Generosity Leads to Kingdom Growth

October 17-21


Grace Abounds

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.  – 2 Corinthians 9:8 (ESV)

David Roper writes: Randy, our first child, went off to kindergarten with a 10-cent coin in his pocket to buy a carton of milk to go with his lunch. When he came home that afternoon, his mother asked if he had purchased the milk. “No,” he replied, bursting into tears. “The milk was 5 cents and I only had a dime.”

How often I have responded to demands placed upon me with the same childish understanding? According to God’s Word, I have all the resources I need at my disposal-more than enough to meet my needs and yet I’m reluctant to act because I fear that I won’t have enough. Paul was giving us the assurance that we have enough grace to do whatever God has called us to do-whether it is to give money for the cause of the gospel, as the Corinthians were doing (v.7), or to give love to a difficult teenager, an indifferent spouse, or an aging parent. Whatever the task, God will make sure we have “an abundance for every good work” (v.8). (David H. Roper, Our Daily Bread)


Here we have a promise that, if a person really wants to be generous, God will see that he is given the opportunity. God’s grace isn’t just enough, it’s abundant. When was the last time you sensed God’s abundant grace in your life?


Praise God for some of the ways you have sensed His abundant grace in your life. Ask God to show you areas where He wants to grow your level of generosity.


All Things

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. – 2 Corinthians 9:8 (ESV)

In some parts of Mexico, hot springs and cold springs are found side by side. And because of the convenience of this natural phenomenon, the women often bring their laundry and boil their clothes in the hot springs and then rinse them in the cold ones. A tourist, who was watching this procedure commented to his Mexican guide, “I imagine that these women think Old Mother Nature is pretty generous to supply such ample, clean hot and cold water here side by side for their free use.” The guide answered, “Not really. There’s a lot of grumbling because they have to bring their own soap!” (Source Unknown)

How often do we miss out on all that God is providing because we are complaining about something we don’t have? God gives us everything we need to fulfill His purpose for us. Warren Wiersbe writes, “Note the “alls” in v. 8—all grace; always; all-sufficiency; all things; every good work. Nothing is left out!” This is God’s promise to those who obey Him. Having sown material wealth by their giving, believers will reap an abundant harvest of material blessings in return. God graciously replenishes what they give so that they lack nothing. The more we give the more God provides and there is growth.


The old hymn says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings, see what God has done.” There is value sometimes in counting all the things God has done for you and the way you have grown as a result. What are some of the “works” you have done that God has provided sufficient blessings for?


Praise God for being a God of  “all things.” Ask God to forgive you for those areas where you have been complaining about what you don’t have.


Spiritual Harvest

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. – 2 Corinthians 9:10 (ESV)

A missionary in Africa had a farm some miles from the mission station. The season had been very favorable, and he had a large crop of corn on the mission farm. When the crop was ready to harvest, he made a public appeal to the Africans, asking them to help him carry his corn from the farm to the mission granary. He named the day and asked each person to bring his own basket to carry the corn.

Some had baskets large enough to hold a bushel or more; a few had very small baskets. At the close of the day the containers were filled for the last time, and everyone walked to the mission station, carrying his basket of corn. When the men arrived, the missionary thanked them for their help. Then he told them they could take home the corn they had just carried from the farm. Those who carried large baskets with a full load were very happy. Imagine how the men felt who had carried small baskets. Some of them said, “Why didn’t I bring a bigger basket?” (C.L. Paddock)

In 2 Corinthians 9:10, the Apostle Paul is reminding the church to expect a big harvest with God. God is the Giver of the seed and the bread (the fruit of the seed). God who supplies physical food would supply material blessing and spiritual nourishment in time and eternity. So even the Corinthians’ ability to help others is dependent on God who supplies them. God who supplies in this way would continue to supply these generous givers so that they would be enabled to continually give, and in turn, their generous giving would be increasing their earthly blessing and their heavenly harvest.


God supplies seed and bread, which reminds us of Jesus’ prayer “give us this day our daily bread” in Matthew 6:11. How has God provided for the physical needs of our church, especially through our “Greater Things” campaign? How has God provided a spiritual harvest for our church?


Thank God for the obvious material and physical blessings He has given our Second Church family. Ask God to help us trust God for even “Greater Things” as we revisit this campaign.


Many Thanksgivings

You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.  For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.  – 2 Corinthians 9:11-12 (ESV)

A boy, named Joe Fode, was crying because his mom could not buy him a banana. Actually, his mom wanted to buy him some but had already spent the money she had on some other grocery items she came to buy. Luckily, a friend of this woman was passing by and was obviously concerned about Joe Fode’s tantrum. The friend was told that Joe was crying for a banana. The friend then pulled a banana from her shopping bag and gave it to Joe. “What should you say?” the mom asked the boy. Joe Fode then said, “Peel it.” His mom was so embarrassed.

When you receive a gift the appropriate response is gratitude. While we know the Jerusalem saints would be grateful to Paul and the human givers, the greatest good would be seen in their gratitude toward God. Paul’s repetition of thanksgiving to God, in 2 Corinthians 9:11-12, shows that this is his emphasis and it is the ultimate goal of our giving.


The generous givers were continually provided for by God and it just led to greater gratitude. The more generous we are the more we will have to be thankful for as God replenishes our supplies. When have you sacrificially given and seen God resupply what you gave?


Thank God for the resources that He has given you that have enabled you to be generous. Pray that our church would always have an attitude of generosity and gratitude for the many ways God has blessed us


The Gift

While they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.  Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! – 2 Corinthians 9:14-15 (ESV)

A four-year-old boy asked his father, “Daddy, what does ‘ignore’ mean?” His father explained that it meant not paying attention to someone. The boy responded, “I don’t think we should ignore Jesus.” Puzzled, the dad replied, “I don’t either.” Then the boy explained, “But that’s what the Christmas carol says, ‘O come let us ignore Him.’”

Many people really sing it that way, don’t they? They ignore God’s indescribable gift while they furiously pursue exchanging and collecting expensive junk that nobody really needs. Meanwhile, churches often need funds, missionaries lack support, and opportunities for the gospel to penetrate unreached people groups are missed.

Paul reminded the Corinthians that the “surpassing grace of God” was on them. Surpassing means literally to throw beyond, here picturing God in a sense “throwing grace” upon them beyond all they could ask or think. In other words, it was obvious to the Jerusalem saints that the Spirit of grace was supernaturally superabounding in the saints at Corinth. The primary source of God’s surpassing grace was “his inexpressible gift.” This Gift is of course Jesus…the Greatest Gift ever! The Giver is of course God…the Greatest Giver! Grace Giving is what God is all about!


What are some ways you may have recently ignored God’s inexpressible gift? What are ways that churches may be tempted to ignore God’s inexpressible gift?


Praise God for the ways you can see the surpassing grace of God in our church. Ask God to help you recognize any areas of your life where you may be overlooking the privilege of knowing Jesus.