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May 5 | 2 Corinthians 9:6-15


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Cheerful Giving

by Elaine Pierce


Did you notice that right after verse 8, in which Paul tells us that "God will make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times...you will abound in every good work," he quotes from the Old Testament, the Psalms, and his focus is on the poor:


"He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever."


So let's get this straight: we should give cheerfully (v. 7); we will have all that we need (v. 8) and "gifts to the poor" will abound. Being poor and having everything that I need don't seem to go together, do they? Mae West (and others) has been credited with saying "I've been rich and I've been poor. And believe me, rich is better." Yes, it's certainly nice to have creature comforts and to not worry about where our next meal is coming from, or where we will get money for rent, or which bill collector will call next. But I don't think that's what Paul has in mind in this passage.


In fact, he tells us in verse 11 the kind of "rich" he is talking about: "You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God." And he ends this chapter with these joyful words: "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" (v. 15)


The key to contentment seems to lie in how we approach money and wealth: does it control us, or do we use it to further God's kingdom? We all know we can't take it with us, and yet it is so hard to live a life that truly reflects God's goodness, God's provision, and God's abundance. Let's ask him to give us hearts that are joyfully giving to others, so that we can truly thank him for his indescribable gifts.


PRAYER

Lord, help me be a cheerful giver - to give freely out of all that you have given to me. Help me rejoice when I can help others, because it's only when I serve you I am truly free. Amen.



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