He who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully
2 Corinthians 9:6 Something to ponder in this time of giving
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”Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.“
2 Corinthians 9:6 NASB1995
Something to ponder in this time of giving…
Do you give presents to others just to be known as that “nice aunt”, “great dad”, or a generous gift giver? Or do you give to people you don’t know; those who really need just the essentials right now?
In Paul’s second epistle to the church of Corinth, he talks about giving. And Paul is not just talking about throwing a few bucks in the collection plate; he’s pointing out that those who really do their all to give to those who are in need will be rewarded by God.
Paul is basing this part of his epistle on the parable of the sower, a powerful parable that is in Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-20, and Luke 8:4-15. Sometimes we feel like we’re losing money (seed) when we give (sow), but like the farmer who sows the seed in hopes of a bountiful future harvest, our giving should be done with the same thought in mind. If a farmer only sowed a few seeds because he wanted to “save” as much seed as possible, he would definitely have more seed after sowing. But at harvest time, the farmer who planted more seed would have much more grain stored!
What do we receive (reap) after we sow? God blesses us both materially and spiritually.
God provides for the giving heart: this is pointed out in Philippians 4:19, where Paul thanks the church at Philippi for their generosity toward him, saying “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.“ Giving to God, He always gives back to us in our material needs.
In the spiritual sense, God rewards the giving heart now and in eternity. In Matthew 19:29, Jesus spoke of those who gave up everything to follow him — “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.“
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Jesus obviously didn’t mean this literally, that if we gave up a home for Him we’d receive many more homes (hence the image above) or if we left our mothers for Him, we’d receive an overflow of mothers! He was making a point; we will never lose when we give to God. The Lord is never in debt to any man or woman, so we should never fear giving him “too much”. It is impossible to be more generous than God, spiritually or in the material sense!
As John Calvin said in his commentary on Corinthians,
“This harvest should be understood both in terms of the spiritual reward of eternal life and also referring to the earthly blessings with which God honours the beneficent. Not only in heaven does God reward the well-doing of the godly, but in this world as well.”1
Nowhere in today’s verse do Paul or Jesus say we shouldn’t give material gifts to others, so feel free to show your generosity to your friends and relatives. But this Christmas, also remember the church and those who are truly in need of your giving. You will reap rewards for your generosity for everything given in God’s name!
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
Dear God, I pray that you create in me a clean heart and a generous spirit. May I always be a happy, generous, and gracious giver in all areas of my life, bringing the Holy Spirit’s gifts of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control to all I meet. Help me both sow and reap abundantly, so others may receive Your blessings and Your name is glorified. In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. lockman.org.
Calvin, John "Corinthians: Calvin's Commentaries" Volume 20 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1979)