Vital signs-Wednesday, December 30th, 2020
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. . . . You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
2 Corinthians 9:8, 11
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, was a man committed to generosity. In 1731, Wesley’s income was thirty pounds while his expenses totaled twenty-eight pounds. Instead of using the remaining two pounds for himself, he decided to give it away to the poor. Shortly after, when Wesley’s income doubled, he continued to live on twenty-eight pounds so that he could give even more generously to the poor. Even when his income was in the thousands, he continued to live on twenty-eight pounds and give the rest away. God greatly enriched Wesley’s life, but he understood something important: he was enriched by God’s grace that he may bring God’s blessing into the lives of others.
In 2 Corinthians 9, Paul is taking up a collection for the poor in Jerusalem, and so he explains the biblical principle of generosity. Whether we have little or an abundance, we are exhorted to be cheerful givers. This is a pretty simple principle to understand, but much more difficult to practice. The love of money can have a grip on our hearts for different reasons and in different ways. It is so easy to put our trust in money to provide us with a sense of security, significance, or power.
However, things begin to change when we encounter the God of the Bible—the one who gave his own Son, the one who makes all grace abound.
As we learn to trust in this generous God, he enriches every area of our lives, allowing us to experience the fullness of his grace. With God’s grace, the grip that money has had on our hearts begins to loosen and we can be generous. God, who has already given so generously, will continue to enable us to abound in good works.
Because of Christ’s enriching grace, you can be generous.
Think of a time when you gave cheerfully. Why was it a cheerful process for you?
The grace of God is evident in his ability and willingness to save us and provide for us. List some ways God has provided for you.
How do grace and giving relate to one another?
You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
2 Corinthians 9:11
Lord, I praise you because you have been generous to me in countless ways. I have done nothing to deserve your kindness and blessings, but you make them abound to me. Even the works of my own hands are produced because of your power. Thank you for your heart for me! I pray that your grace would alter my heart to reflect your generosity. Help me to see that the blessings you have given to me are to share your generosity with those around me. I pray that you will help me to sow in faith, believing I will reap greatly so I can be more generous. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.