Saint Paul continues to shock me, after all these years. There are days that I feel as if I am reading his letters for the first time. I believe this is because God has been gradually working on me all these years, and thus my heart is in a different place today than the last time I read Paul’s letters. Recently, I have been focusing my research on what Paul says about giving. Each time I do, I come to the realization that he has fantastic lessons to share with me. I recently shared seven of these lessons—here are seven more lessons from Paul about giving.
In continuing his statements about why the Corinthian church should give to the Jerusalem church, Paul says:
“Now the one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed, and will cause the harvest of your righteousness to grow, being made rich in every way for all generosity, which is producing through us thanksgiving to God, because the service of this ministry is not only supplying the needs of the saints, but also is overflowing through many expressions of thanksgiving to God. Through the proven character of this service they will glorify God because of the submission of your confession to the gospel of Christ and the generosity of your participation toward them and toward everyone, and they are longing for you in their prayers for you, because of the surpassing grace of God to you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:10–15 LEB).
Paul confronts us with the reality that giving is itself in an incredible gift. It prompts us to look to Jesus and glorify him—to acknowledge his incredible work among us, in both the spiritual and fiscal things. God is at work in all things. He is to be praised.
(This post is part of the blog series, "What Saint Paul Says about Poverty.")