The Gift of Giving (maybe not what you think!)

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” (II Corinthians 9:15)

Many of us have heard the expression “the gift of giving”, and the Bible does teaches that giving is a gift. But it may also be a gift in a sense that one might not expect!

 

We might think of giving in terms of our giving a gift to God, or to meet the needs of others, as a gift to THEM. And there is certainly the sense in which that is true. But in II Corinthians 9, we see giving as a gift in another way: in which the ability to give is actually a gift from God to US!

In this chapter Paul describes how the giving of the Corinthians allowed them them to receive many blessings:

— :8 says it allowed them to participate in the grace of God.

— :12 indicates that it gave them the privilege of meeting the needs of other people.

— :14 says it caused them to  be prayed for by the recipients of the gift.

— and that same verse indicates that it knit them together with these people in sweet fellowship as they “yearn for you”.

— and :13 asserts that it helped them to fulfill man’s highest purpose in life, which is glorifying God. (:13)

So in a very real way, although the Corinthians were GIVING a gift; actually the ability to participate in this giving ministry was a GIFT from God to them!

We should not be surprised at that; Jesus said in Acts 20:35, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” This chapter helps explain how that is indeed so — in many ways.  So if you are able to give: to the Lord and to His people through your church, or in other personal ways, be grateful.  It is actually YOU who are receiving a great gift from God!

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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