May 08, 2018
Rev. Sarah TevisTownes
Bible Study Session # 17
This week, we will continue our Season of Impact with a conversation about 2 Corinthians 9:6-13, in which Jesus encourages his Disciples to give generously. He uses the example of planting and harvesting – “those who plant sparingly will also harvest sparingly,” he says. At the same time, it also says that those who reap a bountiful harvest should share it with the poor. In other words, we do not do all the hard work of planning just to enjoy the results for ourselves. We do it to share the bounty and point others to God’s love.
What does it mean to invest so much time and energy into a project where we may or may not see a benefit? Is it our responsibility or duty to share? How do we decide what to keep for ourselves? Where are we currently investing our time? Our money? What benefits have we already seen from our investments? Which of those benefits have we shared? Do our investments (financial or otherwise) reflect our actual priorities and values?
Bible Study Scripture
2 Corinthians 9: 6 – 15
New Living Translation
6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. Do not give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say,
“They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”
10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, God will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you.
11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God; 12 for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God. 12 The needs of our brothers and sisters will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.
13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all others will prove that you are living out the Good News of Christ. 14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. 15 Thank be to God for God’s indescribable gifts!