SEND FORWARD – 6 …who have borne witness of your love before the church. If you send them forward on their journey in a manner worthy of God, you will do well… 3 John 1:6 NKJV
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 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. 12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 NIV
In addition to hospitality, generosity is certainly another way we can send the Gospel forward. Our passage for today is overflowing with promises and effects of being generous. In verses 6-8, we are told that if we give generously we will reap generously, that God loves a cheerful giver, and that He will bless abundantly those who give. Verses 10 and 11 remind us that the Lord will provide not just for our physical needs, but He will fuel our spiritual nourishment as well. What great promises!
Even beyond rewards and benefits for us personally, our generosity results in others praising the Lord.
Even beyond rewards and benefits for us personally, our generosity results in others praising the Lord. That is the definition of sending forward – doing something now that will launch the hope and love of Jesus Christ to others, even long after we are gone. Paul tells the church in verses 12 and 13 that others will praise God because of their generosity!
The passage concludes with Paul praising God for His indescribable gift. God is the ultimate giver. We are never more like Him than when we give. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave….” Praise God that He gave! Praise God for all that His gift means for us!
The believers that Paul was writing to were eager to give (2 Cor. 9:2). They understood the great implications of generosity! May we too understand, and may we generously give of ourselves to others, out of gratefulness for all that Christ has done for us. Through giving our time, our money, and our resources, may we play a part in sending the Gospel forward!
– Praise God for His generosity towards us. Thank Him for giving His Son and for all that gift means to you. Ask God to help you live generously. Pray about what commitment you can generously make to the Forward initiative.
– Pray that our church would continue to be generous. May we be quick to support God’s servants and God’s work. May we be quick to give to those who do not know Christ.
– Pray for those you know who do not know Christ. Pray for an opportunity to share with them about the greatest gift there is.
– Remember to mark your calendars for the Wednesday night series Pastor Grant will be doing on Finances. It begins January 4 and will be a great opportunity to learn more about giving generously, even long after we are gone. Topics will include budgeting, financial planning, insurance, retirement, wills, trusts, leaving a legacy, etc.