Summary: God wants His church to prosper. What is holding you back?
December 26, 2010
Text: 2 Corinthians 9:6-11
Title: A Prosperous Church: Part 1 in the Benefits of Giving Series
I pray that everyone survived the busyness of Christmas. I also pray that you all took the time to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas truly is the season of giving and receiving. God gave the greatest give ever given and we have been the recipients of that gift. I don’t know who is happier the giver or the receiver. I shared with you recently about the ways that God gives. He gives liberally, freely, abundantly and graciously. In doing so God has established a pattern that His church is to follow for giving.
A Mom wanted to teach her little daughter a lesson about giving. Before they left for church she gave the girl a dollar and a quarter and told her she could put whichever she wanted in the collection basket and keep the other for herself. When it came time for the offering she put the quarter in the basket and kept the dollar. When asked about her decision she told her mother, “I heard the preacher saying that God loves a cheerful giver. I figured I could be a lot more cheerful giving the quarter so I did.”
I want to spend the next few weeks talking about the benefits of giving and I believe that by the end of the series you will see giving, not as a chore or a commandment to be followed, but as an opportunity to do God’s will and receive His benefits for doing so. As we go through this series I also want to show you that the principles involved with giving not only apply to money and finances but also to every act of giving that you do. I believe that these truths about giving will transform this church and your life if you will personally apply them to your life.
Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-11.
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.”
10 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. 11 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.
I. A SPIRITUAL LAW IS ESTABLISHED. Throughout the bible God has established laws. These laws, whether they are natural laws like gravity or day and night, or spiritual laws, are laws that God has set into motion in which there can be no variation unless acted upon by God Himself. One of those laws is described in verse 6. 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. This is the Law of Sowing and Reaping and it goes hand in hand with another spiritual law, the Law of the Harvest. The Law of the Harvest is stated in Galatians 6:7-8, 7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. This law states that what you sow is what you will reap. There are no variations. You cannot sow corn and expect watermelons. The law of sowing and reaping is like the Law of the Harvest except it applies itself to the amount sown instead of the seed itself. If you sow sparingly you will reap sparingly; if generously then generously. This is not just a law for the church. It applies to everyone. But, it has special significance for the church. It is not a law that deals only with finances although in this context it is about your finances. This is a kingdom principle. If you sow into the kingdom you will reap for the kingdom. When Jesus told the parable of the sower we look at it with the understanding that the difference in the results came from the variation of the soils. What we should be looking at as well is the simple fact that seed was sown – the initial action was taken to set the law into effect. Now, hear is the lie that the enemy wants to tell you concerning the Law. Some people are meant to be poor and there is nothing you can do to change that. Or, some people are meant to be soul winners and others aren’t so you might as well know your limitations and live within your means. Let me give you three scriptures to counter this. 1) Acts 10:34, Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism… The KJV says, “God is no respecter of persons…” In other words, what He has done for one He will do for you. 2) 3 John 2, Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. The NIV uses the phrase “go well with you” which weakens the meaning a little. The word in the Greek means to help on the road or to help in reaching – as in reaching a goal, or, I want you to get this, to succeed in business affairs. So God wants you to be healthy and prosper spiritually (your soul) and in the natural man as well. 3) Deuteronomy 8:18, But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant (His Law) … Once we settle these scriptures in our hearts and allow the spiritual Law to take hold in us we can expect to reap according to how we sow.