2. YOU ARE BLESSED SO YOU CAN BE A BLESSING TO OTHERS
And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things and all times, having all that you need, having abound in every good work. -2 Corinthians 9:8
You are where you are now for a purpose. Whether you’re rich in money and processions or not, the purpose of your wealth is to SHARE IT WITH OTHERS IN GENEROSITY.
We today have this mindset that if we work hard to gain money, we will able to live in luxury and fancy way. It is not bad to aim such riches. I have some plans as well if God will bless me with a millions of dollars. But if the purpose of our money and working hard for it is for that reason alone, then we’re just wasting the blessings that God has provided us. If we’re not aiming it according to His will, we ended up squandering it that leads us to live poorly. In the parable of the Prodigal Son, the youngest son who’s squandered the heirs of his Father ended up being so extremely poor because of that reckless mentality.
That’s why the story about that woman giving me money out of the blue still blows my mind. And that’s not all. Every time I lacked money for some things (like money for food, books etc.), God was able to bless me in a PERFECT PLACE AND TIME. Some people, by the grace of God, was able to treat me to different places, give me these meals and even to the point that I don’t even need these things, God was still able and willing to bless me with nothing in return.
Sometimes, we weighted our needs more than what we can give even to the point of comparing our lives to others. We’re afraid to give because we think that we are the “provider” of our richness and we ended up spending our money for our own pleasures because it is just and right in our eyes. But that’s not the way it supposed to be. During the time of Moses and the freed Israelites, they’re complained a lot due to hunger, but despite of their attitude towards God and their freedom, God was still blessed them with “free manna (bread)” EVERY DAY. God provided everything that they need despite of their unbelief because it is not them who did such blessings, it is God who provide them all and that’s His ability, not ours.
The purpose of your money is not for your enjoyment alone, but also to bless others with it. Apostle Paul said to Timothy in this letter that your richness (money and material things) aims to
“…do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,” (1 Timothy 6:18)
And because God is the only one who’s able to bless us abundantly (See No. 1), there’s no room for us to make a lot of excuses not to give. Whether you’re a “minimum-wage earner or not, employed or unemployed, you can still give. And don’t worry if tomorrow you’re going to lack something on the next day. Because if you walk according to the will of God, provision follows and He is able to give you more because of your obedience to His will. You are blessed, so you can be a blessing.
3. THE MORE YOU GIVE, THE MORE YOU RECEIVE
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reaps sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reaps bountifully. – 2 Corinthians 9:6
It is better to give than to receive. And it runs to this purpose. But more than that purpose, it glorifies God when you give more. There’s a principle here: YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW. if you sow money, you reap money. You sow good works, you reap good works. If you sow bad works, you reap bad works. That’s why you need to be careful as well when you give. Ptr. Chinkee Tan once said that most of the time when we sow something, we expected more than we sowed. It’s like planting a mango tree but you want the fruit to be a tomato. It’s a universal principle for every one whether who you are and what you can do. But don’t just give and mock or complain afterwards. Apostle Paul says:
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7
There’s no greater joy comes when you give with a cheerful heart. When you give to someone and he/she give you thanks for that (especially if you give radically), it is possible to change someone’s life. Your act of kindness can lead to more grateful things than just material things can offer. You can only see the overflow in your life if you bless someone because you know who your provider is and what the reason behind those act of giving is. And when you give that way, God promised this:
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things and all times, you may abound in every good work.” – 2 Corinthians 9:8
ALL GRACE, SUFFICIENCY AND ABUNDANCE. He can give it to you all when give with the cheerful heart of generosity.
Sufficiency is about having all of your BASIC NEEDS (Food, Clothes, Shelter, and Electricity etc.). When you depend more of your sufficiency in money, it becomes an IDOL in your life and it can be very dangerous for most of us because it tends to make you strive more for money and do more wicked things when you put your sufficiency on money and not to God Himself. So you must put your hope in God, not in your money because He is your provider.
