“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
2 CORINTHIANS 9:1-15 NIV
Verses 1-5 There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the saints. 2 For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. 3 But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. 4 For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we-not to say anything about you-would be ashamed of having been so confident. 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.
We must adjust our attitude about our giving. Our gift (offering) must be given generously and willingly – not extorted, not wrung out of us.
Verse 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
If we sow sparingly and grudgingly, we will also reap sparingly and grudgingly. If we sow generously – in order to be a blessing – we will also reap generously and with blessing.
Verse 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Make up your own mind – purpose in your heart to give. You decide – you choose – when, where and how to give. Not reluctantly, not sorrowfully, nor under compulsion. God loves, takes pleasure in, prizes above other things and is unwilling to abandon, or to do without a cheerful, joyous, prompt to do it giver, whose heart is in his giving. God is not pleased with a grumpy, selfish minimal giver.
Verse 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
For the generous cheerful givers – God is able to make all grace – favor, earthly blessing – come to you in abundance. So that you may always, under all circumstances and whatever the need – be self-sufficient. You will possess enough to require no aid or support and you will be furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation. When you are a generous, cheerful giver – you will lend and not borrow. You won’t need anyone to help you, but you will be the one who has and who gives to those who have a need.
Verse 9 As it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”
The benevolent person scatters abroad – he has a lot to give to a lot of people. He thinks of others and gives to the poor. His giving amounts to deeds of goodness, kindness, benevolence and justice. His giving has eternal consequences – the results of his giving go on and endure forever.
Verse 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.
God provides seed for the sower and bread for the eater. God will provide seed and also multiply your resources for giving. If you are a giver – God will get stuff to you to give. He will increase the fruit of your righteousness. The fruit of your righteousness is active goodness, kindness and charity. The more you give – the more good and kind and charitable you become. The more good and kind and charitable you become – the more you give. It’s a wonderful cycle of blessing and increase in every area. Giving will change your heart for good. Make a decision to give and keep on giving – you will get free – you will begin to enjoy your life!
Verse 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
God will bless you and enrich you in all things and in every way so that you can be generous. Your generosity glorifies God – it brings forth thanksgiving to God.
Verse 12-13 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men 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.
People will glorify God for your loyalty and obedience to the Gospel of Christ and for your generous-hearted liberality to them. You can say that you believe the Gospel, but your giving proves that you do.
Verse 14-15 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!
God’s gift – Jesus – eternal life – is free. But we Christians must decide to be a part of bringing this Gospel – free – to all those who have yet to hear!