Summary: A little different look at thanksgiving. If we are thankful for God's blessing, what we doing to be a blessing to others, thereby increasing the thanksgiving, glory and praise being returned to God?
2 Corinthians 9:10–15 (NKJV)
Ever wonder how family fights begin on Thanksgiving? (show picture of pie with slice out of the middle).
In fact we often think of Thanksgiving as a day of excesses.
You Know You Overdid Thanksgiving When....
Paramedics bring in the Jaws of Life to pry you out of the EZ-Boy.
You receive a Sumo Wrestler application in your e-mail.
Pricking your finger for cholesterol screening only yielded gravy.
We have a feast right after worship this morning. There will be plenty. All are invited and we always have more than enough. We live in a land of plenty and we truly have much to be thankful for. Today passage deals very much with thanksgiving. But in ways you do not expect.
As we are so thankful for all the ways God has blessed us, If we are truly thankful, we need to be faithful in being a blessing to others. In 2nd Corinthians, the subject of chapters 8 and 9 is Paul organizing a collection for the poor saints in Judea. There had been famine, plus the Christians there were under persecution from the Jews. Paul was urging the church at Corinth to be generous in their gift. Our passage today come right after that well known passage we quote all too often:
2 Corinthians 9:7 (NKJV) So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
We love to quote that because that gets a lot of us off the hook in giving more. I’ll only give what I can joyfully give. More on this later. But this follows what is said in verse 6:
2 Corinthians 9:6 (NKJV) But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
This known as the Law of the Harvest. You sow little; you reap little, Sow more; you reap more. What a minute, you say, isn’t this a sermon about giving thanks? What’s all this about giving? Hold that thought. Bear with me and you will see.
Giving is the language of love. How do you show love? By giving, giving affection, giving to meet material needs, giving gifts to the object of your love. True giving is about the attitude of the heart. God set the example; God showed us His love. You know the verse:
John 3:16 (NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
God so loved that God gave. We are the object of His love. Now staying with the farming analogy, Paul writes:
2 Corinthians 9:10 (NKJV) 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,
We understand farming, and the Sunday School answer to a growing crop is that God has caused it all. We would be very right in saying so. God provides the seeds, he has given us the fertile soil and sends the rains to water the crops. God cause the plants to grow. The seeds we sow are often material things. The monetary gifts we give, we help folks in need so we can plant a spiritual gift. The seeds we sow are in righteousness. We need to see that like crops in the field, all righteousness is from God. We have none of our own. The righteousness we possess is only that which God works through us. We sow the seeds of God’s righteousness. And that all things good are from God:
James 1:16–17 (NKJV) Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
The only truly good things we do is only what God does through us. We sow the seeds of God Goodness and God’s righteousness.
"supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness," God’s righteousness and God's goodness which we sow in others, we pray that it will bear bring much fruit.
Hosea 10:12 (NKJV) Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.
We sow in righteousness and goodness because of where our treasures are. They are not of the material things of this earth, but those things that are above. This often involves the use our material goods goods which are also a blessing from God. We eager use these material things because of where our hearts are, or where our hearts should be.