Sunday, November 1, 2020

It's Time to Sow with Joy

2 Corinthians 9:6-10

2 Corinthians 9:6-10 (CSB) The point is this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each person should do as he has decided in his heart ​— ​not reluctantly or out of compulsion, since God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work. 9 As it is written: He distributed freely; he gave to the poor; his righteousness endures forever. 10 Now the one who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will also provide and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness.


These verses are intended to help you jump with both feet into generosity knowing your Father stands their waiting to catch you. These verses are God’s way of looking you in the eye and saying, “Do you trust me?” The real struggle to be generous is a struggle to trust God. Generosity requires confidence that if you take a leap, God will catch you.


Reason #1: God’s World


This principle of sowing and reaping is woven into the very fabric of God’s world. It’s true when it comes to farming. You have to plant seeds in order to reap fruits and vegetables, but it’s true in every other area of life. When God designed His world, one of the principles He built His world on is sowing and reaping. Will this not be true when it comes to generosity? The one who sows little, reaps little. But the one who sows a lot, reaps a lot.


Reason #2: God’s Delight


What delights God? If you read the Bible cover to cover, you can’t miss the fact that God loves to give. He enjoys caring for His people and meeting their needs. He promises to pour blessings on us and shower us with His kindness. He gave His own Son to spare us from judgement and bring us into His family. He has given us a name, an inheritance, and a kingdom. God delights to give to His people. Is it any surprise then that God loves it when we, His people, give generously?


Reason #3: God’s Grace


There is no good work God wants you to do that He will not empower you to do. He wants you to excel in every good work, including the good work of generosity. Will He help you excel? That seems to be the question Paul is answering in unequivocal terms. God’s grace overflows to us, so that in every way at all times we can do what He’s called us to do.


Reason #4: God’s Word


How can God gather a people who demonstrate His values—generosity, compassion and righteousness? He sent someone who perfectly lived out His values. This person sacrificed His own life so that our law-breaking could be forgiven. He rescued and redeemed His people, gave us new hearts, and the gift of His own Spirit to dwell within us. This sent one, Jesus Christ, distributes salvation freely. He gives riches to us who are poor, and He gives us a righteousness that endures forever. The portrait in Psalm 112 shows what we should be but failed to be. But it also shows who Jesus is, and what He is transforming us into.


Reason #5: God’s Care


Everything you have comes from God. Everything. And you’re still alive, so He hasn’t stopped caring for you, and He never will. Paul returns to the metaphor of the seed and says two profound things: first, even the seed you have comes from God, and second, the whole process of a seed becoming grain and grain becoming bread happens because of God’s care. All of it from start to finish.


Conclusion:

So, brothers and sisters, will you jump into the deep end of generosity? I know it’s a little scary. The water looks deep. You feel weak, but our Father stands ready to catch you. Do you trust Him enough to jump in? He will catch you, and you will find more joy in the water than you will sitting safe and dry on the side. Trust Him enough to take the plunge.