Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!2 Corinthians 9:11-15
Although Paul states “You will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous” then he lists the two results of giving, it doesn’t include the giver getting rich. The needs of those in Jerusalem will be met and they will thank God. He does not say, “and you will get more”. “You will be rich.” You will get more so you can give more. There are some it seems who give in order to get. Recently I had a conversation with a number of people about the issue of giving. It was said that the principle of tithing doesn’t work. There are those who give big in order to receive big, but they end up worse off. Yes exactly! That is a good lesson to learn. If you give in order to get you have nullified the very reason for giving.
As we saw in Gem 560 the purpose is to provide equality and share the bounty with all. It is the principle that is seen in the Old Testament with gleanings and with the Jubilee year etc. it is all to do with even and fair distribution. If we start giving in order to gain then we are giving with the wrong motive and we negate the very giving we are doing. Besides the purpose is not to store up treasures on earth where rust and moth decay but to store up treasure in heaven. Too often we fall into the trap of placing our value judgement on what we see in this life. That is the trap Asaph, the Psalmist fell into in Psalm 73, when he contemplated the unfairness of life. He says he almost lost it. He was looking at all the injustice and the fact that the rich seem to get richer and evil men prosper. What’s with this? Why should I give my tithe or generously give offerings when it doesn’t seem to make a scrap of difference. Ah but which bank account is it being paid into? Your earthly one or your heavenly one? The problem is you can’t see the balance in your heavenly bank account yet. Are you sowing to reap the benefit in this temporal life or are you sowing into the life of the age to come?
The Psalmist says.
What’s going on here? Is God out to lunch? Nobody’s tending the store. The wicked get by with everything; they have it made, piling up riches. I’ve been stupid to play by the rules; what’s it gotten me? . . . When I tried to figure it out, all I got was a splitting headache . . . Until I entered the sanctuary of God. Then I saw the whole picture. [Message Version]Psalm 73:11-17
- “I saw the whole picture.”
Other versions say:
- “I understood their end”
- “their latter end”
- “their end state”
- literally “their afterwards”.
This is the same root word we looked at with God’s “afterglow” and Him covering Moses with his hand. God’s “afterness”, the glow left behind (Bible Gem 13). In this case it is the wicked people’s ‘afterness’ and let me tell you there will be no glow left behind. It is their after state. Their end, what happens at the end of their life. It will be clear that their heavenly bank account is empty. They stored it all for this life and used it to their own glory and for their own pleasure.
Giving generously does work. But you have to wait until you get your citizenship in heaven before you can check your account and see the results. Start looking in the right direction. Don’t be like Asaph who was looking at the wrong thing. Learn to discern with the perspective of heaven and of God.
Which bank account are you sowing into? Your earthly bank account or your heavenly one?Ian Vail
To do list: Help someone who can’t repay you.Bob Gass
Make yourself valuable to somebody today.Bob Gass
Do something that takes you outside your comfort zone.Bob Gass