Saturday, May 14, 2005

How to Sow Generously

Sow generously, reap generously (2 Corinthians 9:6). That is how it is both in the natural and in the spirit. It is God’s way, ordained from the beginning — everything multiplying after its kind.

So how do you sow generously?

In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul offers the example of the believers at Macedonia who, even out of an abundance of persecution and a poverty of assets, gave freely of their funds to Paul’s collection for the needy saints in Jerusalem (v. 1-4). In the midst of such dire circumstances, how did they ever manage to be so generous to the work of the Lord in others?

Paul gives the answer in verse 5: “But they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.”

First they gave themselves to the Lord! They held back nothing from God but committed themselves fully and wholly to Him. That was their priority.

When you give yourself to the Lord, everything now belongs to Him, both your assets and your liabilities — everything! For He is ready, willing and able to multiply your assets. The Bible says that He gives seed to the sower and bread for food, but also that He will supply and multiply the seed for sowing (2 Corinthians 9:10). What is more, God is ready, willing and able to take care of all your liabilities, as well. When you belong to Him, so do all your needs and debts. They are now God’s and He always pays His bills.

God always takes care of His own. Now you are coming into position to sow generously.
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)
When you give yourself to the Lord first, your purpose becomes clear and your heart begins to line up with God’s. Your heart becomes set on giving, because God is a giver. When your heart is prepared, it is no longer a matter of giving grudgingly or out of some sort of rule-keeping. God does not keep a score-card, He looks for what’s going on in the heart. That’s where the action is.

God loves a cheerful giver. The Greek word is hilaron, which is where we get our word “hilarious.” It means to be ready, willing and quick to give. God is ready, willing and able to do in your life everything that needs to be done for you. He is also looking for those who are ready and willing to partner with Him in the work He is doing in the lives of others. When we are ready and willing, God will make us able, and He gives us this promise:
God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8)
There is a great freedom that comes when you realize that God will take care of you completely in every situation.

First, give yourself to the Lord, then you will be ready, willing and able to sow generously into what God is doing in others. Next, purpose in your heart what you will give and set it aside. Don’t hold back. Trust God to not only supply your seed, but to multiply it, as well. Then have fun with it. Get happy about it, because you are stepping into a wonderful partnership with God. You will discover that you just can’t wait to give.