Gracefully Truthful

Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

2 Corinthians 9:7-11

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. 11 You will be enriched in every way for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us.

The Original Intent

1) What should be our attitude toward giving according to this passage? (verse 7)

The context of verse 7 is that Paul had asked the Corinthians to give a financial offering to help the Christians in Jerusalem. (verse 5) He urged them to be generous as they prepared their gift. He wasn’t trying to coerce them, just encourage them to have the right attitude when they gave.

In verse 7, Paul reveals the right heart-attitude. According to the IVP New Testament Commentary Series, Paul gave three guidelines for giving that honors God. “First, giving is to be an individual matter that is settled in the privacy of one’s own heart.” Second, it must not “be settled lightly or impulsively.” Finally, “giving is to be a private, not a public, decision. It is to be decided in the heart.” If these guidelines are followed, we will give cheerfully. 

David Guzik puts it like this, “We should give because we want to give and because God has put it in our own heart to give.” “God loves a cheerful giver” because their giving is based on their desire to lovingly follow God, not because they feel forced. This kind of giving reflects God’s generous heart for us. 

John Piper said, “God virtually casts off all restraint in His exuberance over His people and takes most pleasure of all, it seems, in doing them good.” Just think about the cross! 

Ephesians 1:7-8 reveals, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace that He richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding.” 

Our God is a generous and cheerful giver, and we should be too.

The Everyday Application

1) What should be our attitude toward giving according to this passage? (verse 7)

“God loves a cheerful giver” is the ending of verse 7. These words are often spoken in church just before offering.

Most people only think of cheerful giving in terms of money, but cheerful giving is not solely a monetary concept.

God wants us to personally decide what and how much we are going to give of our resources including our time, talent, and financial treasure. With that settled, He wants us to give freely and willingly, or cheerfully, if you will.

According to Tim Keller, “Generosity is about far more than money. It also relates to power, to relationships, to hospitality, to ministry, and above all, to grace.”

We should be giving cheerfully and generously in all these areas as the Lord leads us. Truly biblical generosity flows from our close obedience to how God calls us to follow Him.

The Original Intent

2) How do we benefit from giving generously? (verse 9)

God provides everything we need to be givers who reflect His heart of lavish generosity. Whether it’s money, talent, or time, He provides. “God gives enough for us, abundance for others.” (John Piper)

As we cheerfully give, God blesses us with more so we can continue to give even beyond our ability. (2 Corinthians 8:2-3) According to David Guzik, “Our giving is rewarded in many different ways, materially and spiritually.”

As we sacrificially pour ourselves out for others, God pours into us, bringing blessing and contentment only available in Him. We also become more Christlike because we are reflecting a generosity that originated in Him. Just as Jesus freely gave of Himself during His earthly ministry, especially to the sick and the poor, we too must do the same. 

Verse 9, a quote from Psalm 112:9, shows us that our giving has eternal rewards, “He distributed freely; He gave to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.” (Emphasis mine) 

John Piper describes it this way, “If we act as conduits for God’s grace (instead of cul-de-sacs), then there will be an unending supply of righteousness. Compassionate giving confirms our eternal righteousness.”

The Everyday Application

2) How do we benefit from giving generously? (verse 9)

On the surface, it may seem as if “giving” equals “losing”. If you give away money, you mathematically have less for yourself. Give of your time, you forego doing something else you desire. However, in God’s view, the inverse is actually true.

According to 2 Corinthians 9:8-9, “God promises to supply abundantly those who give generously. Paul wants the Corinthians to be free from the fear that generous giving will leave them impoverished.” (The Gospel Coalition) In God’s economy, the more we give, the more we gain. 

Scotty Smith wrote these words as part of a prayer to the Lord, “The primary reward we get for being generous is You being revealed, honored, and glorified.”

Let’s enjoy, to the full the benefit, God being revealed and glorified through our sacrificial, generous, cheerful giving.

The Original Intent

3) How does God “benefit” from our giving? (verse 11)

Verse 10 contains quotes from Isaiah 55:10 and Hosea 10:12. Both these passages re-emphasize the generosity of God as He provides for the cheerful, generous giver by supplying all they need. (Philippians 4:19

Matthew Henry’s Commentary says, “The honour of it is lasting, the reward of it eternal, and he is still able to live comfortably himself and to give liberally to others.”

How does God benefit from giving us blessings? As we give, God exponentially blesses us and, as a result, we are motivated to offer Him our sincere thanksgiving and praise. More than this, as we give to others, they will bless God too.

As Guzik puts it, “The more you are enriched by God the more scope there will be for generous giving, and your gifts, administered through us, will mean that many will thank God.”

The Everyday Application

3) How does God “benefit” from our giving? (verse 11)

What happens when you give someone a present? They thank you. As a Christ-follower, when you give to your local church or ministry, what happens? The people who are helped not only praise and thank the church or ministry, they thank God because they are made aware that He is ultimately the reason they were blessed.

Paul says it like this, “…the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the proof provided by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedient confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity. in sharing with them and with everyone.” (2 Corinthians 9:12-13, emphasis mine)

For believers who give, we praise God for providing the means for us to give. Then He gives us more and we…? We praise Him. As this cycle continues to play out, we are ultimately sharing the Gospel.

“When we consider giving to those in need with our time, talent, and treasures, the proclamation of the gospel follows. Being a conduit for God’s grace means we graciously give of both our resources and the hope of the gospel.” (Stephanie Englehart)

God’s family grows when we give and His glory becomes evident for others to see.

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