Abundance is having much than what it is needed. It is where the real test comes in because when we have much money, there’s a tendency for us to think about more about our own pleasures and desires than giving. And instead satisfying our need, abundance at some point can lead us to satisfy our greed. Most of the time, when I have more money, I tend to think more about what I can buy that is not necessary. That’s why most of the time, I wasn’t able to save for our house bills, for my savings and for other expenses. Even worst, I wasn’t able to give or treat someone when I myself is lack.
That’s why you need to know your priorities. Where does your money go and what’s the purpose of it can lead you to better financial management. In Proverbs, King Solomon says:
“Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say ‘Who is the Lord?’ or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of the God” –Proverbs 30: 8-9
If you want to be rich, know who your provider is and your priorities as well.
“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which though us will produce thanks giving to God.” – 2 Corinthians 9:10
Ptr. Dennis Sy demonstrates how this verse works with this principle:
The Seed Principle:
A. YOU REAP WHAT YOU SOW
Like Ptr. Chinkee Tan said, you cannot plant a mango tree and you expect to harvest a tomato. Some people eat their seed than sowing it. Your money can grow if you know how to sow it. One example that Ptr. Dennis says is that if you want something like tuition fees, give some to someone who needs tuition fee as well and God is able to bless you with what you need. If you need food, treat someone for lunch and surely God will bless you on that. You reap what you sow. I see this principle always at work because the life of some of my friends on how generous they are, really show on how abundant they are. It may not apply for many of us, but it is a testimony shows how God is faithful to those who obeys Him. That blessings indeed comes to those who obey.
B. YOU ALWAYS REAP AFTER YOU SOW
For me this is the funny part. Because most of the time, I expected God to bless me even if I don’t bless others. As if I’m looking to the soil and waiting for it to MIRACULOUSLY grow some plants without seeds in it. Yes God can bless me by His grace but it doesn’t mean that I can abuse that grace. Despite of my unemployment, I make an effort to really do a lot of things while waiting for my applications. I’m doing freelance task most of the time to earn and to give so that I would not ask for my parents anymore. I’m doing house chores and help others as well like in our ministry in the Church, community works etc. I’m doing those things because I want to establish the works of my hands. I want to be worthy to what I have and not just all gifts. If I don’t invest on what God is given me, there’s no way I could be fruitful in any way. Same with our finance, you cannot reap what you don’t sow and don’t expect that God will bless you abundantly without doing anything. While you’re not rich to give, you STILL have to start giving so that God can bless you. You always reap AFTER YOU SOW.
C. YOU ALWAYS REAP MORE THAN WHAT YOU SOW
“give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” – Luke 6:38
Give more, and God will multiplied it all for you. Look for someone who you can bless with whether money, materials, prayers etc. God’s measurement is far bigger than ours. It’s a bit hard to press on to it because when I don’t have enough money or materials to give, it’s hard for me to be generous. Most of the time when all I have is just enough transportation money and some snacks in my bag, it hurts me a lot to think that THIS is what I have. But when God ask me to give, I just obey and give. It hurts on my part because THAT is the only thing I got but I always remind myself who my provider is. I need to press on to that hope because I know who He is and I want to obey Him with a cheerful heart. And when that happens, I just wait and be faithful to Him for that provision to come. And because He is my God my Father and faithful as well, most of the provisions that I’m getting comes at its perfect time and place like the Ignite Conference ticket. I just have to obey and be faithful with love and with thankfulness in my heart. And God is willing and able to GIVE YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE.
You want to be rich? Give. You want to live in an OVERFLOW? Plant those seeds. Invest and give what you can give because being rich is not about having much, it’s always about giving what you can and who your Provider is. Just knowing His power and His character and a provider, it can REALLY change your life and the way you see money. Everything is His’, you just have to live it the way He wants it to be so that everything that you desire will be yours. More than just the richness and the power of this world can bring.
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Come and let’s live in an OVERFLOW!