation and result of giving in 2 Corinthians 9. He teaches that it comes from a biblical understanding of God. God is the ultimate giver and provider. Everything we have comes from the Lord, and He will continue to supply all of our needs. God doesn’t give one time and disappear; He is constant in the action of His giving. As Christians, we can both trust Him and follow His example. He gives, we give. He keeps on giving; we do likewise.

This passage beautifully describes the balance of grace and flow of giving that should be present in the Christian life. It begins and ends with God. He supplies our needs. We give back by giving to others out of what God has given us. We, in turn, are strengthened by giving, other people are helped by our generosity, and God is praised. Thankfulness and blessings flow to both God and man. Paul writes in verses 12-13:

“This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.”

This incredible cycle of grace and generosity is for the glory of God, the good of other people, and our joy. We can never separate the Giver and the giving when it is motivated by God’s gift of grace. Our salvation came because God believed in giving. Therefore, it should not merely be our intent to give, but our grace-filled action. He gives, we give.

12 Comments

  1. Kathy on April 22, 2020 at 1:53 pm

    In reading this chapter about how God wants us to give, this is what He was saying to me. Giving should be a matter of generosity and not a matter of grudging obligation. To be generous has more to do with your attitude than with the amounts you give. Never be afraid of giving Me too much. You can’t out give Me! I love a cheerful giver. You should give because you want to give and because I put it in your own heart to give. Your giving reveals the purposes in your own heart. True giving comes from a happy heart, and it also gives you a happy heart. Believe that I am able to bless your giving. I do it with all grace. When you live and act without contentment, you are trying to fill needs in your heart. Material things will not fill you with contentment. You are blessed so that you can be a blessing to others. I want you to be a channel of blessing, continually flowing. Jesus is a gift, and salvation is a gift. My indescribable gift should fill you with gratitude.The best motivation for giving is always gratitude.

    What this said to me was there are many different ways to give, your time, encouragement, giving back by volunteering, paying your tithe, and giving love gifts to people around me. God was also telling me to quit trying to fill my needs with material and worldly things. God wants me to be open to Him filling my needs.

    • Jason on April 27, 2020 at 2:42 pm

      Thank you for this insight, Kathy. I really appreciated this thought: “You should give because you want to give and because I put it in your own heart to give. Your giving reveals the purposes in your own heart. True giving comes from a happy heart, and it also gives you a happy heart.”

      True giving does reveal the content of the heart and when it is in the stream of gratitude to God, it makes our heart happy. There is nothing more fulfilling than blessing others with the right motive. It is the essence of giving and certainly captures the attitude of Christ.

  2. Ken on April 23, 2020 at 6:22 am

    Giving is a flow of God’s love to us and is meant to be flowed through us to others. Don’t stop the flow, keep giving generously as God directs you.

    • Jason on April 27, 2020 at 2:05 pm

      I agree wholeheartedly, Ken. We have to keep giving as God gives and not disrupt the beautiful flow of generosity that He started at the cross. It matters so much.

  3. almaschmidt on April 23, 2020 at 11:08 pm

    This week there was so much in 2 Corinthians and God gave me a song called, “Giving”:

    Let’s have a heart like the Lord, a heart like the Lord
    A giving heart like our Lord

    His heart is full of kindness, always ready with his cheerful attitude
    His heart of gratitude

    We are blessed, blessed to have God’s grace
    His righteousness endures forever

    Let’s have a heart like the Lord, a heart like the Lord
    A giving heart like our Lord. Amen.

    God loves when we have a giving heart to others. We must make sure when giving that we always give with him inside our hearts. Let the Lord flow through you so that others will feel his love.

    • Jason on April 27, 2020 at 2:37 pm

      I love this, Alma. I tend to forget when the Scriptures call us to be “cheerful givers” that God is the most cheerful of all givers. The Bible says in Isaiah 53:10 says:

      “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.”

      This shows us that God gave Jesus out of His good pleasure and cheerful attitude to bring glory to Himself and redeem mankind. Thank you for reminding me that God is a cheerful giver.

  4. Heidi on April 24, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Let each one give [thoughtfully and with purpose] just as he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver [and delights in the one whose heart is in his gift].”

    Over the years of my journey with God, I have learned how important it is to give our tithes and offerings because there is a purpose for it. It helps people that are in need. I love giving with a cheerful heart because God has always taken care of us! Like Paul, he learned to be content with and without things.

    When you have been without, you learn to be sensitive to the needs of others. Then you can give with a cheerful heart because you know they will see Jesus in you. God is saying to me and you, “The more you spend time with Me, ask Me what I’m doing, and become a part of that, you will be blessed with My peace and joy. So learn more and more about how to be a cheerful giver.” I am so thankful to God for always blessing us!

    • Jason on April 27, 2020 at 3:24 pm

      I love this line, Heidi: “When you have been without, you learn to be sensitive to the needs of others. Then you can give with a cheerful heart because you know they will see Jesus in you.” I agree that our own experiences make us more sensitive to others in need. When we give cheerfully, people definitely see something different than the world and it indicates the heart of God.

      I would also say that when we know what it means to go without and we give to others, the cheerfulness and happiness can often be the same feeling we felt when someone gave to us. Just like the feeling we had when we realized God gave His son, Jesus for us. That was a cheerful moment for me. Thank you for pointing this out in your comment.

  5. Jeri Centers on April 24, 2020 at 5:45 pm

    God gave me a poem from 2 Corinthians 9:15:

    A time to give, and to share the love of Jesus everywhere.
    A time to bless, and be blessed to find peaceful rest.

    A time for joy, and sing about our Lord Jesus.
    A time for peace, and for praise, for hope in His ways.

    What that means to me is that it is time to rejoice and enjoy the love and grace of our Lord and Savior. It’s time to give and receive and show why we all believe.

    • Jason on April 27, 2020 at 2:58 pm

      I agree, Jeri. There is never a bad time to share the love and grace of Jesus, but especially when circumstances are difficult and people are feeling uncertain and fearful. It is time for those who believe to express the joy and peace that can only come from a relationship with God.

  6. Samuel Centers on April 24, 2020 at 5:45 pm

    This week, we have been in 2 Corinthians Chapter 9. While this chapter is full of many thoughts about blessing as many people as you can, God has drawn my attention to the fact that God gives us well above what we need. This is for a reason. We are not to keep things for ourselves. We only need a little and others need more than we do.

    I would like to impress on you all to think in this manner. It’s not how much you can buy in these times but what you can leave for others. Thank you, God.

    • Jason on April 27, 2020 at 3:11 pm

      Sam, I agree with and receive that challenge. God has given so we can give. He always supplies our needs and is sufficient for us to not only have what we require but to give out of that same provision. Thank you for the convicting word.

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