2 Corinthians 9
1 - 3
I really do not need to write to you about this help for God’s people. I know that you want to help. I have been bragging about this to the people in Macedonia.
I have told them that you in Southern Greece have been ready to give since last year. And your wanting to give has made most of them here ready to give also.
But I am sending the brothers to you. I do not want our bragging about you in this to be for nothing. I want you to be ready, as I said you would be.
You already know what to do. You have already inspired others to get excited about this project. Do not let me down.
4. If any of the people from Macedonia come with me and find that you are not ready, we will be ashamed. We will be ashamed that we were so sure of you. And you will be ashamed, too!
You will be embarrassed if you said you were going to do something and then tried to find an excuse to not do it.
5. So I thought that I should ask these brothers to go to you before we come. They will finish getting in order the gift you promised. Then the gift will be ready when we come, and it will be a gift you wanted to give—not a gift that you hated to give.
Let us not have a circus of showing how we give money to God. People are watching and we do not want them to think that is all the church is about.
6. Remember this: The person who plants a little will have a small harvest. But the person who plants a lot will have a big harvest.
Here’s the lesson: Use your money to help others and make friends. Then, when your money is gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home.
If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in big ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you will not be honest with bigger things.
And if you are untrustworthy about money, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? Luke 16:9-11
7. Each one should give, then, what he has decided in his heart to give. He should not give if it makes him feel bad. And he should not give if he thinks he is forced to give. God loves the person who gives happily.
We see that Paul is not using the Old Testament law to tell them how much to give. People should not be treated as if they are too stupid to know what they are doing. The Holy Spirit can be trusted to speak to them.
8. And God can give you more blessings than you need. Then you will always have plenty of everything. You will have enough to give to every good work.
Some people have more than they need. They sometimes fall into the trap of wanting more. They say that someday they are going to give to the Lord’s work, but it does not happen. This is when they will know that they are living for money and afraid to trust God even though they have enough.
No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. Luke 16:13
9. It is written in the Psalms: “He gives freely to the poor. The things He does are right and will continue forever.”
God will never be in the position of owing you something. Some people think that when they give it means that God owes them something in return. This would be like buying your way into heaven. See Psalm 112:9.
10. God is the One who gives seed to the farmer. And he gives bread for food. And God will give you all the seed you need and make it grow. He will make a great harvest from your goodness.
If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD and He will repay you! Proverbs 19:17
11. God will make you rich in every way so that you can always give freely. And your giving through us will cause many to give thanks to God.
Whoever gives to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to poverty will be cursed. Proverbs 28:27
12. This service that you do helps the needs of God’s people. It is also bringing more and more thanks to God.
The righteous is concerned for the needs of the poor, the wicked does not understand such concern. Proverbs 29:7
13. This service you do is a proof of your faith. Many people will praise God because of it. They will praise God because you follow the Gospel of Christ—the Gospel you say you believe. They will praise God because you freely share with them and with all others.
God knows when He has you, then He has everything else in your life.
14. And when they pray, they will wish they could be with you. They will feel this because of the great grace that God has given you.
This gift will make all the churches see how they are a part of each other. The Jewish Christians in Jerusalem will see that the Gentile churches are not their enemies.
15. Thanks be to God for his gift that is too wonderful to explain.
God gave us Jesus so how can we not give everything back to God?