The Indescribable Gift

Read: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

God loves a cheerful giver. (v. 7)

In the classic film It’s a Wonderful Life, George Bailey spends his life serving others, often at the cost of his dreams. George believes his efforts have been wasted, but a heavenly messenger gives George a glimpse of his irreplaceable impact on the world. This perspective is an indescribable gift, replacing George’s duty and obligation with genuine joy.

Financial giving is an essential discipline of the Christian life. Paul’s words “God loveth a cheerful giver” (v. 7 KJV) are engraved on countless church offering tables. Despite this statement, many believers give more out of a sense of duty than joy. The pretext for Paul’s exhortation is a request for the Corinthian church to provide aid for struggling fellow believers in Macedonia. But this context-specific message provides both a reasoned argument for all believers to give and an invitation to do so with joy.

According to Paul, we’re obligated to give because God has given us so much (vv. 9-10). We’re enabled to give because we know God can replenish whatever we offer (v. 8). We’re encouraged in giving because through our generosity, others experience God’s generosity. (vv. 12-13). Finally, we’re gratified in giving because we get a taste of the joy and love God feels when he gives to us (v. 7). The “indescribable gift” is God’s love, which we can’t earn but experience in fuller measure the more we give.

As you pray, ask God to share his generosity, and joy, with you.

About the Author

Ben Van Arragon has served various Christian Reformed congregations since 2003. He currently serves as pastor at Plymouth Heights Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

This entry is part 12 of 15 in the series 2 Corinthians: Shining through the Cracks

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