Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Thank God for the indescribable gift2 Corinthians 9:15
And so Paul who was zealous in providing for the poor encouraged the Corinthian Christians to give generously to their poor brothers and sisters in Jerusalem. Paul prays that God might bless these Corinthian Christians with seed - not for eating but for sowing. They could be sure that, if they sow the seed generously, God will provide a generous harvest for the needy Christians in Jerusalem.
Paul also prays that God might “increase the fruits of your righteousness.” If Corinthians would act righteously by giving generously, then they could anticipate that God will bless their generosity by multiplying its effect.
Paul states that the person who measures seed too sparingly will likely go hungry when winter comes, and the person who sows generously will have plenty to eat. Likewise, the person who gives generously is likely to receive generosity in return. Paul also speaks of God’s generosity and God’s inclination to bless those who are generous to others. Paul mentions that the Macedonian churches gave generously and “of their own accord” (8:3) in spite of their poverty. and so encourages the more prosperous Corinthian Christians to do likewise.
In God’s economy, affluence isn’t an invitation to live large, but an opportunity to give large and so Paul's suggestion to the Corinthians is to celebrate their prosperity by giving rather than sitting back and enjoying their wealth. Paul reminds them that their offering will have two effects. First, it will serve the physical needs of Jerusalem Christians, for whom it is intended. Their situation is dire, because of the Judean famine. The offering will help them to import food. But secondly, the recipients will give thanks to God. That means that the Corinthian gift to the Jerusalem Christians is also a gift to God. It would also strengthen the brotherhood between the Corinthian Christians, primarily Gentiles, and the Jerusalem Church, who are primarily Jewish! The Church in Jerusalem would know the benefit of being a part of God's family and in following Jesus Christ, through the generous fellowship of his people in Corinth.
God, is the one who supplies seed and bread. This is the same God who feeds the birds of the sky, who don’t sow or reap or gather into barns (Matthew 6:26). It is the same God who gives “rains from the sky and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17). It is the same God who so loved the world “that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). We have a God who loves and provides for us abundantly for our spiritual and physical needs. As we come towards the end of this year, let's be thankful to God and reflect His goodness towards us. Let's be thankful for the indescribable gift of Jesus and may we be generous towards the people in need. May we sow in such a way that it produces many thanksgivings to God in and amongst others. When we are the recipients of God’s surpassing grace through the ministry of others, may we be thankful, abounding in thanksgiving to the Lord.
Heavenly Father – thank You for the precious gift of Your dear Son, Jesus Christ – Who has been freely given to all who will simply believe in His name.
Thought for the Day
"The heart that gives, gathers " -Tao Te Ching
MTC south Florida
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church