March 7th, 2007
According to Paul, if you plant your seed sparingly, then you are guaranteed to reap sparingly. There is no chance of a big harvest from a meager planting. If you want to have a chance of a big harvest, then you have to plant generously. You have to be prepared to risk a lot if you want the chance to gain a lot. In general, if you give generously, “You will be enriched so that you can be more generous.” It’s not a matter of giving money to get rich, as some prosperity gospel preachers assert. It’s a matter of God trusting you with more important tasks if you are faithful with smaller ones.
Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians — Chapter 9
9:1 It is not necessary for me to write to you about helping the believers, 9:2 because I know your willingness. I boast to the people in Macedonia that Achaia has been ready since last year. Your enthusiasm has inspired most of them. 9:3 I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you will not be hollow, and you will be ready just as I promised. 9:4 If some Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we, to say nothing of you, would be embarrassed about our confidence.
9:5 I thought I needed to ask the brothers to come to you beforehand, and arrange in advance the generous gift that you promised, so that it can be ready as a matter of generosity, and not given reluctantly. 9:6 Remember this: someone who sows meagrely will also reap meagrely. Someone who sows generously will also reap generously. 9:7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, because God loves a cheerful giver. 9:8 And God is able to provide generously for you, so that you will always having everything you need, and can do all kinds of good work. 9:9 As it is written, “He has distributed his gifts to the poor. His righteousness endures forever.”
9:10 The one who supplies seed to the farmer and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed, and increase the fruits of your righteousness. 9:11 You will be enriched so that you can be more generous, which results in gratitude to God through us. 9:12 This act of service that you are performing does not just give the believers what they need. It also results in much gratitude to God. 9:13 When they see how you prove yourselves by this service, people glorify God for the obedience of your faith in the Good News of Christ, and for the generosity of your contribution to them and to everyone else. 9:14 They will pray for you with deep affection because so much grace of God is in you. 9:15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!