January 27, 2016
II Corinthians 9:6-8, 11
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
Reaping Bountifully – The Scripture we are examining is 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.
We have covered verses 6 and 7 in the last blog. In these two verses, Paul gives us a natural truth concerning planting and reaping: in order to have an abundant crop, put in an abundant amount of good seed. The opposite is also true. He then applies the same principle spiritually to giving. But giving must be accomplished from a joyous heart first given to God through Jesus Christ! (See II Corinthians 8:5).
• II Corinthians 9:8 – “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you….” What is grace? It is undeserved favor. Have you ever heard anyone say “I just want to get what I deserve!”
I knew a young man who had a factory job. He also had a high opinion of himself, and the habit of complaining when things did not come up to his expectations. One day he was given the task of grinding down metal parts on an emery wheel – a monotonous job to be repeated about a thousand times! As he worked, he also complained to no one in particular: “I’m better than this! I would think they would realize that! I wish they would pay me what I’m worth!” He did not know his boss was standing behind him and listening to every word! Finally, the man reached over and tapped the grumbler on the shoulder. “Bob,” he said, “we would pay you what you are worth, but there are minimum wage laws!”
God forbid that we would get what we deserve! And what do we deserve?
* God’s judgement and punishment in this life!
* His banishment into eternal hell in the next!
We are sinners, by nature in rebellion against God! As it says in Ephesians 2:12 & 13 , and Colossians 1:21 (Contemporary English Version):
…you were without Christ….You had no hope, and you did not know God….
you were far away from God….separated from God. You were His enemies
in your minds, because the evil you did was against Him.
And the Lord said it twice, in Ezekiel 18:4 and 20: “The soul who sins shall die.” Death, both spiritual (separation from God) and physical (there was no death before sin entered into creation).
But because of God’s love and grace, He has given us what we do not deserve! Jesus said in John 10:10:
* “I have come that they may have life…” – eternal life starting the moment we receive Him as Savior, and going on forever with Him in heaven!
* “I have come that they may have life…more abundantly.” I believe this refers to our earthly life here and now. This is not an abundance of things – wealth, power, and material possessions. But it applies to an abundance of the fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22 and 23 (International Standard Version): “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” If these nine evidences of the fruit of the Spirit are in abundance in your life and mine, we will be living the abundant life!
It says in our featured Scripture, “…God is able to make all grace abound toward you….” He is able to do it! But are we willing to receive what He is able to give? The giving of His grace is described here in the context of the giving of our material possessions for the work of His kingdom. Are we cutting ourselves short concerning His grace by not being willing to give abundantly unto Him?
Think about it!