Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:1-15
Observation: Once again, Paul speaks about generosity and ensuring that the Corinthians are ready to give generously. He uses the analogy of a farmer to show them that the more they give (or plant), the more generous they will be and the more they will receive.
Application: Growing up in southcentral PA, I was surrounded by farms, dairy cows, and fields (not to mention some pretty foul-smelling manure). Right before spring gave way to summer, farmers would start the process of planting seeds. All summer long, we’d watch the corn grow higher and higher until eventually we couldn’t even see past the corn to make it out of our driveway. (Trying to leave our house became quite the risky act!)
These farmers were extremely patient, waiting all summer long – through rain and sun and even ferocious storms – to reap what they sowed months before. They did the hard work of planting – and then did the hard work of waiting. But at the end, they always received a bountiful harvest, their reward for their generosity and hard work months before.
The key to receiving generously is to give generously – and it’s a process that takes time.
Have you ever noticed how difficult it can be for good things to take root in your life? Whether it’s relationships, purpose, success, or healthy habits, we often don’t see the fruits of our labor until weeks, months, even years down the road. Sometimes we may even forget why we planted something in the first place. But, the blessing is coming – we simply have to hold on.
“Remember this – a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.” (verse 6)
If we plant generously, we’ll be blessed generously.
Continuing his generosity discussion from Chapter 8, Paul talks about generosity in terms of money – and his insights are spot on. When we give generously with a cheerful heart, God will generously provide all we need in return.
But, planting generously isn’t just about giving our money. It applies to all areas of our lives – where we plant generously, we’ll be blessed generously.
Ask yourself this question today: Where do I need to plant generously, free of fear that things won’t work out or that the effort won’t be worth it?
Seek God’s wisdom. Where does he want you to plant generously? Is it in a relationship? Your finances? A new habit that honors him? Write it down and find a way to begin planting this week.
Remember, when you do…
“God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty leftover to share with others.” (verse 8)
Prayer: God, I pray you’ll allow good things to take root in my life. Help me find the discipline and open my heart to investing in what matters to you. Help me do the hard work of planting so I can reap generously, not for my glory but rather for yours. Amen.