It is love, not knowledge, that forms the basis of Christianity. Paul wrote letters to the church at Corinth to emphasize this point and lead the Corinthians back into right relationship with God and others. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. Whether it’s your first time reading the Bible or you’ve been doing daily devotions for decades, God will use this One Thing to speak to you. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!
2 Corinthians 9:1-9
The Collection for Christians in Jerusalem
Now it is superfluous for me to write to you about the ministry for the saints, 2 for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year. And your zeal has stirred up most of them. 3 But I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be. 4 Otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated—to say nothing of you—for being so confident. 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction.
The Cheerful Giver
6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 9 As it is written,
“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
Let Me Testify! | Becky Newman
2 Corinthians 9:7-8
Paul gives more encouragement here to the Corinthians to be generous and give out of the abundance God has blessed and will bless them with. He also mentions the importance of the heart in giving. The two examples he gives are that we should not give reluctantly, holding tight to that check as the receiver rips it out of our greedy clutch, and we should not give under compulsion, being forced to give as either a promise from men that we will receive more or even to gain favor in the eyes of man.
First, isn’t it the awesomest how this month’s reading plan syncs up so beautifully with where our hearts should be for Thanksgiving and the Christmas season! That was not DOT ministry planning by any means, that was all God’s planning! And I praise You for that! Second, I have testimonies over and over of living verses 7-8, dating back to me being a new believer and newlywed 16 years ago. My hubby set our family standard for giving, subtracting our tithe from our income before budgeting expenses, and even when money was tight, we still wrote that 10% of our income check, without hesitation from him at least, but sometimes with hesitation from me. That is until I saw verse 8 come to life. We saw God’s hand in our provision time and time again, usually with unexpected checks in the mail to us; I started calling them checks signed by God. My favorite one to share, all for Your glory, is the time when my hubby was in law school and we were living on a tight budget month-to-month while eating into our savings, but we still subtracted our tithe from our income, setting aside that money for God. Our budget did not have enough money to pay our mortgage without going into debt. Then You, through an act of Congress, changed the law for who could use G.I. Bill money, and we and others in similar positions began receiving checks signed by God in the mail that were just enough to cover the cost of law school and our mortgage payment. Stuff like this hasn’t just happened once, but over and over again, and is still happening. The other incredible amazing thing about verse 8 is that as we give faithfully and generously, God’s abundant blessing is not just financial, but it pours into the other areas where we can give — time, talents and skills, serving. I’m not promoting the Prosperity Gospel — that we should give to receive — because that is not giving with a heart of righteousness. But we should give with the right heart, as Paul says — with a cheerful heart, not holding tight and not being forced, faithfully over and over again, with thanksgiving.
You tell us in everything to give thanks and to share our testimonies that acknowledge You at work in this world, and I will share this testimony as many times as You put it in my memory so that all may know of Your love and provision and abundant blessing when we recognize You as our Provider and that You have given to us so that we many give to others.