2 Corinthians 9:13-15
Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift. (NASB95)
Carrying out this social relief work involves far more than helping meet the bare needs of poor Christians. It also produces abundant and bountiful thanksgiving to God. This relief offering is a prod to live at your very best, showing your gratitude to God by being openly obedient to the plain meaning of the Message of Christ. You show your gratitude through your generous offerings to your needy brothers and sisters, and really toward everyone. Meanwhile, moved by the extravagance of God in your lives, they'll respond by praying for you in passionate intercession for whatever you need. Thank God for this gift, his gift. No language can praise it enough! (The Message)
MY STUDY AND MEDITATION
15. his unspeakable (indescribable, inexpressible) gift—the gift of His own Son, which includes all other inferior gifts (2 Co 8:9; Ro 8:32). If we have received from God “His unspeakable gift,” what great thing is it, if we give a few perishing gifts for His sake?These were Gentile churches giving to Jewish believers. What a beautiful thing! God gave them the desire to give, and this is what the Jewish believers thanked God for -- their obedience to the Spirit of God. The Gentiles not only preached the Gospel, but they also lived it out because the Gospel lived out involves grace giving. Warren Wiersbe says:
Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (2 Co 9:15). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
It is not a matter of choosing one and ignoring the other. There must be a balance of sharing the Gospel and meeting practical needs, if our light is to shine brightly and steadily. It has been said it is difficult to preach the Gospel to a hungry man (see James 2:15-16).
The Bible Exposition Commentary. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996.
Whoa! I hesitate to write anything because giving is a private matter, but this is right where You have had me sitting lately! So the timing of these verses is so amazing!
It is all about YOU though so my writing this is all for YOUR glory! YOU urged me to give to someone in need when I only had 10 minutes to spare before going to the Prayer Summit last Monday morning. I felt that it would be so hypocritical to go to the Prayer Summit if I did not obey YOU by following through on YOUR promptings. The Prayer Summit would have been so different for me because I would have had the "Shouldda' Coulda' Woulda'" tape playing in my head the whole time. The Summit was such a blessing with the freedom that obedience brings.
This little adventure I have been on since October of "doing everything that You command" me to do has been so EXCITING, even when those nudgings seem inconvenient or even impractical (but building an ark and going to a mountain to sacrifice your son probably seemed pretty inconvenient and impractical to Noah and Abraham too. Just sayin'!). I have received a hundredfold in blessings as a result.
So, then, this morning. YOU reminded me through an email, even before the time in Your Word that I needed to re-loan my KIVA credit! so the Shazia Group in Rawalpindi is going to expand their beauty salon! Aren't these beautiful women?
|If you want to loan to them too, here is the link: |
BUT I have been SO BAD about keeping up on giving in one place (because it is not autopay, and I am forgetful; but this is no excuse)! So, these verses have convinced me to "excel still more" (1 Thessalonians 4:10). I have great intentions, but I forget to follow through sometimes! ACK! Not kicking myself, but this is a good reminder to "do ALL that the Lord commands me to do" because of ALL that He has done for me! OVERFLOW BABY!
When you give to brothers and sisters in need, God gets abundant thanksgiving and glory! It is a WIN-WIN for everyone! This is part of living out your faith in Christ. His message is about GIVING because God has given us the amazing gift of His Son so giving perishable gifts are nothing in comparison. They are blessed, you are prayed for by them and blessed (not that you give to be blessed, but that is what happens), and MOST OF ALL, God is glorified! WOOHOO!
"Excel still more" in my giving to the thing I keep forgetting to give to, and I will do it TODAY!