“And God is able to make all Grace abound toward you—that you, always having sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”
II Corinthians 9:8
When we rest in His sufficiency, we won’t worry about the “law of supply and demand,” for He has promised to “supply all of our needs according to His riches in Glory through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).
Delight, not drudgery. Merry hearts, not miserly hoards.
That’s the message in today’s Manna that describes someone who’s “abiding in Christ” (Jn. 15:1-7) and “walking in the Spirit” (Rom. 8:1). From his previous description of the Macedonian Christians in II Cor. 8:1-6, it’s clear they viewed their persecution and subsequent poverty as opportunities for “abounding joy” and expressions of “Love’s liberality” (v.2).
And, so should we.
So often when times are hard. . .money’s tight. . .prices are high. . .the future’s uncertain, etc., we tend to hold back and conserve. If we’re not careful, we’ll begin to adopt a survivalist’s mentality that says “It’s every man for himself” and “Charity begins home.”
But, dear Pilgrim, such should not be—especially when the One Who owns “the cattle on 1,000 hills” (Ps. 50:10) and provides food for the sparrows (Mt. 6:26) is both our Savior and Supplier.
Paul reminds the Corinthian Christians that they’d previously pledged to give to the suffering saints in Jerusalem and he’d even boasted of their pledge to their brothers-and-sisters-in-Christ in the Holy City (8:24-9:2).
But, to-date, they’d given nothing.
And, that’s why he’d sent this letter by Titus to exhort them to fulfill their promise lest “his boasting of them should be in vain, causing them and him to be ashamed” (9:3-5).
Apart from God’s Grace, such exhortation produces only guilt, not generosity. And, Paul is hoping his reminding them that the “Giver of all good gifts will cause His Grace to abound toward them. . .giving them sufficiency (Grk. ‘autarkeia’—‘satisfaction, contentment, competency, ample supply, etc.’) in all thing and enable them to abound to every good work” will cause them to give “willingly, generously and cheerfully” (vv.6-7).
Or, another way to put it is their remembering that the same One Who “supplies seed to the sower for planting in the Springtime is also the One Who supplies food for their table and will multiply that which they do in His Name and increase the fruits of their righteousness” (v.10). And, it is their being “enriched (Grk. ‘ploutizo’—‘made wealthy (figuratively), given an abundance of, etc.’) in everything to all bountifulness (Grk. ‘haplotes’—‘sincerity, generosity, singleness of mind, etc.’) that produces thanksgiving to God” (v.11).
Dear Pilgrim, are you a “cheerful giver” or do you dread it when the offering plate is passed or another special missions’ offering is going to be taken? Cease-and-desist from such a miserly mentality—especially when you’re a recipient of God’s Grace and Mercy. Give as unto the Lord; then rest in the assurance that He will give you what He wants you to give when it’s time.
By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated September 10, 2010