THE SECOND EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE CORINTHIANS
BIBLE QUOTES STUDY
a great day for more Daily Bread! Glad to have you back again to
share more of this second letter from Paul to the Corinthians. Have you ever
been asked to collect money for some reason? Itís a dirty job, but somebody
has to do it. If you think you donít like being asked for money, probably
the person who has been asked to ask for it likes it even less ... unless
you understand the opportunity that youíre giving people.
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That sounds crazy,
you might say, scratching your pate. What kind of opportunity can giving
away your money be? It may sound like more of an opportunity for the
receiver than for the giver, until you look at things from a spiritual point
How many times have you heard these things?
Itís better to give than to receive.
Share the wealth.
Lay up your treasures in heaven, where moth and rust donít
Let me ask you another question. When a
gift is given to someone, who is usually the receiver of these three words,
ďGod bless you?Ē So who is really receiving the better gift?
How many times do
you give, and you donít receive a blessing because you didnít do it
willingly? Is there grace (favors from God) that could be waiting for you,
if you just change your attitude about giving, from reluctant to eager? Are
there treasures that could be added to your account in heaven, just because
of your outlook? I think yes.
Now, just a little
refresher; Paul is collecting money to take to the elders in Jerusalem for
the believers there, because there was a famine,
Acts 11:30. So
heís the one with the dirty job, that someone has to do, but he, instead of
just asking for money, tells of the Grace that God provides to those who
give from their hearts. Paul doesnít want anyone in Corinth to be
embarrassed about their donation for the Saints, and we know that he
arranged for their collection to be taken up before he arrives. Now he
continues to encourage them further.
Itís not necessary for me to write to you yet again
about the ministering to the Saints, because I know the willingness of your mind,
and I brag to the people of Macedonia about you,
that Achaia (where Corinth was located) was ready a year
ago, and your enthusiasm has motivated many people.
Still, Iíve decided to send Titus and the others
in case our bragging about your readiness is for no
reason, and in case by chance, some people from Macedonia come
with me, and find you unprepared and we (rather, you)
should be ashamed about this confident bragging.
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believes that the Corinthians are sincere, he knows that things happen over
time, that are unexpected, so he wants to cover all bases, to avoid any hard
feelings for anyone. Let me give you an example: One of the Corinthians
pledges that heíll donate 5 farthings every week for the collection, but his
little son broke his arm falling out of a tree and he had to pay a doctor
for treating it. So you see, many people probably had circumstances arise
that may have caused them to fall short in their pledges, but he is also
saying, Hey, I bragged about your generosity to encourage them to give also,
if it turns out that it doesn't come to pass, we will all be embarrassed ...
So, Paul says:
So, I thought it was necessary to encourage the brethren
to go to you before I arrive and collect your generosity
that you promised, ahead of time so that it would be ready and that it would signify generosity and not greed.
But this I say,
He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also
He that hath a bountiful
eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his bread to the poor.
Aha, there are also those who may have had
a change of heart about their pledges, remember Paulís trip was postponed to
Corinth, maybe they didnít plan on saving for over an entire year. By the
same token, the poor Saints probably didnít count on their already poverty
stricken lives to be stricken even harder by dearth.
Let every man give depending on how he plans in his heart,
not grudgingly, or unwillingly, because God loves a cheerful giver.
If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any
of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou
shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor
brother: But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt
surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.
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Now Paul begins to tell of the blessings
for the generous giver.
And God is able to make all Grace plentiful toward you,
so that you,
having enough of everything may be able to do
every good work.
As it is written,
He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness
endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.
Now may God, who gives seed to the sower, give bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness,
being enriched in every thing to all plenteousness, which causes through us, thanksgiving to God.
Because the performing of this service
not only supplies the needs of the Saints,
but is abundant also by many thanksgivings to God;
while by the experiment of this service they glorify God for your loyalty to the Gospel of Christ,
and for your generous gift to them, and to all men,
and by their prayer for you, which thirst for the exceeding Grace of God in you.
So, not only does
generosity bring about help to the needy, but it brings praise to God for
the givers, and glorifying God is a very good thing! Hereís a curious
question: When you see a homeless person asking for money on a street
corner, do you rub your chin as you look at them and try and decide if
theyíre deserving? Is the true question whether or not the person who judges
them, deserving of any favors from God for their ... So called generosity?
Every opportunity to be generous to one of Godís children is an
opportunity for blessings to be released in your life. For as Jesus said ...
What you do to least of my brethren ... You do unto me.
Thanks be to God for His priceless gift.
Join in again soon, as we continue with
our study of the New Testament and Paulís second letter to the Corinthians,
right here at Daily Bread.
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