Cheerful Givers

2_Corinthians_9_6t8_Cheerful_Givers_Riverview_BOOK_EXCERPT_BIBLENOTES

Let us stand in honor of the reading of God’s Holy Word.

Please read with me.

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

There is a law just as sure as the Law of Gravity.
There is a law just as sure as the Law of Magnetism.

There is a law just as certain as the Laws that maintain our earth at a proper distance from the sun. The Almighty God established Laws of Physics and Laws of Nature that work in a certain way. These Laws are immutable, unchangable, for they are fixed. These Laws are bound in the Nature of God, and exist for our good, for the Common Grace of mankind. The Law we’re going to discuss tonight is certain, fixed, without change.

It is the Law of Sowing and Reaping.

God established the Law of Sowing and Reaping when He created the earth. We are told in …

Genesis 1:11 (KJV)  And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, WHOSE SEED IS IN ITSELF, upon the earth: and it was so.

God created plant life with seed within itself. He designed creation to understand that if it want to survive it HAD TO GIVE OF ITSELF. If plant life had taken the seed that it was given and, in rebellion to God, REFUSED TO GIVE, then plant life would have died out. To be selfish is to eventually become obsolete. God designed the earth on the Law of Sowing and Reaping. We read:

Genesis 1:12 (KJV)  And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, WHOSE SEED WAS IN ITSELF, after his kind: and GOD SAW THAT IT WAS GOOD.

The earth did as it was to do. The plants did as they were supposed to do. God saw that it was GOOD. What was given was shared, and life continued. There was no selfishness.

When there is OBEDIENCE and FAITH
in God there is blessing!

Because Adam took what was not his to take, the Lord cursed him and his seed. Sin entered the world – and death by sin – because of Adam’s transgression (see Romans 5:12; 1 Corinthians 15:21). Selfishness leads to death. Adam SOWED DISOBEDIENCE and REAPED ITS WAGES. It is always that way. And yet, even in this fallen world, the Law of Sowing and Reaping did not change.

God promised ABRAHAM that if he followed Him that Abraham would be blessed. Abraham had no seed to sow, no natural seed that is. But Abraham could follow the Lord and love Him with all his heart. Abraham followed God, and God blessed Abraham. Eventually God gave Abraham seed, and Abraham had a son called ISAAC or Laughter.

Joy comes from obeying God’s Law

Isaac was the joy of Abraham’s heart. Abraham made some mistakes, some failures, and Isaac followed in his father’s footsteps. WHAT YOU SOW you WILL REAP. What your children see you do while they are tender ground will later spring up in their lives. Isaac repeated some of his father’s errors, but Isaac also followed Abraham in faith. The Bible tells us that there was a great famine in the land. A famine is a time when there is no food. Famines are caused by a lack of water, droughts, often considered a curse of God on creation for its evil. The Bible tells us that …

Genesis 26:1-2 (KJV)  And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.  [2]  And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of:

There was a famine – no food. The word went out that Egypt had food stores, relief from the famine. But the Lord came to Isaac and said “Don’t go to Egypt. You go where I tell you. Stay here in Gerar.”

Genesis 26:3-5 (KJV){Stay} in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;  [4]  And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;  [5]  Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

Abraham obeyed God’s Law of Sowing and Reaping. If Isaac obeyed God – even though to the human eye it looked as if it would be better to go to Egypti – then God would bless Isaac where he was. What would Isaac do? Isaac did something ridiculous by human standards.

He stayed in Gerar.
He planted a field in the midst of a famine.

Genesis 26:12-14 (KJV)  Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the LORD blessed him.  [13]  And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great:  [14]  For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.

The lost world envied Isaac and wanted what he had. But why did Isaac have anything at all in the midst of famine? Because he sowed in obedience to God, he reaped the blessing of God.

No good thing comes without faith. You can sit on your hands and hope for the best, but if you do not sow you will not reap. This is an immutable law of God. In our text today we read:

2 Corinthians 9:6-8 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

To SOW is to SCATTER SEED.
To TOSS IT FROM YOU.
Seed will not grow in your hand.
Seed only grows OUTSIDE of your hand.
If you sow LITTLE, you shall reap LITTLE.
If you sow MUCH you shall reap MUCH.

