Recently I watched a new show on television, entitled Secret Millionaire. This show is about millionaires who go undercover to impoverish areas, volunteer, and ultimately give away thousands of dollars. While watching this I begin to dream. I begin to think immediately, “if only I had a million dollars how much I would give and assist others.” In mid-thought I believe the Lord caused a seismic earthquake of the heart. I begin to think back over my life when I have said similar things. I thought about when I would dream of winning, finding, or inheriting millions and all I would do for the kingdom of God (i.e. churches built, restored, people to assist, etc). However, I would often be nudged by the Spirit of God as if to speak to my heart saying “Robert, you don’t have to be a millionaire to become a giver, but being a cheerful giver you are more than a millionaire; you are loved by God and given more to sow”. I would like to share two points out of 2 Corinthians 9 for support:
1) God loves a cheerful giver
Whomever God loves, He looks after. For God so loved the world, He looked after us by providing His only son (John 3:16). Because God looks after those He loves, the cheerful giver has nothing to worry (Matt. 6:33). David wrote in the Psalms that the Lord delivers out of trouble, them that give to the poor (Ps. 41:1-3) Also note that the harvest is directly proportionate to the seed sown. “When a generous believer gives by faith and trust in God, with a desire to produce the greatest possible blessing, that person will receive that kind of a harvest of blessing” (John Macarthur, 2005).
2) God gives seed to the sower
I absolutely love this verse and think many people look right over it. Notice what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9:10
“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.”
The verse enlightens the reader that the sower receives more seed to sow. This should help us in our thinking; that rather than waiting to become a millionaire to give, we should become Secret Millionaires in our own right. As a former struggling college student, I know all to well the importance of financial assistance. I would absolutely love to walk into a bursar’s office and put money towards a deserving student’s financial account, or assist a struggling family with bills, food, etc. But why do we have to dream big and stop at reality? Why not dream big and work our way to the desired reality. If it is our desire to become secret millionaires, we should start today as secret millionaires and begin to sow bountiful seeds that will one day produce bountiful harvest. Remember God gives seed to the sower, which is the individual who is known by his sowing, thus continuing the cyclical effects; the more we give the more God will enable us to give.
Our gifts should be given liberally (Rom. 12:6-8), cheerfully (2 Cor. 9:6) and purposefully (2 Cor. 9:7), because as we continue to read in 2 corinthians 9, our giving produces thanksgiving and glory to God (2 Cor 9:11-15) and increases the fruits of our righteousness (2 Corinthians 9:10b). Not everyone has the treasures to give away, but we can all give either time or talent. You may not be able to give to support a student’s tuition bill, but you may be able to buy a textbook or two. You may not be able to pay a church member’s bill, but you may have the income to buy a week’s worth of groceries. You may not even be able to give financially, but you have skills, trades, or talents to assist in something for someone. My Father used to always teach giving according to your faith and watch how God increases the level of your faith and resources. Thus, I encourage you to start where ever you are able to give cheerfully and over time your seeds will become bigger and bigger. Remember, “God is able to make ALL grace ABOUND to you, so that having ALL sufficiency in ALL things at ALL times, you may ABOUND in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
In what ways do you see yourself applying this? Is your heart enthusiastically thrilled with the pleasure of giving? How do you need God’s grace to abound toward you?