Missions and Giving
Scripture Reading — 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
Men will praise God ... for your generosity in sharing with them ... 2 Corinthians 9:13 —
If your church is in the habit of welcoming newcomers in the faith, you know that one delightful quality of new believers is the straightforward manner of their obedience. One Sunday our church in Tacloban was greeted by a welcoming committee of three turkeys and a pig, tied up just outside the entrance. The previous week's sermon had been on tithing, and these animals represented one tenth of a new member's flock and herd. It brought smiles to our faces, and we genuinely thanked the farmer for his offering, even though it was a bit tough for the deacons to collect the offering later.
But the farmer understood something else too: he knew that the mission of God requires resources to get it done--not only to provide for the needs of the poor, but also to feed, clothe, and transport the workers.
In the process our gifts can also have the joyous result of prompting praise from the people who benefit from them. As Paul points out, "Men will praise God ... for your generosity." It's true that our gifts are not always appreciated, for some people feel entitled to anything they receive. But this should not deter us from giving. Even God's "indescribable gift" of his Son is not always cherished. And being aware of the warm appreciation of many who receive our gifts in God's name can help us be more cheerful givers.
Lord, thank you for the obedient faith of all who have given freely to support your work. Help us show that same generosity with the resources you place before us. Amen.