If you plant ONE tomato seed, you get ONE plant.
If you plant MANY tomato seed, you get MANY.
The law of God is true in the garden.
And it is true in the SPIRITUAL world.

If you have something in your hand and in your heart, you should be willing to sow it for the Lord!

In thre first five verses – as well as in the previous chapter – the Apostle spoke of The Macedonian Christians. These believers had little, but sowed what they had, and in sowing God gave them more. They sowed beyond what their means were, trusting God.

This is faith. The Bible defines “faith” as:

Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

It is not faith in God to do something when you have plenty of resources. It is faith in God to believe in His promise, to obey His will, though it may not seem likely according to the flesh. Faith trusts God no matter how circumstances look. The Bible says that …

Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)… without faith it is impossible to please {God}: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Faith is to release the seed to the ground, to broadcast it, to be a good steward of what God has given you. A Christian is to be a sower, a planter, believing in God. Jesus gave a wonderful illustration of this in Matthew 25. Matthew 25 is all about stewardship, about trusting God, about sowing and reaping. Jesus starts out in Matthew 25 speaking of 5 foolish virgins, and five wise virgins. These virgins were to wait for the coming of the Bridegroom. The wise virgins were prepared. They had oil in their lamps. But the foolish virgins wasted their time and were not prepared. They sat around and instead of filling their lamps with oil, they demanded that the wise virgins give them their oil – which they would not do.

You cannot sit around and hope somebody waits on you. God has given you life, which is a stewardship. He has offered you eternal life in His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. If you sit around doing nothing with your stewardship you will find yourselves coming up short at a critical time. Fill your lamps with oil now. Don’t make the preacher have to chase you to get you in Church. What you sow you will reap. If you are not prepared, not saved, not Spirit filled, when Christ comes you will NOT BE PREPARED.

What you sow you will reap.
If you sow little, you get little.
The reason for little faith is little sowing.
Follow Christ consistently.
Be in Church regularly.
For Jesus will come, and you need to be prepared.

In Matthew 25 Jesus also tells the story of three servants. Each servant was given to every man according to his several ability”.

God always gives to us
“According To Our Own Ability”

One man was given FIVE TALENTS, another TWO TALENTS, and another ONE TALENT. Each servant was able to do something with these talents. The person with FIVE talents INVESTED what he had. He sowed what was in his charge. When the Master came he said:

Matthew 25:20 (KJV) … Lord, thou deliveredst unto me FIVE talents: behold, I have gained beside them FIVE talents more.

He sowed what he was given for the Lord. If you sow 5, you reap 5 – and he reaped 5. The Master looked at him and said:

Matthew 25:21 (KJV)  His Lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.

Heaven is yours. You did what you could with what I gave you. Enter into the JOY of thy Lord! I am overjoyed with you, and shine with pleasure for you have served me. Then the servant that received TWO talents came to the Lord. He said:

Matthew 25:22 (KJV) … Lord, thou deliveredst unto me TWO talents: behold, I have gained TWO other talents beside them.

The servant SOWED what was entrusted to him. What was the Lord’s response? Exactly the same thing he said to the first servant:

Matthew 25:23 (KJV) … Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.

The words were the same – EXACTLY the same. Though one started with FIVE talents and ended with TEN, and though the other started with TWO talents and ended with FOUR, BOTH MEN were equally commended by the Lord. It doesn’t matter what you start with. If you sow what God has given you to sow, you will be blessed.

But then the THIRD servant comes to his Lord. What did he do with his ONE talent?

Matthew 25:24-25 (KJV)  Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:  [25]  And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

This person did not know the Lord Jesus. Perhaps this person had a PROFESSION of Christ but no POSSESSION. He blames the Lord for not investing.

Lord, it’s YOUR FAULT I have little.
Lord, you are HARD on me.
Lord, if I had been given FIVE then…
Lord, I was frightened.

