Posted by Tori on May 7, 2012 in a good word., thankful heart.

Everyone knows this truth. It really is common sense. But here, in the middle of 2 Corinthians, Paul sees fit to remind us.

2 Corinthians 9:6, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”

In this passage, Paul continues to say that, “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:7-8)

Now, in this section of his letter, Paul is encouraging the Corinthians to give generously for poor believers in Jerusalem. He explains how others have given, and encourages them to show love for these brothers in a tangible way as well.

These verses are sure, solid ground that we can depend on, freeing us to give generously with joyful hearts because God has promised that He will bless our giving with His grace.

Lately, I have been reminded and have seen just how true this Word is. Really, not even in the area of financial giving, but in the giving of yourself, your time, and your talents. If you hold back in serving people and loving on them the way Christ would, you are sowing sparingly. To the degree you are investing in your marriage, or your children — or you fill in the blank, you will reap blessing.

Also true, is that I may be going through the motions of loving or of investing in someone, but I may be doing it reluctantly or under compulsion. This does not please the Lord and it, ultimately, does not bless others. Sometimes, I can get burned out. Sometimes, I don’t wake up in the morning excited about loving people the way He does. There is no room for an ounce of pride or selfishness in this love. But, thankfully, the Holy Spirit is the one who does the loving through me. My job is to surrender. So, if I spend myself and my time fully pouring into those around me that He has given me to love, I will reap generously. I will be free to love with a happy heart. I won’t get burned out because I have the promise of His grace that will enable me to prosper in every good work.

So…let’s be reminded of this simple, yet profound truth today.

Ask the Lord if there is an area of your life where you may be holding back in loving others the way He does. Loving without an ounce of pride or selfishness. Having this conversation with Him is important, because often, it is easy for us to be unaware that we are holding back. Ask Him to check your heart and show you if you may be serving Him or others reluctantly or out of compulsion. Ask Him to give you the grace to serve and love with nothing but cheer. In this passage, “the freedom and authenticity of generous giving are marked by…cheerfulness.” (G. Kittel, TDNT, 3:299) Finally, ask Him to give you the faith to trust His promise — that we will reap generously for giving generously and that His grace will enable us to excel at every good work — so that we can love with sacrifice, even those who may not be grateful and may be difficult to love.

Thank you for the cross, Lord, that is the cornerstone of this truth. Change my heart, and teach me to give like Christ gave.

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