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Cycle of Generosity

Cycle of Generosity

Words of Faith 11-27-17

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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2 Corinthians 9

     [9] As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever."

     [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. [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.

 

     What does abounding grace look like in the life of a believer? Lavish wealth and a posh lifestyle? Paul quoted Psalm 112 to paint a picture of abounding grace in the life of "the man who fears the Lord" and the positive results of his generous giving.

     The Psalm says that from "the wealth and riches ... in his house" (112:3a), the God-fearing man freely distributes his gifts to the poor (112:9a). As a result, his benevolent acts of piety ("his righteousness") will never be forgotten but rather will have permanent beneficial effects in this life, as well as gaining him an eternal reward in the life to come (112:9b).

       Paul had already observed that the person who sows sparingly will reap a meager harvest. Now he develops the imagery of sowing and reaping to reinforce the point that generosity pays handsome dividends. He argues from God's bounty in nature to his even greater liberality in grace. The crops of the generous person are always full and his harvests rich.

       If God supplies man with the seed needed to produce a harvest of grain, and thus food, he certainly will supply and multiply all the resources-- "your store of seed"-- needed to produce a full harvest of good deeds, "your righteousness".

       Verse 11 a restates this fundamental truth for the record-- "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." There is a cycle of generosity that God desires to develop in the life of a believer.

       The reality of Christian living is that we become more and more like Christ and seek to be generous as the Lord leads us. Paul's point is not that we on our own and must dig deeper and deeper in order to be generous. God will supply the seed that we need to sow. He will supply ever more richly the resources needed for us to be generous.

         Some might recoil at these thoughts thinking that they smack of self-centered "prosperity theology". But Paul is clear that the greater the giving, the greater the enrichment; the greater the enrichment, the greater the resources to give. This is a fundamental truth.

         Paul then added a statement that all of this will result in thanksgiving to God. The point is always that God may be glorified, not the benevolent giver. The Jerusalem saints, as the grateful recipients of the Corinthians' liberal gift administered by Paul and his colleagues, would express their thanks to God, the source of all good gifts.

         How is your cycle of generosity? Are you sowing generously? When blessing comes, are you sowing even more generously? Are you growing your store of seed, scattering your gifts among the poor, and enlarging the harvest of your righteousness. Are you discovering a growing life that is rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through your generosity seeing thanksgiving to God?

 

       Father, I want to walk in the cycle of generosity. I want the heart of Christ to be able to respond to the needs You direct me to. I want to be trusting with an increasing store of seed so as to be able to sow that seed into Your Kingdom. O God, supply and increase me store of seed and enlarge the harvest of righteousness in my life. Make me rich in every way so that I can be generous on every occasion and You will be glorified. In Jesus' Name.