Continuing from 2 Corinthians 8 and the gift of aid to the Jerusalem Christians, Paul sent some men ahead to ready them rather than having them feel pressured when Paul finally came. Paul was holding them accountable to their commitment!
Paul encouraged them to give in faith and not worry about not having enough money to meet their own needs. The farmer has to "lose" some of his grain by sowing it rather than eating it so that he can later reap a harvest. If he eats all of his grain, he will have no seed for the future.
The same principle is true in giving. If we give only a little, we will receive only a little. If we cheerfully and generously give in faith, not worrying about our own needs, we will be blessed, the receivers' needs will be met, and God will be praised! Giving is a win-win proposition!There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more,And there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want.The generous man will be prosperous,And he who waters will himself be watered.He who withholds grain, the people will curse him,But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.
The Life Application Bible has summarized principles about fund raising from these 2 Corinthians 8 and 9:
NEEDS FOR A FUND-RAISING PROJECT
Information - 8:4
Definite purpose - 8:4
Readiness and willingness - 9:7
Dedication - 8:5
Leadership - 8:7
Enthusiasm - 8:7, 8, 11
Persistence - 8:2ff
Honesty and integrity - 8:21
Accountability - 9:3
Someone to keep it moving - 8:18-22
The topic of fund-raising is not one to be avoided or one that should embarrass us, but all fund-raising efforts should be planned and conducted responsibly. (p. 2105)Our church is having another "capital campaign" for some property that has become available next to our church property. I see that all of the things on this list have been followed so wonderfully!
How is your giving lately? Do you need to "sow bountifully"?
Lord, keep us accountable to follow through on our promises to give. Amen.