God brought a big revelation to my attention this past week. My online group was discussing sin and God’s disposition toward the sinner’s heart. And God brought this verse to my attention – 2 Corinthians 9:6-8. “6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And 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.”
We think of this verse as related to money, and when it is quoted in church, it is usually related to money.
But God is showing me this verse is about so much more than money.
Because it is related to EVERYTHING about us.
WOW! Yes, even our sin. Because God loves sinners. God loves us enough that He sent His Son to earth in the physical body of a man to face the physical, emotional, and spiritual temptations of a man – because He knew we needed Him and because He wanted us to know Him. He watched in agony as this same Son was beaten, abused, and crucified as the sacrificial Lamb – to allow us to have an open and intimate relationship with Him. All of this was done for us sinners “while we were still sinners”, who had no knowledge of Him or no desire to be in relationship with Him.
And what does He ask for in return? “A cheerful giver”. Someone who humbly approaches Him and willingly gives over everything he/she is. Someone who recognizes the fingerprints of God’s grace and embraces it fully. Someone who comes to understand the unexplanable compassion of God’s love and receives it completely. Someone who recognizes his/her value to God and wants to be part of His purposes and plans.
And whatever we give to Him, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you” to replace that habit, that addiction, that pain, that shame, that unforgiveness, that anger, and that regret. What we give to Him completely, He replaces compassionately. Because He is about new (Isaiah 43:19). He is always at work for us, around us, and in us. He takes the heaviness of our choices and our selfishness and replaces them with “beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:3). He “will give you rest” for your worn out, weary, and wrecked heart (Matthew 11:28). He will energize and encourage you to keep going and to try again, because “those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31).
He is constantly calling to us, whispering to our broken and hurting hearts that “I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine” (Isaiah 43:1). We belong to Him. And all He asks us in return is to reach out to Him. To make the choice to accept Him. To love Him. To submit to Him. To give Him all we are.
And in exchange, He will take all we are and fill it up with Him.
He will forgive.
He will redeem.
He will renew.
He will comfort.
He will love.
So God is whispering to you. Will you hear Him?
Will you respond?
Will you give Him all that you are? Cheerfully?
Marie Fremin. 6/2 and 6/5/16.