“Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”  2nd Corinthians 9:6-7

One Sunday a pastor sensed the offering time as a “teaching moment” prior to his message, and he asked the congregation the following question, “Do you look on giving to the Lord something you have got to do, or something you get to do?”  He went on to say that if Jesus is our Master, then giving is something we as believers get to do, but if Money is our Master, then giving is something we as believers have got to do!

The apostle Paul had received a pledge from the church at Corinth that they would take up an offering for the believers in Jerusalem who were literally starving due to a great drought in that area.  He would soon be coming to collect their promised gift to take it to Jerusalem.  He sought to encourage the Corinthians to fulfill their promise by reminding them of the results of giving cheerfully by faith.

He reminded them that this ministry produces thanksgiving to God (v10).  The believers in Jerusalem would recognize the giver of the gift being the Corinthians, but the author of the gift as the Lord God Almighty!  Paul also emphasized that their gift would fully supply the needs of the saints in Jerusalem (v12).  Prayers and words of encouragement are good and needful, but tangible gifts fulfill the challenge of tangible needs!  Then Paul pointed out that this gift would spur the saints at Jerusalem to both glorify God for the Corinthians obedience (v13), and also pray in the Corinthians behalf (v14).  Thus by the Corinthians cheerful giving by faith, their obedience would produce praise, provision and prayer!

Some years ago a banker figured out the two small copper coins (quadrans=1/64th of a denarius [one denarius=average daily wage]) the widow gave to the Temple treasury in Jerusalem, drawing 4% interest compounded semi-annually would be worth $4.8 billion-trillion (That is 17 zeroes!)  today!  Cheerful giving in response to the Lord’s leading produces meaningful results both in the giver and in the receiver.

Jon Moore