2 Corinthians 9:12-15 New International Version (NIV)
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!]
Vs 12-13: this service we perform- giving to GOD’s people, and to further the interests of HIS Kingdom overflows in many expressions of thanks unto GOD. Not only does it suppl@y the needs of GOD’s people and Kingdom. The people we give to and other kind-hearted Christians will praise GOD for the obedience that comes with our confession of CHRIST’s Gospel- the Good News. They will praise GOD for our generosity.
JESUS said: In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5: 16 NIV). When we give to people, they Glorify GOD for providing for them through you. This results in several good things. First, GOD provides more for them using you. For GOD to use you to bless them the more, HE will have to bless you more. Second, GOD will make you reap the harvest on what you sow so that you can give more to the people. GOD will surely bless you (Psalm 67: 6). Third, GOD will keep you alive for longer because HE needs you on earth to bless other people (Exodus 23: 26). When Hezekiah was sick and GOD told him he was going to die, the content of his prayer for healing was : Remember now, O Lord, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart, and have done what is good in Your sight (emphasis mine). He wept bitterly, begging GOD to heal him. And GOD answered him and added 15 years to his life. The point? GOD deemed it fit to answer his prayer because he had walked before GOD in truth and with a whole heart and had done what is good in GOD’s Sight. How many people do GOD inform before they die? Yet GOD did in his case. It was his good deeds that touched GOD’s Awesome Heart to have Mercy on him (2 Kings 20: 1-7; Isaiah 38: 1-6 NASB).
Thus, giving in the righteous way– giving joyfully and generously while giving thanks to GOD for your reward- makes GOD to appreciate you as a person and have much regard for you. Moreover, if people Glorify GOD because of you, you reap the benefits of praising GOD – e.g multiplication of blessings- as if you praised HIM yourself. GOD is a rewarder of them that serve and diligently seek HIM (Hebrews 11: 6). It is more-than-worth-it to please GOD and rate high in Awesome JEHOVAH’s Mind.
Vs 14 -15: when those people you give to pray for you, their hearts go out to you, because of the [surpassing] Grace GOD has given you. Thank GOD for this indescribable gift.
Of course, when you bless someone else’s life by giving to them, they praise GOD for providing for them through you. And they pray for you. You should have noticed that when you give to people (even non-Christians), they say to you, ‘GOD bless you’. When you give to fellow Christians, they take the time to pray for you. They pray that GOD blesses you more, so that you can give even more to them and others next time. And you know what? GOD answers prayers like these.
The more useful you are to GOD and HIS Kingdom on earth, the more incentive GOD has to keep you alive here on earth. If Christians are always thanking GOD for your life, and praying to HIM to bless and keep you alive, HE will do it. Remember king Hezekiah. He was a man who feared GOD. He did what was right in GOD’s Eyes, just as David had done. He destroyed all the ‘gods’ the Israel were worshipping apart from GOD. He trusted in GOD. Held fast to HIM and never stopped following. As a result, GOD gave him success in everything he did. There was nobody like him among the kings of Judah before or after him – who feared GOD so much (2 Kings 18: 1-8). Later, he feel sick. GOD told him he was gonna die. That he should prepare (how many people do Awesome GOD tell before they die? He was that good in GOD’s Awesome Eyes). Then, eh went on his knees, and prayed to GOD. He reminded GOD of how he had walked faithfully before HIM and done what is good in HIS Awesome Eyes. And GOD herad. Reconsidered. And added 15 years to his life. Wow! SERVING GOD PAYS. Thus, as you give faithfully according to Awesome GOD’s Word- tithes, offereings, giving to te poor etc, as mentioned in the Bible, we score more points on GOD’s Scorecard of Recognition. thus, when people pray for us, HE answers. And before we call, HE shall answer. While, we are still speaking, HE shall hear us (Isaiah 65: 24). Moreover, we only have to ask, and HE will give us whatever we ask (John 14: 13-14).
The Grace to give is a gift. This gift comes by the HOLY SPIRIT. It is never by power or might, but by the HOLY SPIRIT (Zechariah 4: 6), to obey GOD’s Word and give. Giving goes against natural principles of saving. Thus, it takes the Grace of GOD to give when you do not have much. There are people who are naturally givers. They may not even be Christians, but it’s their character. Even they don’t have much, they give to others. I remember my childhood. My parents were always giving. Even though we had little at the time. I wondered at such behavior since we had little ourselves. Yet, my parents always told me about Luke 6: 38 and 2 Corinthians 9: 6 & 7. They told me that as we give, people will give to us one day, even when we do not deserve it. This is a practice they continue till this day. And truly, GOD has used people to bless my family & I even beyond their means, and where we did not even deserve it at all. Thus, what they told me is true. Giving is part of my parents’ character, and they brought us up this way.
There are people I have known personally, who have the hoarding trait. They hoard all the time. They may not put it on their to-do list, but they hoard all the time. it’s their nature. You know yourself. If you are that kind of person, IT IS IMPORTANT TO PRAY TO THE HOLY SPIRIT TO GIVE YOU THE GRACE TO GIVE. THIS IS SO IMPORTANT IT HURTS. May GOD help us all to become addicted givers and useful Kingdom vessels. Amen.
Prayer: LORD, help me to become an addicted giver so that I can be blessed. Help me LORD to fulfill my part of the Covenant of prosperity YOU have with mankind.
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