Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

GIVING -AS SOWING AND REAPING

2 Corinthians 9:6-15
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. (2 Corinthians 9:6)
Paul deals with the collections for the Jerusalem church here. He has been encouraging the Corinthians to generosity by quoting the example of the Macedonians. Paul compares the act of 'giving' to an agricultural metaphor of sowing and reaping, v.6. Jesus says that, "it is more blessed to give than to receive" Acts 20:35.
Giving- a Christian virtue: Two adverbs have been used in this metaphor-'sparingly' and 'generously'. The word 'sparingly' comes from the Greek word 'pheidomenos' which means 'to be miserly', and the word 'generously' comes from 'eulogia' meaning blessing. The law of sowing and reaping are introduced to reveal the extent of blessing one is likely to receive. A maximum harvest is possible by our generosity. So our giving should be bountiful, lavish, abundant and generous. God is the very God of Grace who has given His son Jesus Christ for the redemption of human kind. So we acknowledge the gospel of Christ by glorifying God through our act of giving (v.13). Christian giving is not an act of mere charity but a divine virtue of giving life to others.
Giving- an act of integrity. Greater effort and divine grace are inevitable factors that enable us to give generously for a noble cause. Our giving becomes an expression of love, care and kindness only when it is backed by a willing heart. It is an integral part of Christian spirituality. All believers are called to give generously. Generosity is not about how much we give, but how we give. We should be cheerful and glad when we make a contribution, rather than be fearful, guilty or moved by any compulsion. Paul reminds us that, "a man reaps what he sows" Galatians 6:7.

Rockefeller Sr. was a rich industrialist in America. At the age of 33 he became a millionaire. After ten more years he became the richest in America and at the age of 53 he was the richest man in the world. But he couldn't celebrate his 54th birthday as desired due to a dreadful disease that threatened his life seriously. It was a challenging experience for him. He was being accused for accumulating his wealth illegally and causing many to become poor. He decided to give his wealth for a noble cause. He established a charitable trust known as Rockefeller Foundation and his earnings were distributed for public service like education, health, etc. Gradually he got back his health and lived up to the age of 98. Paul says that "he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your resources and increase the harvest of your righteousness" (v.10)
Prayer:
Thank you God, for your indescribable gift. Lord, help us to live according to your principles of giving so that we may be able to participate in your kingdom work. Amen.


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

The magnitude of  giving shows the size of our heart.

Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church