TEXT: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;
13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;
14 And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.
15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 261 messages in this series.
This is message #262 titled, The Prayer, Giving, Prayer Connection, Part 2.
“For the Christian, motive in giving (or in any other activity) is vitally important. Our giving must come from the heart, and the motive in the heart must please God. We must not be “sad givers” who give grudgingly, or “mad givers” who give because we have to (“of necessity”); but we should be “glad givers” who cheerfully share what we have because we have experienced the grace of God.”
“Because the Corinthians sent material aid to the Jerusalem Christians, they reaped the intercessory prayers of the Jerusalem Christians who in praising God invoked His blessings on their Corinthian brethren.”
Dr. Walvoord & Dr. Zuck
In this passage, we see Paul encouraging the believers in Corinth to give to the needs of the believers in Jerusalem. As he makes his case, he gives four benefits that are brought about when Christians willingly give to the needs of others — four byproducts of answered prayer, if you will. It is one thing to say that you are praying about someone’s situation, but it is another thing to show your concern by giving or serving to alleviate their suffering. I’m sure the victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma appreciate our prayers, but they appreciate just as much the money we give and the supplies we send. And, by the way, as a USA Today report noted this week, it is Christian agencies that provide the bulk of on-the-ground disaster relief.
The Christians in Jerusalem didn’t quite have a hurricane to deal with, but they were facing extreme hurricane like poverty because they had been largely cut off from society due to their profession of faith in Christ in the very center of Judaism. Paul wanted the Corinthians to supply what was lacking among the Christians in Jerusalem. The InterVarsity Press commentary notes that “the specific help rendered by the offering of the Corinthians is that of supplying the needs of the Judean Christians. The word used denotes a shortage or deficiency of basic necessities. In the first century, this amounted to food, clothing, and shelter. So the help offered through the Corinthians’ contribution is by way of necessity, not luxury.”
If the Corinthians gave to the believers at Jerusalem, Paul tells them that they would be supplying “the want of the saints.” This is the first blessing of giving freely to those in need. The word “want” here means “lack.” The monetary offering from the Corinthian church would fill the holes that existed in the provisions of the church at Jerusalem. They would provide what that congregation lacked. But Paul says even better blessings than needs being supplied follow the act of giving.
Continuing in verse 12, he says their gift will be “abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God” through prayer. This is the second blessing of freely giving to those in need. In other words, the gift that they give to the Jerusalem church will grow even beyond what they intended and will be the cause of an outpouring or overflow of thanksgiving to God in prayer. The Bible says that God “inhabits [His presence is found in] the praises of his people.” The gift that the Corinthian church gives will cause the Christians at Jerusalem to no longer be praying for their needs to be met, but to pray with “many” exuberant thanksgivings for their needs having been met. They will be saying “thank you” to God in prayer.
Have you been the cause of anyone offering thanksgiving to God in prayer lately? Have you been the reason why someone came to church with a praise report instead of a prayer request? If not, why not start giving freely today? Supply someone else’s need. Give them a reason to be thankful.
May we share the same spirit of Robert Murray who wrote these words:
Lord, Thou lovest the cheerful giver,
Who with open heart and hand
Blesses freely, as a river
That refreshes all the land.
Grant us then the grace of giving
With a spirit large and free,
That our life and all our living
We may consecrate to Thee.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.