Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
- Sowing a little results in a small harvest
- Sowing a lot results in a large harvest
- The Corinthians should give what they had decided to give
- The Corinthians should not give reluctantly.
- The Corinthians should not give because they felt like they had to give.
- God loves a cheerful giver.
- God has the ability to bless greatly.
- God gives all we need so we can give in always all the times.
- God gives so we can overflow with good works.
- God provides seeds to the sower.
- God provides bread for food.
- God will increase the Corinthians’ store of seed.
- God will enlarge the Corinthians’ righteousness.
- When God increases the Corinthians’ righteousness they will be rich in every way.
- With their riches the Corinthians’ were to always be generous.
- The Corinthians’ generosity would result in thanksgiving to God.
- The service the Corinthians supplied met the needs of the Lord’s people.
- The service the Corinthians supplied caused a lot of thanks to God
- Others will praise God because of the Corinthians confession of the gospel of Christ.
- Others will praise God because of the Corinthians generosity in sharing with others.
- Others prayed for the Corinthians
- Others hearts when out to the Corinthians because of the great amount of grace God gave the Corinthians.
Few verses have been as misused and abused by preachers trying to raise money than these verses. If you sow just a few seeds you will reap only a little. But where you are to sow? You are to sow by giving to the guy misusing this verse of course.
That is not even close to what Paul is talking about! First Paul is not raising money to fund his own missionary journey. He is raising money for the church in Jerusalem. He is raising money of others.
Second, Paul is not talking about giving to gain wealth here and now. Paul is using an agricultural metaphor to point out a spiritual truth. Paul compares a farmers who plants a lot of seed with a farmer who sows only a few sends. The one will have a much larger harvest, everything else being even. The analogy Paul is drawing is those who give generously have a larger harvest for the kingdom.
God may provide large material and physical harvest to those who give. But Paul is not stating nor implying that is the promise. That idea is not the New Testament promise.
As Christians we are to give liberally. But what does in it mean to give liberally? Liberally is not determined by the amount actually given. God determines it. We are to give as He has made us able to give. Christ said the widow who gave two small copper coins gave more than the wealthy who gave a lot of money. (Mark 12:41-44)
That is hard to accept for those of us who have been responsible for the church budget. We think that the larger the amount the larger the gift. After all, we have bills to pay. But that is not the way God sees it.
Paul is not saying give until it hurts. Then, keep giving until it feels good. (That is another abuse by the preachers trying to raise money.) Paul tells the Corinthians to give what they had already agreed to give. They were to give liberally and joyfully. Do not give because you feel like you are compelled to give. Give because you want to give. Give because you promised you would give. Give as God has enabled you.
Those who preach the prosperity gospel say Paul said, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” They then ask, “What else could Paul mean but if I give God will give to me abundantly?” Paul means exactly what he said. God blesses us with all we need. God blesses us in every way. It is not good for us to be satiated all the time. We may not want the stress, hunger, failure, etc. But they are good for us. We need them to grow.
Paul is not claiming that God is under any obligation to bring you anything because of your works. We receive God’s gifts only because of His mercy. But praise God we abound in all that is truly important. All we truly need is God’s love and mercy.
When Paul says, “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God,” he acknowledges God has given us the unspeakable privilege of being an instrument of His mercy. God does not need us. But God gives us the opportunity to draw closer Him by being His instrument of mercy.
God allow us to share in the joy of being an instrument of His mercy. As a result, others will praise God because of our participation. That is our purpose. Our chief end, is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.