(To listen to this sermon in its entirety, click here.)
Now is the place where it all comes together. Look with me at 2 Corinthians 9:6-8:
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:6-8, ESV).
Paul’s point is that what you sow determines how much you are satisfied in God and/or your finances. Those who sow sparingly are saying, “My satisfaction lies in my having enough money to take care of my situation and to maintain my lifestyle.” The one who sows bountifully says, “God will take care of me and make all grace abound to me. He is sufficient for me.”
I was reminded of this yesterday, in fact. Judy Woodward Bates of the Western Recorder, our state Baptist newspaper wrote an excellent article on “Letting go of the love of money.” Many of us have heard that very helpful verse in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Yet, if you notice, when that reference is given, it read “Hebrews 13:5b” and shows that this is only the last eight words of this passage. Here’s all of Hebrews 13:5:
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Wow — does this not put an entirely new light on this verse? We find comfort in knowing God will never leave us nor forsake us, but the context of this verse is to keep our life free from the love of money (the negative aspect) and to be content with what we have. In other words, love God more than your money. Loving God in Christ will truly bring contentment and satisfaction — not loving your money.
So when Paul reminds young Timothy of this, we begin to put some pieces together:
Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment,  for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.  But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.  But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs (1 Tim. 6:6-10, ESV).
Let’s piece these passages together. God loves a cheerful giver who sows bountifully, demonstrating that all grace is abounding to him in Christ. This contentment and satisfaction comes in knowing that while our money may leave us, Christ never will so we are to find our satisfaction and contentment in Him! For godliness with contentment is great gain — so we will be happy with the food and clothing we have. Money is not all it is cracked up to be, because the more money one has, the more temptations and snares arise which lead many down the road to destruction.
John Piper noted one time that as he jogs in the mornings, he sometimes stops and talks to people in his neighborhoods and asks them if there is anything he can pray for them about. He noted, “If they were rich, they said no. If they were poor, they said yes.” While that may be quite general, I understand where he’s coming from. Those who are satisfied in their riches and their situation in life do not feel they need prayer because they are financially solvent — while the poor struggle and realize they need something outside of themselves to get by.
What about you? When you read 2 Corinthians 9:6, what category do you find yourself in — sowing sparingly or sowing bountifully? One person who sowed bountifully was asked, “How is it that you give away so much, and yet have so much left?” “I suppose it’s like this … I shovel out, God shovels in, and he has a bigger shovel than I do!”
May we find our satisfaction in Christ and trust him in our giving and in his provision for us. As Piper says, “God is most glorified in us, when we are most satisfied in Him.”
Powered by ScribeFire.