A wonderful promise for you
All sufficiency in all things at all times!
2 Corinthians 9:7-8:
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
What a wonderful promise! God clearly assures us that He will provide for us and bless us. He has committed Himself to supplying everything we need – and that’s a very comforting word during difficult financial times. It is a verse worth memorizing, confessing, and believing.
You see, in this passage Paul reflects on the pledge God made to Israel in the Old Testament. The Lord said He would bring His people into their own land, take good care of them, and bless them abundantly.
- Rain would shower the earth at the proper seasons.
- Crops and livestock would grow with vigor.
- Work would succeed and supplies would last.
- God’s people would never borrow from the nations; the nations would borrow from them.
- All of these blessings would make it clear to the nations that Israel’s god was God.
The same is true for us today. But His promises had conditions. “All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God” (Deut. 28:2). God’s covenant included a loving agreement. He would bless His people if they remained loyal to Him and walked in His ways. In another passage, we find that one of those conditions was to take care of the poor: Give generously to the poor and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.
The same condition lies behind Paul’s message to the Corinthian church. A year before he wrote to them, they began to prepare an offering for believers in Jerusalem who were suffering terrible poverty. But the church’s efforts stalled - so Paul wrote to revive those efforts. He wanted to give them a chance to fulfill their word, help the poor, prove their commitment to the gospel, glorify God, and receive grace. He reminded them of a theme that flows like a river throughout the Old Testament and into the New:
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice … They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor, their righteousness endures forever; their horn will be lifted high in honor.
Scripture considers giving to the poor a “righteous act” – an honorable deed that Heaven will remember forever. There is a special place in God’s heart for Christians who help the needy. That’s why He gives grace to the gracious. They will lack nothing and will be able to keep helping others.
His promise to provide for us is not intended to make us consumers who only receive. It is intended to teach us the “grace of giving” – that it is more blessed to give than to receive. God provides for us as we live to bless others.
In other words, we are blessed to be a blessing.
Paul offers four acts of wisdom in this passage that release God’s grace to us.
FIRST - fulfill promises:
Paul told the Corinthians to give as they had decided one year ago. Likewise, we should follow through on any resolutions we’ve made to help others in need.
SECOND - delight in giving:
Paul did not merely want the Corinthians to fulfill their promise to give. He also wanted them to revive their original feelings of joy in giving. Giving with a begrudging attitude is not really giving. But giving with joy sets our gifts on fire as pleasing sacrifices to God.
THIRD - believe God:
The limits of our bank accounts or national economy do not limit God’s power to provide for us. Paul says God is able to release His enormous grace to us – “all” grace, “all” sufficiency, at “all” times.
FOURTH - give to give, not to get:
Remember that God’s purpose in providing for us is that we would “abound in every good work.” The grace of giving is like the cycle of natural springs. The rains pour down so the springs can flow. God showers us with grace so that we will be sources of blessing to others. Keep that spring flowing. Remain in the grace of giving.
Look at the Dead Sea or any body of water that has no outlet. Healthy water needs to be constantly flowing, giving, and receiving. The only water that is bad for you is the water that only receives. It becomes stagnant and has no movement. The same is true of people. The happiest people in the world are not the takers but the givers. They tend to be the folks who both give and receive. This whole concept is built into the very fabric of life. Think of a hanging plant in a pot without holes. If you keep giving it water (without the proper holes to drain the water away) the plant becomes waterlogged and it will rot.
When you see it from the perspective of God’s economy and His eternity, you realize that only the Word of God and people last forever - and we all need to develop a healthy long-term view when it comes to giving.
The greatest need that people have is to discover and experience the forgiveness, love, and power of Jesus Christ.
Therefore, the ultimate investment we can make is to give financially to help communicate the Word
of God to as many people as possible. This is our enduring passion and our God-given mandate.
Every time you give a gift to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people who desperately need to hear it, including the “poor” in Africa, you are operating in the full flow of God’s wonderful “Grace of Giving.” It is the very heart of God and something truly extraordinary for you, too.
Together with you, I am thankful for God’s “Giving Grace”.
Evangelist Daniel Kolenda