Monday, August 22, 2011

II Cor 9 - Paul Explains the Benefits of Giving

Apparently my Spiritual Advisor Paul the Apostle thinks I need another session on the discipleship of giving. So here we are again…..

Paul: Guy, my goal for you is that your enthusiasm for giving would stir others to action.

Guy: Paul, if you want me to be some kind of example, I need more than just a “you oughta do it” riff. Tell me what giving is good for. In fact tell me what’s in it for me.  There, I just responded to a call for giving by using the word “me” five times – that ought to tip you off.

Paul: Okay. Here’s how giving is good for you. Allow me to paraphrase one of Solomon’s proverbs (11:24-25): whoever sows sparingly with also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will reap generously.

Guy: I get the principle – it happens in my garden every year. When I’m tired of clearing sod and spading and de-rocking, I just think about the squash and beans and tomatoes to come. But Paul – them’s MY squash, MY beans, and MY tomatoes. So: by giving I will reap WHAT?

Paul: Guy, you are forever praying and singing that God be glorified in your life. Here’s your chance! By giving, your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.

Guy: Really?! You’re just saying that. No-one actually says ‘thank you God for prompting Guy Page to send me some money.’

Paul: Actually, some do. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you. But is that really the point, you getting cred before the Throne? What – God doesn’t already know? The important thing is that men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them.

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