If you give money to the Lord, do you get money back from Him? I think there is biblical evidence for the idea, but that said, giving is certainly not God’s plan for his children to “get rich”. Here’s a better way to put it: giving financially is the way to have enough so that you can continue to give to others. And therefore, if you’re not a generous giver, you are missing out. Please read on…
When you want to learn about giving in the Bible, one of the key places you turn to is 2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9. Here Paul is instructing the Corinthians about putting together an offering for the famished saints in Jerusalem, and he has a lot to say about the whole subject of generosity and giving.
One of the most interesting parts of his teaching is when the Apostle calls our gifts a “seed” which if planted will yield, well, more seed. That makes sense, right? It’s undoubtedly the reason he uses that terminology. It’s the old chestnut – “it’s not how many seeds are in an apple, but how many apples are in a seed.”
Now, when I use that word “seed”, I just picture those TV preachers saying, “Send in your ‘seed gift’ of $100 and watch God multiply it to $1,000.” Yuck. From what I’ve heard, that kind of teaching is devastating the church in Africa, where impoverished people are sending in all they have and watching fat cat charlatans fly away with their money on a private jet. So that’s not what I’m saying. But who cares what I say anyway, the question is always, what does God say? Look here:
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (ESV)
Many of us are familiar with these verses, where Paul compares giving to planting on a farm. So, if you plant corn, you get corn. OK, got that. But look how he goes on to explain it…
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 (ESV)
Alright, we’re getting the idea, but it’s still not exactly clear. However, it does seem like he is saying that if you give generously to others, God will “make grace abound to you” so that you will have “all sufficiency” to “abound in every good work.” It sounds like personal generosity will lead the Lord to provide you with enough to give to others, but then Paul spells it out…
As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:9-11 (ESV)
Those last couple of verses sure seem as clear as day – God enriches givers so that they can continue to be generous in every way. He multiplies their seed not so they get rich, but so that they can continue sowing!
This isn’t about building multiple McMansions and buying 3 or 4 expensive cars so you can show off that you’re “a child of the King.” No, no, no. This is God in the process of blessing his children who give so that they can continue to participate in the joy and adventure of giving.
So give! Sow generously so you will reap generously…so you can keep sowing generously. For Jesus Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) What a blessing that our Heavenly Father wants to bless us…by enabling us to bless others.
For Tuesday, June 9: 2 Corinthians 10