And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. – 2 Corinthians 9:8
From Keith Holland
Last week Lindsey reminded us of how God’s kingdom is upside down from what our culture understands as normal. God does not operate on a system of finite resources and is able to take very little and produce very much. This idea of taking what people give and making more of it than any thought possible is a characteristic God reveals throughout the bible. He brought water from rocks, kept sandals from wearing out over decades, dropped what-is-its on the ground six out of seven days in the wilderness, and even told the Hebrews to test Him in this arena by continuing their tithing in Malachi. This characteristic is only compounded in the New Testament when we see Jesus feeding thousands with a child’s lunch yet having baskets of leftovers…twice!
Lindsey also mentioned the idea that too many, especially in affluent America, believe God’s blessing comes in the form of a physical, or monetary, return. God can, and does, bless in this way, but I don’t think Paul was flashing a big, toothy grin and preaching a prosperity-gospel message, “Send your seed money to the suffering saints, and watch your barns fill to bursting!” Rather Paul was encouraging the Corinthian church to look beyond themselves for every aspect of their giving.
Generosity is a matter of the heart, and just as the return will not necessarily be a physical one, the gifts we give are not always debits to our bank accounts. God pours out righteousness from a bottomless well upon those of us who are spiritually impoverished, and we, in turn, see His bountiful grace, realize our greatest needs are being met, settle deeply into contentment, and seek to funnel His generosity to those around us. We become conduits or aqueducts of His grace and sufficiency as good works flow from us. The motivation for this type of giving is not compounded wealth but something far greater: thanksgiving and glory to God.
We do not give to get. We give to exalt. We give to show people who God is. We give to point others to His abundant, magnificent grace. We give to proclaim the gospel. We generously pour ourselves into one another’s lives to remind us all of the absolutely inexpressible gift God gave to us through Jesus. Praise His holy name!
Please read this chapter this week and commit this verse to memory.