2 Corinthians 9:6-8

Our devotions this Easter season come from members of Faith Lutheran Church. Today’s writer is Dave Gohlke.

The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-8

This little verse on giving – probably one of the most important and cited Bible verses on the subject – has something for everyone.

Verse 6 might speak to folks who are motivated by fear (if you sow sparingly, you reap sparingly – a threat?), or by greed (sow bountifully, so you reap bountifully – a promise?). Or it may be merely a simple statement of fact – being generous with others naturally results in a bountiful harvest – maybe because generous people inspire others to be generous to them.

Verse 7 commands us to give only what we will give freely – because “God loves a cheerful giver.” If you are a generous giver, and cheerful about it, good for you – but if you really can’t or won’t be happy about making a gift, then Paul says don’t give. Maybe that’s an out for the less generous among us (although I don’t think that is the message at all).

And finally, verse 8 tells us that each of us is richly blessed so that we may be a blessing to others.  Pay it forward, God says to us.

Faith Lutheran encourages many ways to give, beyond the passing of the plate. Grace Bags are an easy way to give to people in need on so many street corners in this city. A stack of singles near the console does the same. Gently grasp the receiving hand, smile genuinely, and share a word or two as well – treat the person as a fellow human in need, not as a panhandler – and send up a prayer as well.

Let us pray: Ever-loving, generous God, we thank you for so richly blessing us daily. Guide us into situations where we can generously bless others with the gifts you have entrusted to us. Let us be grateful recipients of the gifts of others as well. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


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