2 Corinthians 9 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“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 G_d 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 G_d. Through the proof of this service, they will glorify G_d 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 G_d on you. Thanks be to G_d 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 now as an assistant Messianic congregational leader, I have learned a few things about ministry!
One thing I have observed about ministry is that are basically two kinds of Kingdom builders: “Senders”, and “the Sent”. The “Messianic community-at-large” needs people who are willing to heed G_d’s call, by going directly to those who need of 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 normally 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 of the worker. Paul reminds the Sender of that same relationship, which they have between themselves and G_d.
Just as the farm owner provides seed for his field workers to sow, so G_d 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, G_d blesses us with abundance so we will invest it in His kingdom.
In our present economy, it is hard for us to consider ourselves as wealthy, but compared to the rest of the world, the average American in the top 10% of the World’s wealthy.
So, how well are you investing in G_d’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 G_d’s work is being completed, in part, because of their investment. Also, the minister remembers the benefactor in his prayers before the L_rd…Who was, of course, the source of the benefactor’s wealth! Full circle.
~Steve Wiggins, Associate Leader, Worship Leader
Daily Devotional, Tuesday, September 24, 2013