Radical Generosity

October 27, 2020

6 The point is this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—​not reluctantly or out of compulsion, since God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work.

2 Corinthians 9:6-8

Written by Laura Thompson from the Brentwood Campus

I had been feeling tired and run down for a while. Raising four kids uses up a lot of energy, so I had thought I just needed a little more rest (and a lot more coffee), but that didn’t seem to help but for a moment. I ended up starting a fitness routine, determined to get back in shape. At first it was so challenging that I was more tired than ever by the end of the day, but it didn’t take long before I had more strength, endurance and energy that lasted all day long. We’ve all seen this play out, but it’s a little funny that expending more energy by exercising will give you more stamina for your day.

This is a very ordinary example of something that’s true in spiritual matters. Paul explains it here in another way: one who sows sparingly reaps sparingly. Farmers who are tempted to be frugal with the seed they throw down will be disappointed by the small crop that results. Holding back or storing up seeds is counterproductive. Instead, Paul explains, he who sows bountifully will reap bountifully.

We all are tempted to hold back and store up for ourselves. Whether it’s our finances, our time, our energy or our talents, we often believe that we must first take care of ourselves and then give out of our surplus. The spiritual truth challenges this idea. What we give to the church and to our community is not something lost, but something sown. It is not spent; it is invested. It is our fallen human nature that causes us to live for ourselves and accumulate wealth, but it is God’s grace and Jesus’ teaching that give us a better way.

As Jesus teaches in Matthew 6:19-34, God has promised to provide for all our needs so that we are able to keep our eyes and our hearts on the Kingdom of Heaven rather than our treasures here on earth. He has freed us from ourselves for radical generosity. For this reason, I pray that I will grow in my faith and my generosity and that I will, under Christ’s example and by His grace, be willing to give cheerfully and generously for the joy of glorifying God and growing His Kingdom.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. As you consider our Scripture passage today, remember back to an experience in your life where you experienced the generosity of another. What effect did that have on you?
  2. Consider the radical grace and generosity of God and take a moment for praise and thanksgiving.
  3. Ask God to provide opportunities in your life to grow in generosity, and then pray for the grace to give cheerfully.

Family Activity
Come up with a blessing chart for the week. Have every person in the family be prepared at the beginning of the day with a way to bless someone that day, even before they have been blessed. Maybe it is helping someone at school or work, writing notes of encouragement, or even just offering to put away someone’s shopping cart at the grocery! When we begin our day with a heart to love and encourage, it will open our hearts to be more receiving of love and blessings from other people.

Missions Prayer
Pray for the food pantry ministry at our Harpeth Heights campus, which has emerged as a vital and effective ministry during 2020. Pray for resources, for wisdom in planning, and for the families who are served to connect with the church family.

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