THIS WEEK: Impact of Generosity
None of my carrots are growing.
I have good garden soil. I purchased fresh seeds. I even have a watering system rigged up to make sure they get enough moisture in the dry Texas heat. I have everything just right to have a bumper crops of carrots this winter.
I had good intentions at the end of August to plant the “fall garden” (you can do that here in Texas) and have fresh carrots in December and January. Instead of making my northern friends jealous with a Facebook post of me holding a handful of fresh carrots in January, I will have just as bare of ground as they do (only not frozen solid!).
I never planted the seeds.
The obvious logic of gardening says, “If you don’t sow your seeds, you can’t expect to reap a harvest.” Seeds left in a packet have no opportunity to grow and produce an abundant harvest. I can’t be upset at the soil, the water, or even the seeds. I can only recognize I held on to the seeds and never put them in the ground.
The same principle applies to generosity.
2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
The Apostle Paul a few verses later adds this thought:
2 Corinthians 9:11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
Yesterday we were reminded of the generosity God has shown us by treating us unfairly with grace and mercy rather than what my sins deserved. The Lord loves to expand on that and give us all good things we have. He “enriches us in every way.”
Why? So we can keep everything to ourselves? So we can leave the seeds in the packet on the shelf?
NO! So “you can be generous on every occasion!”
God has given to us all that we have so that we can use it to be a blessing to others. He doesn’t give us our talents, our abilities, our wealth, our relationships, etc. to just sit “in the packet on the shelf.” He has given us these things so that we can in return “be generous on every occasion.”
A person needs a bit of my time…I can give it. A ministry team needs my skills…I can offer them. My church has a special project that needs funding…I can give financially. A friend needs help finding a job…I can offer a referral. I begin to look at life differently. I begin to see the “seeds” God has given me and look for “soil” into which I can sow them.
“Whoever sows generously will reap generously.”
Watching seeds grow and reaping the harvest is always much more exciting than buying a pack of seeds and putting them in the ground. In the same way, it is exciting to see the impact of sowing generously and watching the return it brings. God will use your generosity to impact the lives of others.
To your glory? Nope. “Your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
Apply: Make a list of 10 ways God has “enriched” you. Next to each one write down one or two ideas of ways you can “sow” that gift from God. What reason for thanksgiving might God give you when you see the harvest? Keep track and see how “sowing generously will also reap generously.”
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for being stingy or lazy in failing to take the blessings of grace you have given to me and sow them generously. Let me not worry about the return, but simply trust your promise, “Whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” AMEN.