Thanks-Living: Giving

by Rev. Sean Finnegan on November 16, 2014
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Studies indicate that grateful people can expect the following: feel better, more relaxed, more resilient, less envious, happier memories, less materialistic, less self-centered, more optimistic, increased self-esteem, more spiritual, more social, healthier marriage, kinder, more friendships, deeper relationships, improved sleep, less sick, increased longevity, more energy, more exercise, better management, improved networking, improved goal achievement, better decision making, and increased productivity. Just imagine a drug that could produce these results, without any side effects—and it’s totally free!

2 Corinthians 9:1-2
Hearing about the generous giving of the Christians in Achaia inspired those in Macedonia to contribute towards the fund Paul was collecting to help the poor in Jerusalem

2 Corinthians 9:3-4
Paul had been bragging about the Corinthians and their pledge to give. Now he is going to show up with some friends from Macedonia and he doesn’t want to get there and find that they had forgotten to set aside the money or had changed their minds. If this happened, it would bring shame on both Paul and the Corinthians. Thus, he wisely sends a couple of trusted friends and the letter we now know as 2 Corinthians to ensure that everything is in order when he gets there.

2 Corinthians 9:5
Other translations render the word “covetousness” as “extortion” or “exaction.” Paul doesn’t want to show up and take the Corinthians by surprise. He doesn’t want them to feel forced to give in order to save their reputation. He wants people to think it through ahead of time.

2 Corinthians 9:6
This is a basic principle of how giving works, but we should not take it as some sort of absolute key to health, wealth, and prosperity. (See also 1 Timothy 6:6-11, 17-19.)

2 Corinthians 9:7
Here is a key often overlooked. God doesn’t appreciate it when people give grudgingly or out of a sense of necessity. It should be a cheerful, glad hearted affair, not a compulsion.

2 Corinthians 9:8-11
God will take care of you when you trust him. Think of a farmer who tills the ground and plants seed. He does all he can, but in the end, God causes it to grow and to produce. Verse 9 is a quote from Psalm 112:9

2 Corinthians 9:12-15
The benefit is twofold: first the giving meets the physical needs of the saints and secondly it results in them giving “many thanksgivings to God.” But there is also a third benefit: prayer.

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