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 9:12-15
The giving we wrote about yesterday is the service Paul is writing about now. Remember:
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.” Psalm 112:9
2 Corinthians 9:12-15
Then these verses followed immediately after those and prior to our verses for today:
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.
2 Corinthians 9:10-11
So somehow your giving, our giving, not only supplies the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. That is a new thought, in cheerfully giving, you are also expressing thanks to God. What a wonderful thought! Then in the very next verse others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing. It’s not your obedience in giving, but your obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ first and foremost, and then for your generosity in sharing.
Those you shared with, they in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Brothers and sisters in Christ who receive your giving, in their prayers their hearts go out to you because of your cheerful giving. What a privilege to have brothers and sisters in Christ lifting their hearts in prayer giving thanks for us because of the surpassing grace God has given to us. Yes we have surpassing grace, not only through the free Gift of Grace, but enough income that we can freely give to those who have less, often much less. This giving is not some sort of scientific form of giving but instead our gifts are to be freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever (v9 from Psalm 112:9).
The key phrase above is freely scattered. So what does it mean to freely scatter? It means
he freely scatters what he has; he divides it with those who are needy and unfortunate. One part of mankind have an overplus – have more than they need for themselves and their families – and that overplus is what is designed to meet the needs of the unfortunate, the weak, the aged, the imbecile, the infirm, who have “not” enough. It is the “treasury” of God – the “reservoir” where that is gathered which is to be distributed for the needs of the helpless and the dependent. The righteous man is one who enters fully into this arrangement, and who feels that all this overplus belongs to God, and is to be appropriated as he shall direct.
From Barnes’ Notes on the Bible (emphasis added)
So, much to think on as we come to the first weekend of the New Year. Think on it as you remember to go to church and give thanks for all you have – including the free Gift of Grace – and all that you are able to give.