2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
This passage as a whole has been misused by so many “evangelists” that it’s almost sickening to me, but discarding it would be even more tragic. “God loves a cheerful giver” was one of the first bits of Scripture I was encouraged to memorize as a small child, but we need to remember that when Paul wrote this he wasn’t seeking funds for his own ministry, but to take to Jerusalem to help the Church there. The passage as a whole was written to overcome the poverty mentality that very many people have. It is when we really trust that God can and will supply all our genuine needs that we are able to open our hearts and our hands and let His supply flow through us, instead of trying to hang onto every bit we can grab. This verse is one of many that point out the purpose of God’s provision: that we would abound in every good work. It’s like nutrition: if you keep taking in calories without expending them in exercise, you’ll just get fat. God doesn’t want us to go hungry, but if we aren’t doing what He intends with what He has provided, He’s liable to “put us on a diet,” so to speak. The problem is, when we focus on the need instead of on God who is our supply, we’re very likely to get anxious. This is exactly what Jesus taught so memorably on in Matthew 6. It is when we focus on God and His kingdom, that is, His authority and power, and His righteousness, which is to say, doing what He says is right, that we can have no anxiety whatsoever about His supply, because He is certainly going to “bankroll” what He wants done.
This is something I’ve known since childhood, but at the same time it is something I am still learning. I’ve discovered how much better my cash flow is when I tithe, for example, but I don’t exactly run around handing out money. As God provides – and He provides abundantly – I need to ask Him what He wants done with it, whether “it” is finances or anything else. Stewardship applies to absolutely everything. I didn’t speak any of it into existence; it still belongs to the One who did. I need to focus on what He wants done with what belongs to Him. If I will do that, I will never lack for resources of any kind.
Father, thank You for this reminder, particularly as both Cathy and I and the church have had major expenses, either just past or coming up. Thank You that the water heater work is completed, and that the tree pruning is scheduled. I pray that the repairs to the church automatic door would likewise be scheduled soon, so that we will be properly welcoming for the Advent season. May we indeed focus on what You want us to do, rather than on what we think we have, so that You will be free to do through us all that You want to do, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!