by Jason Arnold
CRBC Executive Pastor/Inside-the-Walls Ministry
2 Corinthians 9:6-15 is a great passage on what God has planned for those who give generously and cheerfully to his work. Contrary to what the world tells us, the church is the main instrument used by God to advance his message of salvation. Also contrary to the world’s view is that the reward for obedience is not an increase in material goods or wealth. God’s reward to his faithful followers will be increased in eternity through our obedience on this side of eternity. This passage says that others will praise God because of our generosity! We will certainly have the blessings of a calm spirit and heart when we are obedient to his call to action, but the real reward will come in Heaven.
Another passage, this one from the Old Testament, helps us see that the rewards that we receive are very different than what people in the world expect to receive for their good deeds. Psalm 112 is a great chapter to read when you feel like others are passing you in the wealth and accumulation department. In it the Psalmist tells us that obedience to God produces children who are mighty, a man that will never be shaken, that we will have no fear of bad news and the like. Who would not want these types of blessings? But why, according to the Psalmist, does a person receive these blessings? Verse 1 and verse 9 hold the answers; because a person fears the Lord and he scatters abroad his gifts.
The fact is that the heart of biblical giving has nothing to do with the time of year or whether you will receive tax benefits for giving. The heart of giving is about obedience to the One who asks, giving no more and no less. This year, make yourself think more about being obedient to the Lord in every part of your life. A great place to start is found in Malachi 3:10: Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. “Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”