This servant buried his talent in the earth. How do we “bury our talent”? We do not sow it. We do not – trusting God – invest what He entrusted to us. We have money enough for fishing boats, trucks, four wheelers, and lands. We have money invested in the banks, and we give gifts to our families. But God’s talent is God’s talent. What will we do with it? This man said:

I bury it.
I hide it.
I hoard it.
But I will not invest it.

I can use a little holy imagination now and think about this man who buried his talent. He probably went to the other two stewards and told them “If I were you, I wouldn’t invest. I’d hold on to that money. I’d save for a rainy day. I’d sit on this in safety and security. When the Master returns I’ll be able to give Him back EXACTLY what He gave to me. So you’d better hold on to it. Hold on!”

When Adam sinned in the Garden he blamed God, then the woman. Now this steward blames the Lord. “I was scared of you, so I didn’t sow”. If you sow nothing, you reap nothing. The Lord told the steward:

Matthew 25:26-30 (KJV)  His Lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:  [27]  Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.  [28]  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.  [29]  For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.  [30]  And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

The WICKED servant lost his talent, and was cast into outer darkness. What does that mean? Some see this as a promise of eternal punishment, of hell for those who do not serve the Lord. That is a possibility. Those who love the Lord want to serve the Lord. The one who will not sow has a problem with faith and loving the Lord. So perhaps this person does go to hell.

But here’s another thought.

The “outer darkness” where there is “weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth” can refer to the life that lost sight of Christ and His Commission. I have seen a number of “Christians” die in misery and despair, wishing they had lived their lives better for their Lord. I have seen a number of parents in despair over the direction their grown children have taken. What you reap, you will sow. If you do not discipline the child nor

Ephesians 6:4 (KJV) … bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

If you allow that child to get away with murder, don’t be surprised if the child grows up to BE a murderer. What you reap you will sow. In time the seed you planted will become a tree, and that tree will bear GOOD FRUIT or BAD FRUIT. What was in the seed comes up in the plant. What is in the well comes up in the bucket.

Always.

The average heart will beat 36,000,000 every year, or around 2.52 billion times during a 70 year lifespan – and many of us live beyond that. The average respiration rate for a person at rest is 16 breaths a minute, 960 breaths in an hour, 23040 breaths per day. This comes to 588,672,000 breaths during a 70 year lifetime.

God made an investment when He made you. He made an even GREATER INVESTMENT when He died for your sins. You are purchased with the precious blood of Christ (1 Peter 1:19) if you have received Him as Lord and Savior. You are to sow for the Lord.

Sow What You Expect To Reap

Galatians 6:7-9 (KJV)  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.  [8]  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  [9]  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

We are to sow for the glory of God. If we sow sin, we reap death. If we sow to self we reap more of self. But if we sow to the Spirit, we reap of the Spirit. Whatever seed you sow will – in time – become what it should be.

Sow love, reap love.
Sow criticism, reap criticism.
Sow doubt, reap doubt.
Sow encouragement, reap encouragement.
Sow discouragement, reap discouragement.
Sow harmony, reap harmony.
Sow discord, reap enemies.
Sow good, reap good.
Sow evil, reap evil.
Sow sin, reap death.

When the Church justifies SIN in order to placate the world, this seed brings forth darkness. When God’s people show hatred and disharmony instead of love it will not be long before the Church disintegrates. What you sow, you will reap. If you sow Christ, you will reap Christians. Sow Christ. Live in God’s Word. Someone said:

Living a life of carnality and sin and expecting to inherit Heaven is like planting poison ivy and waiting for roses to bloom. It just won’t happen!”

We are told in the Old Testament:

Proverbs 11:18 (KJV)  The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.

Proverbs 22:8 (KJV)  He that soweth iniquity shall reap {emptiness}: and the rod of his anger shall fail.

Give Because You Love God

Our Lord Jesus was standing at the Temple one day watching how people gave. Those who had much would come up to the Temple offering and LOUDLY let every one know they were giving. Now it was good that they were giving. But as Jesus watched He saw a little old lady hobble to the collection plate.

