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2 Corinthians 8-9: Blessed to be a Blessing

“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. As it is written, ‘He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.’ 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. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.”

II Corinthians 9:8-12 (ESV)

God has not blessed me so I can hoard what I have been given. Certainly, as Ecclesiastes taught, I am allowed to enjoy my blessings. But, I must remember that the main reason for which God has blessed me is so I may be a blessing to others. 

This is not the health and wealth gospel that performs good deeds selfishly only to receive more. No. This is the true gospel that points out God entrusts more to those with whom He can actually trust more. So often, we want and want and do not have because we only want for ourselves. We will be amazed how much God will bless us if we simply become channels for blessings to others. 

Of course, when I am not selfishly concerned about what I have and only about how I can help others, if God is not blessing me with something, I’m still content. The question is not how much I have, but how am I helping others.

I know this is tough to remember when every newspaper and television show is warning us that the sky is about to fall in financially. But this is God’s will for us no matter what our nation’s economy.

Keep the faith and keep reading,

ELC

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October 2, 2008 - Posted by | Blessing, Christian Living, Daily Bible Reading, II Corinthians, money, Sacrifice | , , , , , ,

4 Comments »

  1. What do you think is the lesson we can learn from the following verses?

    2 Cor 8:2-3
    2 Cor 8:12

    It seems that Paul in the first instance gave a special mention of the extraordinary giving actions of the Macedonians (gave beyond their means). In the second instance Paul said that one should give what one has and not what one doesn’t have. It is not a contradiction I am sure, but what do you understand from these two verses?

    Comment by Parousia Watcher | October 21, 2008

  2. That is a great question, Parousia Watcher.

    I believe in the first that Paul is simply pointing out what the Macedonians did. In the second, he is explaining what God expects of everyone.

    In the first, we learn that because the Macedonians had given themselves to God, they went above and beyond what God demanded of them. This is an instance of what happens when we are less concerned about the lines of good enough and more concerned about doing everything we can to glorify God.

    The point is that the Macedonians set a great example. However, God does not expect us to do more than He has blessed us to do.

    Additionally, in a sense, the statement in I Corinthians 8:2-3 is somewhat accommodative. That is, the Macedonians did not really give more than they were possibly able. They did not pull money out of thin air and send it. Rather, they gave more than Paul thought they would be able because they sacrificed so much from themselves to help their brethren.

    I look forward to others adding their two cents on this great question.

    Comment by edwincrozier | October 21, 2008

  3. Greetings. I had been meditating and studying this verse and the subject of God and riches. My thoughts were: I didn’t think that God was or is against us having riches as much as riches having us (in the aspect of having tangible wealth). I do believe, however, that the “Got a need? Plant a seed!” era has really distorted the view of what having riches is all about. The focus seems to be more on the money (whether planting the seed or expecting the harvest) & God is bypassed, so there is really no call to righteous & holy living, only financial increase to provoke Christians & the world alike to carnal jealousy. When I look at the many examples in the Word (such as the widow giving her last two mites & the widow preparing a cake for the Prophet before feeding her son & herself to name two), it didn’t seem like they were pressured into giving: they were given a CHOICE to give & acted accordingly. I’m sure the lad w/ the fishes & the loaves of bread was happy to give to Jesus. It almost seems like we have to be nudged into embarrassment or discomfort in order to give the few little dollars we’re clutching to consume on our own lusts, then, we get mad at God when He “didn’t move for us”. When we look at Solomon and the riches that he possessed & how that was the richest culture known to man, would we be as generous to manservants & maidservants (who also possessed precious metals such as gold, silver, etc.), or would we hoard it for ourselves? Would we be as wise as Joseph when he interpreted the dream for the king & oversee the years of abundance and famine with spirit driven stewardship, or would we favor ourselves and family members and friends that had our favor. Even in the modern day, if we had 2 billion dollars in the bank, would we consult God to buy a 200 dollar used car, or would we overlook His counsel & direction? I think those are the questions that will either release God’s financial abundance or hinder us from receiving it.

    Comment by Larry Williams | February 2, 2009

  4. Thanks, Larry. Great point.

    I’d like to invite you to continue following this blog at its new location at giveattentiontoreading.com.

    Comment by edwincrozier | February 2, 2009


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