I grew up on a farm in Iowa. Each year we would plow, get fields ready, sow seed, fertilize, pull weeds and hope God would grow it (water, sun). It was hard work but each year God gave us a harvest that was plentiful! Just as God is a generous giver, we are to have hearts of generosity as well.
Paul had been bragging to other churches that the Corinthians has been wanting to financially help others (2). So he sends some fellow believers to confirm their desire and collect the gift (3-5).
Then Paul lays out an amazingly true principle: “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” As sowers, God gives us the freedom to sow much or to sow little. It really is up to us. I don’t say this to give a “guilt trip” (and believe me, I can major in guilt and minor in shame if you’d like me to). “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Giving is meant to be a joy, an opportunity to invest.
Often times we may be reluctant to give sacrificially for fear that our own needs might not be met. Paul knew this too and so he writes “…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.” And lastly, God takes our generous gifts and uses them to meet people’s needs which cause them to praise God! (12-15).
*When it come to giving, would others brag on you about your generosity? Or would they see you as a “scrooge”?
*Using the farming metaphor, would we be able to earn a living by what we are sowing? Or would we starve?
*What is holding you & I back from giving generously, beyond our ability? Lord remind us that YOU ARE ABLE!