Is there a spiritual principle that you sow what you reap?
The Second Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the CORINTHIANS – Chapter 9
1 Now it is superfluous for me to write to you about the ministry for the saints,
2 for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year. And your zeal has stirred up most of them.
3 But I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be.
4 Otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated-to say nothing of you-for being so confident.
5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction. – 2 Corinthians 9:1-5
Paul continues to encourage the church to do what they said they would do. As mentioned before reputation was very important. This whole section seems to have a sarcastic tone. He praises the Corinthians for their “readiness” and “zeal” but if that were the case he would not have had to write at length to encourage them the give. The Lord uses our personality. He does not make us robots. Paul was a well educated, intelligent, quick witted person but he was also known as a poor public speaker and lacking in physical strength:
“For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” – 2 Corinthians 10:10 (NKJV)
So resorting to sarcasam may have been a technique Paul has developed over the years to get his point across. Jesus often said things that challenged people:
But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” – Matt 8:22
Go sell all you have (Mark10:22)
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” – Matthew 22:14
Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. – Luke 9:23
We need to be challenged to move us out of our complacency. Thank God that He has a plan to sanctify us and change the way we think. He may well use personalities that rub us up the wrong way to do that.
6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. – 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
We have heard time and time again that the word “cheerful” here in the Greek is
hilaros: propitious or merry (“hilarious”), i.e. prompt or willing:—cheerful. Although I totally agree that giving should always be from willingness and never from compulsion I do have an issue with the constant requests for donations on Christian Radio Stations! However this passage sums up the wonderful spiritual principal that if you sow generously you will reap in abundance. Every living creature starts as a seed. From plants to animals to humans. Unless a seed is sown and dies in the ground or in the reproductive process it does not bear fruit. Nature tells us that masses of seeds must be sown in order to reap a good crop. Because many fail to germinate. We need to give out, sow the word in season and out of season engaging whoever we can in conversation about Jesus. It is not just money we should cheerfully give as led by the Spirit but our very selves. Laying down our lives for the brethren and a dying world.
9 As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”
10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. – 2 Corinthians 9:9-11
Paul is looking at the motivation behind giving. God gives to us freely. Most people do not have a clue how much God has provided for them but live in the mindset of the rich man who wanted to build bigger barns to store HIS wealth.
18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”‘
20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’
21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” – Luke 12:18-21
All we have is given to us by God so we can afford to be the most generous, the most willing to supply someone’s needs because our Heavenly Father has said he will supply all our needs:
19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. – Philippians 4:19-20
12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.
13 By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others,
14 while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.
15 Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! – 2 Corinthians 9:12-15
Thank God for His inexpressible gift: Jesus Christ our Lord. Only He can be glorified. The gift the Corinthians were giving the Church at Jerusalem was an expression of the gospel of grace. An expression of the love of God manifest in Christ. Paul had an amazing attitude towards earthly things:
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ – Philippians 3:8
He knew the treasure, the pearl of great price was worth giving up everything for:
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,
46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it. – Matthew 13:45-46
We can hold everything lightly. When we confess the gospel of Christ we are doing more than telling someone about Jesus, we are lifting Him up that all men may be drawn unto Him.
And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” – John 12:32
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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