GIVE AND LIVE OR REAP AND KEEP? READ ON . . .
- Key Verse
- Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)
- READ THE CHAPTER
Paul makes it very clear to the Corinthians that God loves generosity.
This seems like such an easy passage to write a devotional on -- God loves a cheerful giver (verse 7). We can all get our arms around that. Well, it hasn't exactly gone as planned. I believe it's because this is an area in which I defer to the leadership of my husband (which isn't a bad thing because he has proved trustworthy). BUT, I don't naturally give with the same abandon or freedom as my husband does. I grew up saving and storing -- for things I need or want, for the future, or for an emergency. That's all about me. Where is the trust in God's promise? He is the giver of all things, He is the provider of all things. That's all about Him.
God loves a cheerful giver. Joyful willingness. I came into the world with nothing, gained everything, and take nothing with me -- nothing. The Perfect Gift was given to me, and all I have IS HIS. I have been given a clincher. Why not give? Have I squandered 2 Corinthians 9?
Giving is a right response, an act of obedience, exposure of the heart. To be honest, my heart has experienced conviction through trying to encourage you this hot July day in the field. Will I allow God to sow in my life to reap a right response of what I know is true?
The farmer, that's me. The seed, that's God's. The planting, that's my responsibility. The harvest, that's my reward. The reward, that's an opportunity to plant again. It's all very clear. Now, will I trust Him, and sow with abandon -- not with hopes of monetary return -- but because He promises that the harvest will be rich and I can keep reinvesting? One of my young future farmers said recently, "Mom, it feels so good to give." He's experiencing what it means to be a cheerful giver.
Thankfully, the Wagner Farm is part of a farming co-op. We call it community. Together, we are better farmers. I can get lazy, so I shouldn't farm alone. I'm capable of the reap and keep. My community calls me to joyful replanting.
Thank you for visiting our farm today. I pray you leave considering how you will give generously, because He did.
1. Have you read 2 Corinthians 9? What was Paul's stated motivation for our being generous and joyful in our giving?
2. When is the last time you sowed generously to advance God's work? Have you experienced "cheerful" like one of my little farmers recently did?
3. Are you part of a farming co-op that will help you sow generously? If not, email email@example.com to join a co-op today.
WEEKLY FAMILY ACTIVITY
2 Corinthians 6-10 (July 16-20)
Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-15.
• Talk about verse 6: what happens when you plant a few seeds versus planting lots of seeds?
• How does the Scripture compare this to our giving?
• What are different ways of giving? (Think broader than just money or things.)
• What do you think it means to give cheerfully?
• If you give generously and cheerfully, what will God do for you (see verse 8)?
• What does it mean to have all that you need? Is there a difference between your needs and your wants?
• If God gives you more than you need, what does He desire for you to do with the extra?
• When people see you giving generously, whom do you want them to praise?
Activity: As a family, think of different ways that you can give. Think about time, talents, and treasures. From your list, pick one way in which you can serve together . . . give generously and cheerfully.