Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Open Wide Your Hand

Since God is gracious and giving and opens His hand wide toward us (and invites us to set all our expectation on Him) we should be gracious and giving and open our hands to give generously to others, because God wants to show them His grace, too. That is why, in addition to always giving us all sufficiency in all things, God wants to have us plenty more besides, so we may do a lot of good for others. Let us then be generous, open-handed, bountiful in our giving.

Paul said, “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6). To sow “sparingly” means to hold back, to be stingy with your seed. How you sow is how you will reap. If you hold back your seed, you are also holding back your harvest. In the Greek text, to sow “bountifully” means to sow “with blessing,” and when you sow “with blessing,” that is also how you reap — with blessing! When you sow with your hand wide open, you will one day have a harvest that is larger than you can contain. You will never end up behind because you have been generous toward others, and what you sow will cause praise and thanksgiving to abound toward God. Watch how this works:
Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. (2 Corinthians 9:10-14)
God gives us “bread,” every provision to meet our needs fully and completely. He also gives us “seed,” the more than enough, which is for sowing. When we sow it toward the needs of others, God multiplies it, increasing its fruitfulness, that is, the benefit it brings to others. That, in turn, brings forth praise and thanks to God — and we get to be a part of what God is doing in the lives of others. In this way, not only do all of our own needs get met, but also the needs of others, because we are allowing the grace of God to be abundant through us as well as to us. As we keep sowing generously for the sake of others, we will continue to reap bountifully because we are trusting in the open hand of God.

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