you will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. [2 corinthians 9:11]
we are made rich in every way to bless others in every way–when i read this verse, another passage comes to mind–paul’s amazing opening to the letter to the ephesians:
blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, [ephesians 3:3]
do you see it? God through Christ has blessed us with every spiritual blessing, therefore he has enriched us in every way! of course we attribute the physical things we have to Christ, but also the immaterial and spiritual. our ability to choose Christ is not our own, our faith is not our own–this is why we can be generous with our money and our time. our generosity will overflow with the message of the gospel: that even though we are all sinners, Christ lived a perfect life and died a perfect death in order to save sinners by his precious blood. even if we have nothing else, we have Christ!
in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. [ephesians 3:7-10]
do you believe this? that he lavishes the riches of his grace upon us? sometimes we withhold offering things to people because we know they do not have the resources to afford it–if you worked in sales at a car dealership you would not offer to sell a new porsche to someone who is homeless. i know that i do the same with the gospel–i do not offer it freely to people who i do not think have the “resources” (the desire, the wisdom, the understanding) to accept Jesus, thus, i hoard and am not generous with the most valuable thing that i could give away.
oh, that i would remember that he enriches me with the gospel to be generous with the truth of Jesus, and if i can give away the most precious thing in the world to others–even if i think they are undeserving, and remembering that i myself am undeserving–then i can also be generous with anything else that i have been enriched with! all things! (romans 8:32)
the result? thanksgiving to God! we can give generously, abundantly, lavishly. and when those who receive question our motivation, we point to God. he gets the glory, he gets the praise!
i will praise the name of God with a song; i will magnify him with thanksgiving. [psalm 69:30]
let us worship at the feet of Jesus, the one who conquered sin and death; by him we are heirs to the kingdom of God. how can we not be generous with the gifts with which he has enriched us!
oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together! [ps 34:3]
~ conor eastman