2 Corinthians 9

1 For it is superfluous for me to write to you about this ministry to the saints;

2 for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the Macedonians, {namely,} that Achaia has been prepared since last year, and your zeal has stirred up most of them.

3 But I have sent the brethren, in order that our boasting about you may not be made empty in this case, so that, as I was saying, you may be prepared;

4 otherwise if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we – not to speak of you – will be put to shame by this confidence.

5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, so that the same would be ready as a bountiful gift and not affected by covetousness.

Paul was telling the Corinthians why he was giving them advance notice to set aside money to send as a gift to the poor saints in Jerusalem – he had told others that these Corinthians would be giving such a gift (because they themselves had promised to do so).

Be careful about what you promise to God, because He expects you to keep your promises to Him.

6 Now this {I say,} he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

Here is a principle to remember – if you give little to God, you will get little from Him, but if you give a lot to God, you will get a lot from Him.

Some of us find it hard to give to God, and perhaps the above principle will help.

The well-known missionary, Jim Elliot, must have understood this principle, for he once said, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

Note that the verse doesn’t say that if you give (or sow) money you will get (or reap) money. You may give money and receive something else (of greater value in the spiritual realm) from God.

7 Each one {must do} just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Here is another principle to remember – if you give, you must do it willingly and cheerfully. God doesn’t want you to give what you don’t want to give.

Further, God doesn’t want you to give what you don’t want to give. Give only as much as you have purposed in your heart. Here too, if Paul believed it tithing in the New Testament, he wouldn’t have said that one must do just as he has purposed in his heart; instead, he would have said, “Give your 10%.”

8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;

9 as it is written, “HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER.”

If you struggle with giving, God is ready to help you. People who have trouble giving have such trouble because they feel that they have an insufficient amount, but God can help them to feel sufficient, and even an abundance.

The Old Testament verse quoted in verse 9, comes partly from Ps 112:9. The first part, “He scattered abroad,” is not present in the English translation, but is present in the original Hebrew.

Ps 112 is a picture of a man who fears the Lord and who is generous.

10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;

11 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.

We must understand that it is God who supplies the seed; it is God who supplies the bread.

We must also realize that God is not an adder, but a multiplier.

Realizing these things will help us to give more, and with the right attitude.

12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.

13 Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for {your} obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all,

14 while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you.

Think about this – when you bless others from what you have, they thank God and make Him look good. That’s another reason for giving – to make God look good in the world.

The recipients of your gift will also pray for you, which is another good thing.

15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

No one can outdo God in giving. He gave us Jesus. So after you have given – no matter how much you have given – remember that God gave you more, so that you don’t get puffed up about what a generous fellow you are.


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