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Focus: Having enough to share
2 Corinthians 9:8 (NKJV) And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
A big thing that keeps us from doing more for others, is worrying whether we’ll have enough for ourselves. Besides wondering about our own needs being met, we also have to deal with the fact that our thoughts can block our ability to ‘receive’. A big ‘blocker’ in our thoughts is that feeling of unworthiness—which is so typical when we are depressed or discouraged. God is very faithful to address all of our concerns. He wants to help us ‘get over it’, and we will—if we just pay attention to what He has already said in His Word.
In order for our faith to work—we need to understand an important principle. What we receive from God—is not necessarily connected to whether we are ‘deserving’. If we are financially strapped, we can be wishing for things to be different, but at the same time believing that nothing is likely to improve because ‘we don’t deserve it’. And sure enough, according to our faith—nothing changes. To some degree, the concept that ‘we don’t deserve it’ is true. But, if ‘receiving’ was tied 100% to whether people were ‘deserving’, nobody would have much of anything.
2 Corinthians 9:8 starts out saying, “God is able to make all grace abound to you…” You might know what that statement means, but I lived a lot of my life before I knew what the word, ‘grace’ meant. I’d heard it often, and figured it had to do with God’s love, or something like that. I didn’t know the real definition. In case you don’t know or you’ve forgotten, ‘grace’ means unmerited favor—or being blessed whether you deserve it, or not. It’s always good to be reminded of the real definition of a word. The interesting thing here though–is that the impression we are being given is that God wants to give us much more than ‘mere’ grace. It says God will make all grace abound–or to put it another way, besides having favor you don’t deserve–you will have way beyond a normal amount of it.
While in a period of wishing you were in better financial condition—you may have seen other people who had needs greater than yours, and thought, “Well, if I had enough for myself—and some to spare, I’d be able to do something for them. But, I can’t afford to share with them when I don’t even have enough for my own needs”—or so you think.
Another common thought when it comes to ‘sharing’ and ‘good works’ is, “When things get better with the economy, I will be able to do more for others”. Not according to 2 Corinthians 9:8. After the part about ‘grace’, the next line says, “always having all sufficiency in all things, (you) may have an abundance for every good work.” Not a lot of wiggle room there!
I’ve heard it said, ‘if the Word of God doesn’t work all the time—it doesn’t work at all’—or, ‘if it’s not true all the time—it’s not true at all’. However you want to slice it, the point here is—if you aren’t willing to share what little you have when you don’t have much—you won’t be willing to share a lot when you have more, either.
Our willingness to share is one of the fundamental ways God tests us to see if He can trust us with ‘increase’. If we want to receive ‘more’—we need to ‘give more’. During the time we have ‘less’—we need to give ‘more’—not holding back. When we understand ‘grace’, it becomes easier to believe we won’t be left wanting if we are willing to share. Sometimes we’re placed in a position of having ‘less’, as a way of testing our faith and faithfulness. It’s not easy to give when you don’t have much. But, when you help someone else in spite of how little you have—you will see God multiply what you share, back to you. By doing for others—He will bless you with more for yourself and more for others–so you can keep sharing.
If we look further at this verse—we see how the use of the words ‘all’ and ‘always’ help add even more meaning to the word ‘grace’ and what God is saying. In 2 Corinthians 9:8, the words ‘all’ and ‘always’ are used extravagantly. In the first place, ‘all’ is an extravagant word. It doesn’t mean ‘part’. All grace, always, all sufficiency, in all things. God is trying to make a point! The words ‘all’ and ‘always’ leave no room for exceptions or partiality—they imply extravagance.
The verse goes on to say that you will have an abundance for every good work. ‘Abundance’ and ‘every’ are two more extravagant words. The word, ‘abundance’ means, ‘beyond a normal amount’. ‘Every’ doesn’t mean ‘most’, it means, ‘all’ or, ‘without exception’. So, not only should you be able to give extravagantly —you should be an excessive or extravagant giver—giving every chance you get. In other words, a person who—searches for opportunities to share, or creates them on their own. Should we go so far as to say we should share or give fanatically?
Declaration: I will find new strength by becoming more extravagant in my willingness to share and do good works. I will show God my love and faith in Him as I cheerfully give to others with a thankful heart. I don’t have to worry that God’s ability to provide for me and others will ever run out. He held back nothing from me–I will hold back nothing from Him.
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