Summary: We believe that God will do whatever He says He will, so why don’t we trust Him in the area of our finances?
God Promises Rewards
2 Cor 9:1-11
These days we see many credit card companies offering rewards. Some companies give back a portion of what you spend, other give you gifts, some would give frequent flyer miles on all purchases. Even car manufacturers are in on this, cash back or zero percent financing. We are a rewards oriented society, and that is not necessarily wrong.
Giving to the LORD is in fact, a God backed, guaranteed investment, not an uncertain gamble like the stock market. Jesus uses the promise of reward to teach his followers. He teaches people to give without a public display because the glory should go to God not to man. When Jesus saw the widow, recorded in Luke 21, who gave all she had, he used it as a teachable moment. She gave, not for her own glory but for God’s. By giving as she had, she was showing her faith in God. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said “Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Jesus went on to say that those who even give a cup of cold water to someone because he is a disciple he will be rewarded. (Matt 10:42). Jesus is stating and reinforcing a cause and effect relationship between giving and receiving.
Rewards is a healthy legitimate motive for giving, but only if it is not the only motive for giving. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that God rewards those who seek HIM. Faith and trust must also be our motive. Jesus tells us that giving like that is like storing up treasures in heaven. Giving like this shows that we trust God to take care of our physical needs in this life. God longs for us to trust HIM enough to seek him first. Matt 6:33 is a famous Sunday school verse “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…well you know the rest.
God’s teaching on generosity is also expressed with another principle. Trust God to reward true obedience. In general, it is easy to accept this principle. There are a number of examples verifying this idea in the Bible. We trust God to bless children who obey their parents, we trust God to make all things work for good, we trust Him with salvation when we obey His plan, we trust HIM that He is coming back to judge the world. If we did not, there would be little point to following Jesus.
Unfortunately, many Christians act as if this principle applies to everything but our finances. Now I am not perpetrating a health and wealth gospel that is a selfish misguided use of the Bible. However, there are those who say they believe in God, but do not trust him to help make the rent payment. However, as we see in the passage for this morning, when we trust God in the area of our finances, he also promises to reward us. He does not spell out how he will reward us or repay our trust, but he does promise a rich reward. The question is do we trust HIM? God has promised rewards that include financial blessings, but we must be committed to following his purpose.
The following are three specific rewards outlined in scripture.
1. We will be made rich in every way. (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. 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.
God says we will be made rich in every way. We should never limit the extent of God’s blessing to the spiritual or the emotional arena, nor should we to the physical arena. God promises that if we give to him He will give us the financial capacity to be generous. The Bible describes riches as both spiritual and physical. Of all the riches we can possess none is more important than the spiritual. In the spiritual realm, these riches are His grace, His mercy, His love, His understanding, His wisdom, and His forgiveness.
In this passage Paul explains that financial decisions have physical advantages as well as spiritual. He is not just pointing out the spiritual or emotional value of giving; he is stating that we can receive from giving which could lead to greater financial resources. However as stated earlier, this is not a health and wealth gospel. If our desire is to be wealthy to spend it on ourselves, do not expect the reward. Health and wealth gospel teaches that Christians should give to get. However, GOD says we should give to get to give again.