2 Corinthians 9:6-15
6 What I mean is this: the one who sows a small number of seeds will also reap a small crop, and the one who sows a generous amount of seeds will also reap a generous crop.
7 Everyone should give whatever they have decided in their heart. They shouldn’t give with hesitation or because of pressure. God loves a cheerful giver. 8 God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace. That way, you will have everything you need always and in everything to provide more than enough for every kind of good work. 9 As it is written, He scattered everywhere; he gave to the needy; his righteousness remains forever. [Psalm 112:9]
10 The one who supplies seed for planting and bread for eating will supply and multiply your seed and will increase your crop, which is righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous in every way. Such generosity produces thanksgiving to God through us. 12 Your ministry of this service to God’s people isn’t only fully meeting their needs but it is also multiplying in many expressions of thanksgiving to God. 13 They will give honor to God for your obedience to your confession of Christ’s gospel. They will do this because this service provides evidence of your obedience, and because of your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone. 14 They will also pray for you, and they will care deeply for you because of the outstanding grace that God has given to you. 15 Thank God for his gift that words can’t describe!
Paul was gathering a gift for Christians in Jerusalem. He was more concerned with the spirit in which people gave, though, than with the amount raised. “God loves a cheerful giver” was not just an upbeat slogan. It was a serious call to check why they gave—“They shouldn’t give with hesitation or because of pressure,” he said. Paul didn’t invent that idea. In Exodus 25:2, the word about offerings to build the desert tabernacle was “Receive my gift offerings from everyone who freely wants to give.” Then Paul wrote, “God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace” (verse 8), and “You will be made rich in every way” (verse 11). Paul, a traveling Christian preacher who owned, as far as we know, no real estate, no life insurance policy, and no retirement plan, wrote about having more than enough!
- Have you ever given reluctantly or under compulsion? What was that experience like? For what reasons would God want us to give from free, grateful hearts without coercion or pressure? Have you ever given that way? If so, how was that different from giving under pressure? In verse 15, Paul exclaimed, “Thank God for his gift that words can’t describe!” What gift was he talking about? When (if ever) have you received a gift from someone that “left you speechless,” that words couldn’t fully describe? How would you compare that kind of experience with God’s freely-given gift which Paul described?
Support. At some point we are all in need of support from those around us. Even if we have a hard time receiving help, the support we receive can fill us with a deep sense of gratitude and can bring joy to those offering it.
Think of someone that you know who could use some support – it could be emotional support, financial support, or support in getting something done. What might you be uniquely gifted to be able to share with them? Make a commitment to give back to them in some way and talk about the experience here.
Lord Jesus, open my eyes to the abundance you provide around me. May my heart sing as, out of your abundance, I seek to be your physical presence to the people in my world. Amen.
For your family’s planning, there will be Easter Egg hunts next Saturday, April 13 at Resurrection’s Leawood, Downtown and Blue Springs campuses. (The West campus egg hunt happens a week later on April 20.) Click on each campus name for more details, and don’t miss the fun!
Adults, gather several pennies and hide them throughout your home. Place a bowl in the center of the room. Ask your children to hunt for the pennies. (Pennies can be a choking hazard, so very young children should be supervised.) Let each child place the pennies he or she collected in the bowl. Ask, “If this was all the money our family had, what would you do with it?” Read aloud Luke 18:9-14. Ask, “What is more important—God or money? Why do you think Jesus wants us to share? How does God want us to feel when we give?” Decide where you will give the pennies. Pray for the people who will receive them and thank God for your blessings.
Trevor Sinclair is a junior at Blue Valley West High School. He is involved with Rezlife and Sunday School at Resurrection. As a competitive swimmer, he says he spends a lot of his free time swimming back and forth in a pool. He also spends a few hours a week working at the The Well Bookstore at Resurrection.