Tuesday after the Ninth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:1-15 (NKJV)
9:1 Now concerning the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you; 2 for I know your willingness, about which I boast of you to the Macedonians, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal has stirred up the majority. 3 Yet I have sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this respect, that, as I said, you may be ready; 4 lest if some Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we (not to mention you!) should be ashamed of this confident boasting. 5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of time, and prepare your generous gift beforehand, which you had previously promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a grudging obligation.
6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written:
“He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.
12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, 13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, 14 and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
St. Paul’s purpose was not only for money to be contributed to the poor, but for it to be contributed with great eagerness. Likewise, God appointed in the Second Table of the Commandments to provide not only for the nourishment of our neighbor in need, but also for the benefit of the providers, who learn love and compassion for their fellow man. If St. Paul considered only the interest of the poor, he would have commanded that the money be given, and he would not have needed to ask for the eagerness of the providers.
But now you see the Apostle commending that, above all, the givers to be joyful. We should give in a cheerful manner and not grudgingly. This is only learned through the teaching of compassion. In this we are taught by our Lord Jesus, who gave all that He had to pay for us poor, miserable sinners. In Him is the perfect picture of love and compassion, and of being a cheerful giver. He gladly and willingly gives us forgiveness, life, and salvation through laying down all that He had, including His life. Now we, who were once poor in spirit, have all the treasures of Heaven. Therefore, having received this great gift, let us learn to give in like manner. “God loves a cheerful giver;” not simply a giver, but the one who does this with pleasure.
We pray: Let Thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of Thy humble servants; and that they may obtain their petitions, make them to ask such things as shall please Thee; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.