Have you ever noticed the fine line between trust and stupidity? Or have you wondered at the sometimes vague divide between walking in wisdom and faith? Our topic lately has been generosity and the fact that God loves a cheerful giver. But while we’re encouraged to give generously to the work of the Lord, we’re also commanded to be wise stewards of the resources God has given us. So how do we balance the two? It would not be wise to give everything to God’s work, but at the same time, we cannot be a cheerful giver if we hoard all that we’ve been entrusted.
Giving. Tithing. Money. Finances. All these are sensitive topics and can ruffle quite a few feathers and rattle people’s consciences. Many people have opinions on these subjects and share them freely, while others don’t want to be told how to manage their money or how and where they should give. No matter what our stance is on these various points, we must always look at what God’s heart and desire is in these matters. We must seek out how God wants us to handle our finances, abundance, and generosity and not let people and the world dictate how we manage these areas.
“You reap what you sow.” This phrase is so true. It is farming basics. A farmer cannot expect a high yielding crop if he does not plant a grain. Likewise, we cannot expect much in life if we do not invest ourselves in the people around us and in the opportunities God places in front of us. You reap what you sow in all areas of life.
How often do we get excited and passionate about a vision, idea, or project but then quickly lose interest and forget about the whole thing? Or, how many times do you commit yourself to something but then after more thought back out?
I’ve been there, done that. There have been projects and ideas that I’ve been so excited about but then never bring them to fruition. Life happens. We get busy. And before we know it, we never finished that great idea or fulfilled all our commitments.
Giving is our topic this week. We’ve already looked at what it means to give, and to give generously. Now it’s time to look at the greatest Gift ever given and the One who bestowed this blessing upon us. It’s time to look at Jesus’ mind-blowing gift to us.
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.”
~II Corinthians 8:9
Giving. It can be a sensitive topic and not one people like to bring up. However, as we’ll learn in chapter eight, giving is an important part of the Christian life. Through it, we show love, care, and concern for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, and by it, we prove our genuineness of faith. As the Apostle James warned, faith without actions is dead (James 2), and giving is one of the actions we can do that show our faith. So let’s see what Paul has to say about giving in his letter to the wealthy Corinthians.
Pain. The one thing we avoid most in life. Whether, it is emotional, mental, physical, or spiritual, no one likes it and no one goes looking for it. But Paul tells us here in II Corinthians seven that pain and sorrow have a restorative purpose in our lives. Let’s take a look at what he’s talking about.
“As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.”
~II Corinthians 7:9-10
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