Last Sunday at His Highest Praise Honolulu, the Lord directed me to study and preach from 2 Corinthians 9:6-15. As I begin to read and study the passage in the original language, I was blessed by the depth of revelation. I know that every one can read the Bible and that the Holy Spirit speaks through the Word to each of us in unique ways. But, there are times when the revelation of the Word is so deep and atypical. The more you read and ponder, the more you understand the unveiling of God's deepest reservoir of truth to you.
So, let me take a few minutes to pen what I am getting from my reading.
Please read the passage with your own Biblical text as I will not necessarily quote the passage in every instance.
2 Corinthians 9:6.
"He or she who sows" . . . the New Testament is written in Greek. The word "sows" means "to scatter like seeds planted." Whether we know it or not, we are sowers. Our lives are scattering seeds of influence, blessings, and generosities wherever we are and to wherever we go. We are sowers. Your life is sowing and scattering seeds of influence.
"He or she who sows sparingly will reap sparingly." The Greek word for sparingly can mean "stingingly" or "with reservations." I realized upon reading that even if a person would give a lot, it is not considered an expandable investment if the attitude of giving is "sparingly" or "with reservations." I thought about how many people who may think they give a lot but gave with such conditions. If fear drives the giving such as a person giving to a spouse out of fear that that spouse will leave if he or she is not showering his or her partner with a lot of "gifts." And in the end, the relationship sours anyway. Why? When in counseling, I hear the hurting partner say, I GAVE MY PARTNER ALL OF ME AND I GOT NOTHING BACK. And in my prayer and search of the Scriptures, I realize that that partner gave out of fear, fear of loss and abandonment. So even if he or she was giving A LOT, he or she was really giving sparingly or with reservations such as with "wrong motives." Let's see it to counterpoint. Sometimes we give to earn credit or influence on others and God does not consider that good sowing.
Have you met the pleaser? The person who gives a lot to another so that the other is obligated to not reject or abandon him or her. The one who pleases eventually becomes irrate and angry and moves from the pleaser to the enraged? In counseling, I hear the hurting heart say, BUT, I GAVE HER MY ALL or I GAVE HIM MY ALL. I lived my life as the pleaser. And that person will go from the pleaser to the enraged and the person he or she adored becomes the target treated as an enemy. They go from "I adore you" to "I hate you." I gave you all and you gave me nothing. But, because the sowing had nothing to do with "much" as in quantity but "motive" as in what's driving the sowing.
"He or she who sows generaouly or bountifully will reap generously or bountifully." The word "generously" in the Greek comes from the word EULOGIA. Composed of two words: eu means 'well' and 'logia' means "word." Eulogia means "well-words."
Whether it is your time, talent, or tithe you give to God, what is very important is doing so with well-words. If you sow "without reservations" and with the "right motive" and "correct perspective," you will reap greater blessings.
The Bible is clear as to our generosity to God as He is generous to us. Not that we are only takers, but that we are givers as well. When we give to God, we release ourselves to the eulogia of God when He speaks well-words to us by giving us blessings way beyond what we have done or invested in our Christian journey.
2 Corinthians 9:8 defines it all . . . "And God is able to make grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."
Please look at this blessing. God pronounces well-words to your journey.
If you sow well-words, God will return well-words to you. He says, I AM ABLE TO MAKE ALL GRACE ABOUND TO YOU IN ALL THINGS AND AT ALL TIMES HAVING ALL THAT YOU NEED.
I am so glad that God has given us the promise that "His grace will abound to us in all things and at all times all that we would ever need."
If there is a shortcoming somewhere, I am driven to ask God to let me know how I am sowing more than what I am sowing. The seed may be my time, my talent, and my tithe, but the blessings that come from sowing has been hindered. Why? Because there is reservation in what I am doing, in what you are doing.
Even when I give my tithe to God, I am not just obeying out of obligation. I ask God to let my tithe be a worship to Him. Not with reservation or sparingly but with an open and cheerful heart. For the Bible says, GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Release your blessings by giving to God without reservations, not of out duty or compulsion, but out of a cheerful heart speaking well-words as you offer yourself to God!
Blessings to you,
Adrian Yuen, Ph.D.