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. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. 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. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words! —II Corinthians 9:6-15
My wife and I were in Prince Edward Island this past July. One of the people I met there was a potato farmer. I asked him how many acres of potatoes he had and he responded, “950 acres.” He said he can harvest in an hour what it took his grandfather a month to harvest. The machine he has harvests 15 rows of potatoes with each pass! Surely this farmer is seeing the truth that “a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.”
You and I will decide today how many seeds we will plant or for that matter we will decide how many seeds we will plant in our life-time. Generous planters will receive a generous harvest and those who sow skimpily will receive a skimpy harvest. So what type of harvest are we panting for?
God likens this planting and harvesting to what we do with our finances. He loves a cheerful giver. Are you and I cheerful givers? Are we generous givers to the poor? Are we willing to share with others? It is God that gives us this “seed” in the first place. We are stewards of His wealth, however much we have. Are we being good stewards with His money?
When we give there are two things that take place according to the verses above. First, the needs of others will be met. Second, others will joyfully express their thanks to God. Recently I heard this, “It is interesting how the Lord puts in on the heart of someone to give at just the right time. They never really fully understand what their gift means.”
I remember getting a $2 check in the mail once while I was in school. That $2 enabled me to get to school and to use my vehicle so I could make more money. I wrote and thanked this lady who was in a nursing home at the time. Yes, our giving causes others to give thanks God!
Dear Father, please help me to be a faithful and generous planter of Your seed, Your Word and Your wealth in people’s lives. Oh, that Your Word would take root and cause a mighty harvest and Your wealth bring thanks to You. May I plant and water in the authority of Jesus.