January 22, 2016
II Corinthians 9:6-8, 11
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Why is it that the subject of giving – especially the giving of money to the Lord’s work – causes many people to retreat from the discussion? It is probably because of the common thought, “Money earned is money mine!” And for a lot of people (as someone once said), “There is too much month left at the end of my money!” So, in their thinking, they do not have enough to give liberally! But they are missing the positive results God plainly tells us about giving! (See Proverbs 3:9, 10; Malachi 3:10; Luke 6:38 and Philippians 4:18, 19 for starters). Here is a powerful Scripture concerning giving from II Corinthians 9:6 through 8 and 11:
…He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows
bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he pur-
poses in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a
cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you,
that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abun-
dance for every good work…while you are enriched in everything for
all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.
I mentioned tithing a couple of blogs ago. Tithing is giving back to God 10% of your income (see Leviticus 27:30, 32). I said this in Toddlers In Christ on January 13th:
…in the New Testament, God does not command believers to tithe. But con-
servative Christian thinking gives the argument, “If the tithe was commanded
under the law, we – in the age of grace – should certainly give a tithe of our
income, and more!”
Tithing is a good place to start in Christian giving! A week into our marriage, my dear wife and I sat on our bed, and she, with tears – because this was so important to her Christian life – extracted four promises from me:
• “Will you go to church with me?”
• “Will you read the Bible with me?”
• “Will you pray with me?”
• “Will you tithe with me?”
I said “Yes!” to all four, and we have been practicing these four basic Christian things for over 47 years – all our married life together! By the way, she should have asked me those four questions before we got married! But at least she asked – and I agreed.
It was not always easy. Back in 1976, I left my first church after four years, thinking that I did not want to be a pastor for the rest of my life. I started a product fund-raising business – contracting with schools, scouts, and other organizations that wanted to raise money selling products from the companies I represented. I was told by a man already in the business, “If you are not making $500 a week after only one month, then something is wrong!” But it was six weeks before I got my first check – $67! It seemed to go downhill from there! But I still believed in the business, and trudged on.
By mid-winter we were in desperate need of $700 to pay bills, some of which were overdue. I had been reading Oral Roberts’ book, A Daily Guide To Miracles, in which he promoted Seed Faith – giving in advance a tithe of what you need, and expecting God to meet that need. We were certainly in need! And so I scraped together $70 – even taking my wife’s grocery money! She was not happy!!! I sent it off to the Lord’s work, and within six weeks – I still don’t know where much of it came from – $700 came in! But isn’t this to be expected in light of our featured Scripture? Read it again (above)!
It does not seem to make sense – you don’t have enough, so you give away a goodly portion of what you do have. But God does not often make sense to our way of thinking in what He tells us to do! He says this in Isaiah 55:8-11:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,”
says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are
My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and does not
return there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud,
that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater, So shall My
word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void,
but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing
for which I sent it.”
If, as it says in Hebrews 1:2 and 3, God spoke through Jesus Christ to create and sustain the world (see Genesis 1:3-27), I believe Him to be powerful enough to “…supply all…[my] need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19). Show your trust in His promises of provision by giving God a tithe and more of your income!
In our next blogs, we will examine our featured Scripture from II Corinthians 9:6 through 8 and 11, looking at it phrase by phrase.