"12This 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. 13Because 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. 14And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!" - 2 Cor 9:12-15
I'm surprised at how many chapters are given for the topic of giving financially! Apostle Paul is commending the churches in Macedonia for their exceeding generosity in giving support (likely financial) to the ministry of the Gospel. This giving was done under severe trials, yet with overflowing joy. They were experiencing extreme poverty, but gave beyond their needs to the work of the corporate church, and the spreading of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Not only that, they were the first to desire to give, compared to other churches, because they were so eager to be part of the service being given to God. Paul commends them for their obedience that is congruent to their confession of faith in Jesus. And it is in this context, we hear the well-known verse:
“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.”
I’ve heard this statement before, “Show me the lives of the people, and I will show you their god.” I can be more specific and say, “Show me the finances of the people, and I will show you their god.”
Ask yourself, "Are we a cheap or generous church?" Sycomore, we must become a church that gives exceedingly, suprassing the standards and expectations of generosity, not under reluctance nor compulsion, but cheerfully. We must leave the place of focusing on self-preservation, self-serving management of money, and give to cooperate with what God is doing in the Sycomore, and around the world. I believe if is one key factor of when we will we experience this abundant blessing that will cause us to abound in every good work.