Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Giving the Increase

2 Corinthians 9:10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

10 ὁ δὲ ἐπιχορηγῶν σπόρον τῷ σπείροντι καὶ ἄρτον εἰς βρῶσιν χορηγήσει καὶ πληθυνεῖ τὸν σπόρον ὑμῶν καὶ αὐξήσει τὰ γενήματα τῆς δικαιοσύνης ὑμῶν.

This is a great chapter for anyone who is in any kind of vocational ministry.  Paul makes clear exhortations for giving financially.  Everyone knows the line in verse 7 about how the Lord loves a cheerful giver.  This is certainly true.  However, I want to focus on this verse for a minute.

Here we see the promise that God will χορηγήσει καὶ πληθυνεῖ τὸν σπόρον ὑμῶν .  We have to be careful here.  There are plenty of teachers out there who will use this as justification for giving their ministry a "seed" with the promise that God will make you rich if you just provide that "seed" money.  That's not what this is saying here.  It is true that God does indeed make some people wealthy.  However, He does not do that for their benefit.  He does it to αὐξήσει τὰ γενήματα τῆς δικαιοσύνης ὑμῶν.

In other words, financial prosperity is something that requires wise stewardship because it is for God's glory, not for our own.  Any blessings we enjoy are for His glory as we use them for His service.  We may be able to enjoy some nice things as a result of these financial blessings, but ultimately that is not the goal.  The goal is that we may use them to further the kingdom of God.

If you are an American you are rich compared to most of the world.  Plug your salary in to this little utility.  It's pretty sobering.  What are you doing with your wealth?  How are you furthering God's kingdom?

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