2 Corinthians 9:1-5 (NIV)
1There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people. 2 For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. 3 But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. 4 For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.
Chapter 9 is a continuation of chapter 8, of Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth. He is writing to encourage these believers in Christ to remain enthusiastic and committed to their promise of a generous gift to help the Christians who are suffering in Jerusalem. He even boasts about their gift to the poor churches in Macedonian. To ensure that their commitment has not faded, Paul sends Titus and brothers from other churches ahead of his arrival.
You might be thinking, what’s the big deal if these believers decide to adjust their committed gift or if they choose to not give at all? Paul goes on within the chapter to help us understand that when we make a commitment it is a heart matter (agreement) between us and God, “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (9:6). God blesses those who are a blessing and who allow His work to operate through them. These blessings go far beyond this physical journey; as “others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the Gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else” (9:13) So, the “committed gift” ends up being a huge deal, not because it’s monetary, but because it’s a “confession of the Gospel of Christ” and it’s about your “generosity in sharing with everyone”.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for Your precious Word which ministers to my heart. Please guide me to remain committed to where you call me each day and may Your generous Spirit flow through me so that I may share the most precious gift of confessing Your Gospel. I ask all of this in Your Name, Jesus. Amen.
Written By: Jen Auer, Pastor Mary Haley’s Assistant