2 Corinthians 9:10-14

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

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God. Through the testing of this ministry you glorify God by your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ and by the generosity of your sharing with them and with all others, while they long for you and pray for you because of the surpassing grace of God that he has given you.” 2 Corinthians 9:10-14

In much the same way that a non-profit organization writes letters to their donors, Paul was writing to the church in Corinth thanking them for their charity. Paul was really complimenting the church for their generosity when he said, “About the help to God’s holy people, there is really no need for me to write to you; for I am well aware of your enthusiasm….” (2 Corinthians 9:1-2)

But Paul was not preaching a prosperity gospel. He was not telling the church that because they had been generous in giving, they in turn would reap what they sow in financial blessings. Paul did say that they would be, “enriched in every way,” but he did not say, “rich in every way.”

The richness they received came in the form of thankfulness to God. Their prosperity was observed through God being thanked and praised in an abundant outpouring.

Giving toward the needs of God’s people is not a magic talisman that results in getting rich quick. There are no “get rich quick” scenarios in the Bible. Instead, God invites us into an alternative economy based on sacrifice. God invites us to see the world not in terms of profits and losses, but in terms of hope and restoration.

In a world where the good of the corporation is held in higher importance than the good of the people or the environment, we are invited into God’s economy by measuring the surpluses of thankfulness among God’s people.

Let us pray: God, give me a generous heart, willing to sacrifice, so that all might have enough. Amen.

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