Tuesday, January 20, 2015

NTDS (49): Harvesting Righteousness

2 Cor 9:10-11 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 made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. NIV

Harvesting righteousness may sound a little odd to most of us today. We don’t relate to agrarian terms as much as our ancestors did. Since most of get our food from the grocery store, we don’t think about the time and effort it takes to produce a good “harvest.” Let’s try to shed a little more light on what Paul was getting at, so that we may find the beauty of applying this truth in our lives.

Paul was addressing the believers in Corinth, who had promised a financial gift to the financially poor church in Jerusalem. He was encouraging them to follow through on their promise, as other churches in Macedonia, who were poor as well, had done. By looking at the context, it seems as though, after promising the gift, they may have hesitated on the actual giving of it because they were concerned about their own financial well being.

Paul then lays out some principles of giving that they need to understand. These same principles apply to the church today as well.

One: if you sow sparingly, you will reap sparingly (v6). To those who farm, this is abundantly clear. Every farmer knows that they have to sow (put seeds in the ground) abundantly if they want to produce well. Not all of the seeds will produce, so they must put more into the ground than they expect to get out of the ground. In the spiritual realm, if you want to see results, you must use the same principle. If you are not willing to give abundantly to the ministry of the gospel, you can’t expect to see good results.

Two: Give what you have in your heart to give. Don’t do it out of compulsion. God wants you to do it cheerfully (v7)

Three: When you give cheerfully, God is able to provide for your needs, both financially and spiritually (v8)

Four: He is the one who supplies. His desire is to give you more so that you can give away, both physically and spiritually (v10)

Five: The end result (harvest) of charitable giving, is eternal rewards (v10) Paul makes that clear in verse 9 as he quotes from Ps 112:9
"He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." Jesus said as much in Matt 6:1 "Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven, implying that when we give with correct motives, there is a reward in heaven.

Do you want your harvest of righteousness enlarged? The more you realize that God is the one who supplies all that you need, the easier it is to give it away. The more you give to those in need, the more you store up righteous rewards in heaven. In verse 8, when Paul says that God is able to make “all grace abound to you,” he means all! God supplies the grace to give of your time, your emotions and your body as well as financially. The end result, verse 11 says, will be thanksgiving to God. That is our very purpose in life, to bring glory to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

God bless you

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