June 11, 2022
“Now the One who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness, as you are enriched in every way ...”
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2 Corinthians 9
“Now the One who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness, as you are enriched in every way for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing in many acts of thanksgiving to God. Through the proof of this service, they will glorify God for your generosity in sharing with them and with others. And in their prayers for you they will have deep affection for you because of the surpassing grace of God on you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” 2 Corinthians 9:10-15
I have spent my whole adult life in ministry. From personal evangelism to touring as a Christian musician, from working as a minister on a church staff, and even as an assistant Messianic congregational leader, I have learned a few things about ministry!
In ministry, I have observed that there are basically two kinds of Kingdom builders: “Senders” and “the Sent.” The “Church-at-large” needs people willing to heed God’s call by going directly to those who need the Gospel. It also needs people who are willing to fund that ministry. Paul wanted the Corinthians to understand how these two types of believers need each other.
In today’s passage, Paul describes that special relationship between the messenger and the benefactor. Paul likens the benefactor to a field hand, a lowly job the rich aren’t generally accustomed to. By doing this, Paul cuts to a source of pride that can often distance the Sender from the Sent: The worker/master relationship. In general, people with money have more power, so they tend to look down on the worker. Paul reminds the Sender of that same relationship they have between themselves and God.
Just as the farm owner provides seed for his field workers to sow, so God provides wealth for the rich to invest in His Kingdom. If the sower doesn’t invest his allotted seed wisely, the landowner may decrease or eliminate his future portion. Similarly, God blesses us with abundance so that we will invest it in His kingdom.
In our present economy, it is hard for us to consider ourselves wealthy, but the average American is in the top 10% of the world’s wealthiest compared to the rest of the world.
So, how well are you investing in God’s Kingdom? Sure, our Kingdom investment ministers to the physical and financial needs. But, perhaps, the greatest service our investments provide the “ministers” is in the encouragement they receive by knowing that other believers are willingly supporting (co-laboring alongside) them. It encourages them to continue ministering in otherwise discouraging spiritual conditions!
The Sender receives the blessing of knowing God’s work is being completed, in part, because of their investment. Also, the minister remembers the benefactor in his prayers before the Lord, Who was, of course, the source of the benefactor’s wealth! See how it comes full circle?