Summary: Giving is not simply an act, it flows out of who we are, out of our love for God. Then we will be the cheerful givers who are loved by God
2 CORINTHIANS 9: 6-7 [GAINING PERSPECTIVE Series]
THE LAW OF THE HARVEST
[Luke 6:38 / Phil. 4:10-20]
Can a man lose by doing that which pleases God? These verses are an eloquent tribute to the blessedness of Christian giving. Grace giving always rebounds with multiplied blessings for the giver.
Yet in grace giving our motive is not to get something, but receiving God's blessing is a result of grace giving. What God gives back is not always money or material goods but it is always worth far more than we gave.
Giving, like other good works, should be done with thought and design. Due deliberation and forethought should be used in becoming a giver. After contemplation and planning, grace giving should flow freely and not begrudgingly. Giving is not simply an act, it flows out of who we are, out of our love for God. Then we will be the cheerful givers who are loved by God (CIM).
I. SOWING & REAPING, 6.
II. PREPARED GIVING, 7.
Why should the Corinthians give generously? The Bible gives two reasons here. In verse 6 is the law of the harvest and the second reason given in verse 7 is because God loves the givers. Let's first look at verse 6 to learn the spiritual law that is at work in giving. “But this (I say) the one who is sowing sparingly, He will also harvest sparingly, and the one who is sowing upon the bases of blessings, He will also, harvest upon the bases of blessings.”
The principle of the harvest is obvious because we see it operate in God's natural creation continuously. The farmer who sows in a small way inevitably must reap a small harvest and the principle continues that the man who sows generously will have the opportunity for a generous harvest (Gal. 6:7-8). The investor who puts a large sum of money in the bank will certainly collect more dividends. The principle or law holds true in both the natural and spiritual world (Prov. 11:24-26). The size of the harvest relates to the amount of the sowing. The biblical lesson which Paul is urging the Corinthians to understand at this point is that to give is to sow.
This familiar farm illustration states both the positive and the negative of the same idea. The negative point emphasizes the truth that when a person makes it a habit to give only a little, he or she can expect very little in the way of blessings. On the other hand, the personal rewards are great for those who habitually give generously. The Bible is opening our eyes to the fact that the “law of the harvest” applies to the sharing and giving of our material resources.
Imagine a MAN FROM CITY, a huge city, wall to wall concrete, a real concrete jungle. He’s never been out in nature to learn from it but goes and stays with a distance relative who is a farmer. It is planting season. He sees the farmer putting corn seed in the ground. Now he knew corn, it was something you eat, but he had no idea where corn came from. It was obvious that the farmer is struggling because the farm looks run down. He tells the farmer that the reason why things are bad on the farm is because he is wasting what little he has by putting it in the ground.
Each year a farmer has a choice to make. He and his can eat all the seed. He can enjoy all the corn or turn the wheat seed into bread and consume it. Or the farmer can "loss" some of his seed to the earth. He must lose his seed, give it to the earth, to later reap a harvest. But when he entrusts that dry, dead looking seed, contrary to all appearances, it eventually will be returned. For the planted seed possesses within itself the potency of life & increase.
Lots of things determine the quantity of a harvest: the quality of the seed, the number of seeds sown, the quality of the soil, and the amounts of moisture and nutrients provided. And the same is true with spiritual harvest. God's law of the harvest apply to the sowing we perform. Our seeds are our good works, our financial giving, our prayers, our study, our service, and our worship. If one’s return is determined by his investment then no farmer would sow haphazardly and expect a beautiful, bountiful harvest. And neither should we.
[As stewards, we have been entrusted with seeds to sow. And as we sow, so shall we reap. Anyone can count the seeds in one apple, but only God can count the apples in one seed. ]
What Paul is teaching us is that just as there are natural laws in the universe—laws of gravity, inertia, and thermodynamics—there are spiritual laws as well. If you give sparingly, you will reap sparingly; if you give bountifully, you will reap bountifully. That’s an absolute law of God as certain as is gravity or any other physical law.