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. for the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. by their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! [2 corinthians 9:10-15]
we’ve all walked into a situation and felt completely unequipped, whether that was a new job, a class that was way too hard, or even becoming a parent. often as Christ-followers we feel ill-equipped to fulfill our call to love and serve one another. one of the beautiful things about God is that he promises to equip us for his work.
consider this your daily reminder that you are not the provider of the seed nor the grower of the harvest, and that is a very good thing. in verse one paul is clear, God provides the supply and the growth of righteousness. he doesn’t say, “hey, why don’t you muster up generosity so we don’t look bad!” he says you will be “enriched” in every way to be generous in every way. in the greek, enriched means to make rich, or richly furnished. that means God is literally giving you lavish generosity. not a little bit, a lot. he’s making you rich in generosity.
then paul gets to the purpose. in a linear way you might think that the purpose of the generosity is for the aid of the saints in jerusalem, and you would be partially right. but paul calls us to a higher purpose here: all glory and thanksgiving to God. what good is the temporary relief of food, clothing, shelter without glory and thanksgiving to the Savior? and paul is clear here, God uses us to bring this about. what a joy and a privilege to be the catalyst of genuine thanksgiving.
could you imagine being in a community that just got extremely excited about the obedience of fellow saints? like if i saw you being obedient and it caused me to rejoice and glorify God because of his work in you? that’s what paul is talking about. that our community would be so moved by the surpassing grace of God that we would long for one another.
let’s not hesitate to pray for God to lavish us with generous hearts, to provide and multiply the seed and bring forth abundant harvest, and to cause so much celebration within the body of Christ when we see obedience and submission to the gospel. then with paul, we can thank God for the inexpressible gift of his grace upon us.
~ erin boettge