Luke 21:2-4 (KJV)  {Jesus} saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites.  [3]  And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:  [4]  For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her {poverty} hath cast in all the living that she had.

This woman could have said:

I don’t give because I have medical bills.
I don’t give because I am a widow, all alone.
I don’t give because my children need it.
I don’t give because my mortgage went up.
I don’t give because I need groceries.
I don’t give because my utilities went up.
I don’t give because all I have is 2 mites.

The widow woman had a lot of reasons not to give. She didn’t take any of them. God gave her life. God gave her two mites to give. So the woman gave. And though her offering was tiny compared to those who gave much more, God appreciated her offering more.

She sowed out of faith.
She sowed out of love to God.

It is easy to give when you see where the money is coming from. It is easy to give when you have a lot of money in the bank. To give out of your ABUNDANCE is not faith. To give trusting God, believing what Jesus said:

Matthew 6:33 (KJV)  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Do what God tells you to do with your stewardship. Do not listen to the Devil who says “hath God REALLY said?” Yes, God has really said. And God meant it.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity…

Giving to God is to be from the HEART. Our giving – whether it be time, talent, or money – is to be NOT GRUDGINGLY or because the Pastor or the Law says so. It is not to be OF NECESSITY. The Law of God speaks of a TITHE, and Abraham gave a tithe to God before the Law was ever written (see Genesis 14:20). Why did Abraham tithe? Because he loved the Lord. The Lord said of Abraham:

Genesis 26:5 (KJV) Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

Abraham obeyed and gave to the Lord not because it was a law written down, but because the Lord he loved asked him to do so. Abraham loved God, and God loved Abraham!

2 Corinthians 9:7 … for God LOVETH a cheerful giver.

“God loveth”. The word translated “loveth” is the Present Active Indicative verb of the Greek AGAPAO (agapaw ag-ap-ah’-o). This is the same word that we find in the beloved passage:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

What’s the difference between “loved” in John 3:16 and “loveth” in 2 Corinthians 9:7? The tense of the verb is different. In John 3:16 it says “God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son”. This is Past Tense, showing that God poured out His love on the world when He sent the Lord Jesus Christ to the Cross. In 2 Corinthians 9:7 it says “God loveth a cheerful giver”. This is Present Tense, showing that God keeps on pouring out His love on those who cheerfully give.

When people who have received Grace are Gracious themselves, God sees this – and keeps on pouring out His love on them.

“God loveth a cheerful giver”. The word translated “cheerful” is the Greek adjective HILAROS (`ilaroj hil-ar-os’), the word from which we get our English word “Hilarious”. HILAROS means “to be cheerful, joyous, even hilarious, filled with mirth”. God keeps on pouring His love out on the hilarious giver, the person who gives – not because they have to – but because they want to. The God Who made us gives – not because He has to – but because He wants to. He gives liberally. He gives joyously. And He wants us to give in like manner. It is unnatural – against all creation – to take and take and take and never give back.

The God Who gives all things richly to us is the same God Who designed our hearts. He designed us to be communal, that is, to live together. He made us born again to LOVE OTHERS. It is in our giving of self and stuff that we show our love toward others.

II heard of a wealthy farmer who always bought three times the seed he needed to sow his fields. The salesman asked him why he did that. The farmer replied, “I give seed to my neighbors on each side of my farm. When the bees begin to pollinate my crops, I don’t want them to bring pollen from lower grade seed on to my land. By giving my neighbors the best seed, I bring myself the best riches”.

As the Apostle Paul prepared to leave the Church at Ephesus he told the Pastors there:

Acts 20:35 …. laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

It is more blessed to give than to receive. It blesses others, and it blesses you. And remember as you give for God it will not return void. The Apostle said:

2 Corinthians 9:8-9 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: 9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.

God is able. He is able to bless us. We must trust Him and give, if we have been given eternal life. May God touch your hearts with His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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