Daily Devotion for June 19, 2017

'Giving'

2 Corinthians 9:6-15 NLT

Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.  You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, 

“They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”

For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, He will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.

Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.

As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!

Right before Paul and his companions prepared to collect a large financial gift from the Corinthian church (a gift the Corinthians had promised to give to the financially struggling church in Jerusalem), Paul wrote to the Corinthians about giving. God's “giving” instructions through Paul serve as wonderful guidelines for us today...

1) “Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop”...

“People may hesitate to give generously to God (or to generously help out a brother or sister in need) because they worry about having enough money left over to meet their own needs. Paul assured the Corinthians that God was able to meet their needs. The person who gives only a little will receive only a little in return” (Life Application Study Bible notes).

2) “You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. 'For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.' ”  

Whether we are giving to God or to God's people in need, there is a formula we can follow: 1) We are to “decide in” our hearts “how much to give” (“we don't have to be embarrassed if we can only give a small gift. God is concerned about how we give from the resources we have” Life Application Study Bible notes), 2) we must NEVER “give reluctantly or in response to pressure,” and 3) whatever we decide to give must given “cheerfully,” willingly, and gladly...or not at all. Our being able to give to the Giver should be our joy—something we do as our hearts sing “Praise God from whom all blessings flow!”

3) “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others...For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, He will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.”

As we cheerfully, generously give what we have decided to give, God “will generously provide all (we)need...(with) plenty left over to share!” God “is the one who provides” us with what we need, and He produces “a great harvest of generosity in” us!

4) “For your generosity...will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection...”

Brothers and sisters in Christ, our giving (to God and to those in need) PROVES we “are obedient to the Good News of Christ!” Moreover, those who have received gifts from us will “pray” for us “with deep affection!

Heavenly Father, thank You for so clearly helping us know how we are to give (generously) and what we are to give (what we have cheerfully decided!). Moreover, thank You for reminding us that YOU always generously provide all (we) need.” We ask for more opportunities to be generous givers, Lord—both to You and to those in need—so we increasingly “prove that (we) are obedient to the Good News of Christ.” We ask this in Your Son's name...

AMEN!!!

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