InTouch.org with Dr. Charles Stanley
Monday, November 29, 2010
Read | 2 Corinthians 9:8-11
God Gives Most
1For it is superfluous for me to write to you about this ministry to the saints; 2for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the Macedonians, namely, that Achaia has been prepared since last year, and your zeal has stirred up most of them. 3But I have sent the brethren, in order that our boasting about you may not be made empty in this case, so that, as I was saying, you may be prepared; 4otherwise if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we–not to speak of you–will be put to shame by this confidence. 5So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, so that the same would be ready as a bountiful gift and not affected by covetousness. 6Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;
9as it is written,
“HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR,
HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER.” 10Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; 11you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. 12For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. 13Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, 14while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
Faith and works go hand in hand. A Christian is one whom Christ uses to carry out His work on earth. Therefore, serving God is more than just something we do; working for the Lord also defines who we are.
After joining God’s family, believers are recognizable by their fruit, which includes the services they perform for Him and for others. In fact, the Lord rescues people from sin so that they can do the work He has planned (Eph. 2:10). It has often been said that we are God’s hands and feet in this world.
The same Father who calls us to work in His name also provides the necessary resources. As Paul said, the Lord makes grace abound to His children so that they have an abundance for every good deed (2 Cor. 9:8). Moreover, we are equipped by His Word and strengthened and guided by His Holy Spirit (2 Tim. 3:16-17). From these sources, Christians learn lessons about relating to others so they can help, encourage, and give to them.
Let’s be clear that works have nothing to do with salvation. We are saved by grace alone through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Period. After that happens, a believer is motivated to do good in the Lord’s name in order to please Him.
We are called to act out our faith every day. God works through us to reach those who may never otherwise open the Bible or enter a church. What’s more, He borrows our voice to tell His story and uses our life to demonstrate His grace and glory. Good deeds are a believer’s labor of love.