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Spiritually healthy ways to encourage giving

July 1, 2023

Daily Scripture

2 Corinthians 9:6-15

6 What I mean is this: the one who sows a small number of seeds will also reap a small crop, and the one who sows a generous amount of seeds will also reap a generous crop.
7 Everyone should give whatever they have decided in their heart. They shouldn’t give with hesitation or because of pressure. God loves a cheerful giver. 8 God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace. That way, you will have everything you need always and in everything to provide more than enough for every kind of good work. 9 As it is written, He scattered everywhere; he gave to the needy; his righteousness remains forever. [Psalm 112:9]
10 The one who supplies seed for planting and bread for eating will supply and multiply your seed and will increase your crop, which is righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous in every way. Such generosity produces thanksgiving to God through us. 12 Your ministry of this service to God’s people isn’t only fully meeting their needs but it is also multiplying in many expressions of thanksgiving to God. 13 They will give honor to God for your obedience to your confession of Christ’s gospel. They will do this because this service provides evidence of your obedience, and because of your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone. 14 They will also pray for you, and they will care deeply for you because of the outstanding grace that God has given to you. 15 Thank God for his gift that words can’t describe!

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Paul was gathering a gift for Christians in Jerusalem. He was more concerned with the spirit in which people gave, though, than with the amount raised. “God loves a cheerful giver” was not just an upbeat slogan. It was a serious call to check why they gave—“They shouldn’t give with hesitation or because of pressure,” he said. Paul didn’t invent that idea. In Exodus 25:2, the word about offerings to build the desert tabernacle was “Receive my gift offerings from everyone who freely wants to give.” Then Paul wrote, “God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace” (verse 8), and “You will be made rich in every way” (verse 11). Paul, a traveling Christian preacher who owned, as far as we know, no real estate, no life insurance policy, and no retirement plan, wrote about having more than enough!

  • Have you ever given reluctantly or under compulsion? What was that experience like? For what reasons would God want us to give from free, grateful hearts without coercion or pressure? Have you ever given that way? If so, how was that different from giving under pressure? In verse 15, Paul exclaimed, “Thank God for his gift that words can’t describe!” What gift was he talking about? When (if ever) have you received a gift from someone that words couldn’t fully describe, that “left you speechless”? How would you compare that kind of experience with God’s freely given gift which Paul described?

Lord Jesus, open my eyes to the abundance you provide around me. May my heart sing as, out of your abundance, I seek to be your physical presence to the people in my world. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Jacob Lippe

Jacob Lippe

Jacob Lippe is a Marketing and Engagement Intern for Resurrection this summer. He is a Junior in the College of Business at Kansas State University pursuing a degree in Marketing. Jacob is a life-long member of Resurrection and was an active participant in Sunday School, Children's Choir, and Youth Choir. Jacob typically attends the 7:30 a.m. worship service at the Leawood location with his family: Darren, Doris, and his older brother Matthew.

In today’s GPS text, Paul writes at length about the art of giving. We know that we Christians are called to give to those in need & to honor God’s incredible creation through donations of money, time & talents.

In my spare time, I like to watch old movies, even though my dad rolls his eyes at my devotion to my hobby. However, I hope that reviewing some films can help us better understand the life applications suggested by today’s verses. The theme of giving or being generous can be found in countless films, but the “reaping of benefits” as declared by Paul is not always quite so obvious. Let’s look at 3 of my favorites:

First, let’s look at Frank Darabont’s depiction of Stephen King’s short story: The Shawshank Redemption. For those who haven’t seen the movie, I won’t offer any spoilers.  The film shows a group of men struggling inside a corrupt prison in the state of Maine. Morgan Freeman’s character (Red) is actively seen helping his fellow prisoners throughout the movie. One prisoner, Andy played by Tim Robbins, can pay back Red’s kindness by his own helping prisoners become better educated & financially helping prison staff. Everyone ultimately benefits from Red’s generous spirit.

The movie Good Will Hunting is another example of this circular giving pattern. Will (played by Matt Damon) is an incredibly gifted intellectual struggling through life due to events from his past. Sean, a psychiatrist portrayed by Robin Williams, sees the true potential in Will & pours into his life to help Will grow & prosper. Along the way, Will helps Sean realize there are facets of his own life that are lacking & Sean begins to achieve an enriched life.

The final film is the classic adaptation of Harper Lee’s inspiring story, To Kill a Mockingbird. Gregory Peck’s portrayal of Atticus Finch is incredible & won an Academy Award. Atticus stands up to the public community, even though he is berated for doing what is right & defending an innocent African American against a racist prosecution. Atticus’ act of overwhelming generosity by willingly “giving up” his reputation to do what is right will eventually be paid back in the story’s powerful conclusion when Boo Radley, who the town considers a brute, saves Finch’s children.

In all these movies, we see acts of generosity that are ultimately repaid in amazing & inspiring ways. As Paul promises in his letter to the Corinthians, the “good Samaritans” of our society will all be blessed because their acts of “righteousness remains forever.”

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.