Sun, 12 November 2017
“Sowing and Reaping”
2 Corinthians 9:6-15
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 decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (vv. 6-7).
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 (v. 8).
For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. . . while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift (vv. 12-15)!
Sun, 5 November 2017
On the night Nell and I were commissioned as missionaries, a former missionary shared the following story with us. She and her husband had served the Lord in the Far East. One evening they hosted other missionaries in their home for a nice dinner. She set the table with their fine china. She prepared a delicious meal of favorite dishes. For the centerpiece she chose a beautiful orchid from their flower garden. It was a gorgeous bloom and, as they and their guests enjoyed their time together, comments were made about the flower’s exquisite beauty.
After they had eaten, the guests moved to the living room to continue their fellowship. In the course of their conversation, her husband asked the guests if any of them had noticed the container that held the flower. None of them had noticed it. After all, it was a simple, small, unadorned glass star that had doubled at other times as a candle holder. He then made a point. The flower was the centerpiece and rightly got the attention. The container did its job by putting the glory of the blossom on display. No one needed to have noticed the small, glass star.
We, as believers, are like that small, glass container. Nothing too special about us. But we are to put on display the glory of God’s goodness—His grace in Jesus Christ. We hold this treasure in earthen vessels (2 Cor. 4:7). We are to be “grace displays.” When people see our lives, they should see a living demonstration of the goodness of our Lord.
There were some believers who lived this way. They were “grace displays.” We meet them in 2 Corinthians 8:1-7.
2 Corinthians 8:1-7
We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part (vv. 1-2).
For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints (vv. 3-4).
And this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also (vv. 5-7).