Man-made Columns in Ruins Surrounded by God’s Solid Rock

A daily devotion for September 20th

Giving Joyfully

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

2 Corinthians 9:8

True giving must be expectant. You are dealing with God, and He is able to give back. Many people get nervous about this. They say, That is giving in order to be given to. That is selfish giving. I would grant that it is possible to view giving to God selfishly, but there is nothing wrong with recognizing that you will be benefited by your giving, because the Word everywhere tells us that. If you do not give, something happens to you. The boundaries of your experience are narrowed and reduced and you become a tight, stingy, Scroogelike person.

But, on the other hand, those who learn to give, and give for right reasons, become generous, gracious, godly-minded people. That is what Paul is talking about here. God is able to give back. It is not wrong for you to give with that recognition in mind, for everything we have ultimately comes from Him. When you eat a loaf of bread, you ought to remember the steps in producing it: the snowy flour, the mill, the field of wheat, the rain, and the Father's will. Therefore, everything comes from His hand.

If you give in order that you might have more to give, you are right in line with God's program. Yet your motivation should not be to spend on yourself. If you give so that there will be more for you to enjoy, then you are giving for wrong reasons. A lot of Christians are being taught that today. God delights to give, but His return is not always, by any means, material return. That is what the next verses show us: You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God (2 Corinthians 9:11-12).

Paul is saying that if you give according to the law of harvest, God will give back. And this is the form it will take: It will awaken gratitude in those to whom you give. In our church we have had the joy on many occasions of witnessing people publicly giving thanks, sometimes with tears running down their faces, for the way others have responded to their physical or material needs. I am delighted at that. It is a wonderful repayment for our giving, isn't it, to see people helped, blessed, and moved to give thanks for that.

Lord, indeed I have received much at Your hand. I did not deserve it, but it was given to me in Jesus Christ. May that free giving on Your part stimulate me to meet needs around me. Help me look for places to give, knowing that it increases my joy and delights Your heart.

Life Application

Grace-giving is a miracle that mirrors God's character. Are we therefore intent on knowing the Giver of such a radical gift?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

Giving Joyfully

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