2 Corinthians 9:8 – And 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.
Last night I attended a Hillsong concert. Their newest song is called God is Able, that title says so much. Today I looked up some verses and the above verse from 2 Corinthians not only spoke to me from the stand point that God is Able, but this verse really encompasses one of the endearing parts of the Christmas season, Giving.
I often refer to the commentaries of David Guzik to gain insight on a particular verse. His commentary on this verse is so well put that I am going to bow out here and let him expound on God’s Word.
As we give, we must be persuaded that God is able to reward our giving. Just as God is able to make the sowing of seed abound to a great harvest, so God is able to bless our giving.
Jesus taught that even the smallest gift, if given with the right heart, would not go unrewarded. And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward. (Matthew 10:42)
In rewarding our giving, God does it with all grace. Our giving is rewarded in many different ways, materially and spiritually. Materially, God may bless our giving by promotions with better pay, unexpected gifts of money, or by making things last so we don’t suffer the cost of replacing them. Spiritually, God may bless our giving by freeing our hearts from the tyranny of greed and materialism, or by giving us a sense of blessing and happiness, or by storing up rich reward in heaven. There is no end to the ways we can be blessed when God is able to make all grace abound toward us.
Always having all sufficiency in all things: The word for sufficiency (autarkeia) may also be translated contentment. This is how the same word is used in 1 Timothy 6:6: Now godliness with contentment is great gain. God gives a special gift to the giving heart: always . . . all contentment in all things. That is a lot of all!
Materially speaking, how can someone always have all contentment in all things? By receiving this contentment God blesses the giving heart with.
It’s easy for many Christians to say they have this contentment; but whether they have it or not is often more truthfully known by their spending and shopping habits. How much of a place does shopping and buying have in your life? How does material loss affect your happiness? How happy do you get from having some material thing?
When we live and act without contentment, we are trying to fill needs in our lives. It might be the need to be “somebody,” the need to feel secure or cared for, or the need to have excitement and newness in our lives. Most people try to fulfill these needs with material things, but they can only really be met by a spiritual relationship with the God who made us.
Barclay says of this word autarkeia: “By it they meant a complete self-sufficiency. They meant a frame of mind which was completely independent of all outward things, and which carried the secret of happiness within itself. Contentment never comes from the possession of external things.” “The apostle useth many ‘alls’ on purpose to cross and confute our covetousness, who are apt to think we have never enough.” (Trapp)
With this contentment, we can be the richest people in the world. A man might have the wealth of the richest man in the world, yet lack contentment. But if we have this contentment, it really does make us better off than the wealthiest people who don’t have it.
May have an abundance for every good work: God blesses us, materially and spiritually, so that we will have an abundance for every good work. We are blessed so that we can be a blessing to others. God wants us to be channels of blessing, not reservoirs of blessing.