Our journey through 2 Corinthians finds us in chapter 9. Paul continues to touch on the practical lives of the Corinthian believers, challenging them on their attitudes toward giving. How tightly did they hold their “things” and, more importantly, what was their attitude when giving up those “things”? Reading in The Living Bible, Paul revealed to them and… us what… kind of attitude is pleasing to God. Listen in as we unpack the Scripture on this Sincerely Yours devotional podcast.
2 Corinthians 9:1-15 (TLB)
9 I realize that I really don’t even need to mention this to you, about helping God’s people. 2 For I know how eager you are to do it, and I have boasted to the friends in Macedonia that you were ready to send an offering a year ago. In fact, it was this enthusiasm of yours that stirred up many of them to begin helping. 3 But I am sending these men just to be sure that you really are ready, as I told them you would be, with your money all collected; I don’t want it to turn out that this time I was wrong in my boasting about you. 4 I would be very much ashamed—and so would you—if some of these Macedonian people come with me, only to find that you still aren’t ready after all I have told them!
5 So I have asked these other brothers to arrive ahead of me to see that the gift you promised is on hand and waiting. I want it to be a real gift and not look as if it were being given under pressure.
6 But remember this—if you give little, you will get little. A farmer who plants just a few seeds will get only a small crop, but if he plants much, he will reap much. 7 Everyone must make up his own mind as to how much he should give. Don’t force anyone to give more than he really wants to, for cheerful givers are the ones God prizes. 8 God is able to make it up to you by giving you everything you need and more so that there will not only be enough for your own needs but plenty left over to give joyfully to others. 9 It is as the Scriptures say: “The godly man gives generously to the poor. His good deeds will be an honor to him forever.”
10 For God, who gives seed to the farmer to plant, and later on good crops to harvest and eat, will give you more and more seed to plant and will make it grow so that you can give away more and more fruit from your harvest.
11 Yes, God will give you much so that you can give away much, and when we take your gifts to those who need them they will break out into thanksgiving and praise to God for your help. 12 So two good things happen as a result of your gifts—those in need are helped, and they overflow with thanks to God. 13 Those you help will be glad not only because of your generous gifts to themselves and to others, but they will praise God for this proof that your deeds are as good as your doctrine. 14 And they will pray for you with deep fervor and feeling because of the wonderful grace of God shown through you.
15 Thank God for his Son—his Gift too wonderful for words.