Blessed to Bless
Today's Promise for Believers is this: God will provide everything you and I need to participate in our new mission for his glory and our joy. God wants to bless us to bless others that we all might have joy in being satisfied in God.
At one point the Apostle Paul writes the believers in Corinth that they might take up a collection for the suffering believers in Jerusalem. He uses believers in Macedonia as an example for them to emulate. He will follow up the example with an amazing promise from God.
2nd Corinthians 8:1 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints—
First I want us to notice Paul preempts his example by saying the following is a gift of grace from God among the Macedonians.
Paul gives us a list of ingredients that make up that grace.
But first think about this: If you’ve ever put on a bakers hat and made your favorite Sassy Momma or Ooey Gooey Butter Cake you know that some of the ingredients taste good on their own but most are unpleasant and disagreeable by themselves.
Things like raw eggs, flour, baking soda, salt, unsweetened chocolate and such might make you throw up if eaten alone. Now the sugar is great… still all alone no matter how much you ate it would not match up to that mouthwatering cake you're thinking of right now.
The ingredients Paul included in Gods grace were a severe test of affliction, extreme poverty and sweet joy. When those get mixed together with Gods grace a magical spontaneous combustion happens… A wealth of generosity towards others to the point of wanting to share pieces of the cake of Gods grace with others. These poverty stricken afflicted believers even begged Paul to let them participate in the mission.
So wheres the Promise? Paul continues beginning in:
2nd Corinthians 9:6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Notice as Paul encourages the Corinthians, he adds this stipulation to their giving… they should do it cheerfully, that is as the Macedonians did.
As believers we first see this principal of cheerfully giving all for Christ in initial salvation.
Remember the parable about initially coming to Christ Jesus told in Matthew 13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
The Gospel is not only for initial salvation but every aspect of life. And so our giving in joy is one way we live out the Gospel every day.
Check out what Paul says next!
8 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.
Wow! Did you notice how many times Gods promise included the word “all”?
All Grace, all sufficiency, in all things at all times and in every good work. When we cheerfully give in faith, God keeps his promise to spill over his extreme blessings into our life that we might be about the new mission that God has implanted in us.
God knows the best blessings to give us individually for his mission. Paul just told us why God gives these blessings; it is so we may abound in every good work… it’s for Gods glory.
Then in verse 11 Paul leaves no doubt as to what Gods end goal is for this promise he has given.
11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.
Notice again the extremity of Gods promise… enriched in every way to be generous in every way! That is an amazing promise and it is accompanied by much joy. And then the ultimate end is God being glorified himself. Our joy ends in worship with thanksgiving to God. Thank You Lord for the best cake ever made in Jesus!