For people to give generously, their hearts must break with godly sorrow that produces repentance. People must see that their gifts are administered with integrity and love. Then people will give generously to receive increased resources, righteousness and prayer.
Allow Joy to Triumph
Having these promises enabled his contaminated body and spirit to be purified in order to perfect holiness out of reverence for God. Paul asked that they make room in their hearts for his team since they wronged or exploited no one, but sacrificed everything for them. His confidence, encouragement and joy about the Corinthians came as his team was harassed at every turn with conflicts on the outside and fears inside after entering Macedonia. But God who comforted the downcast comforted them through Titus. He was comforted by the Corinthians and told Paul's team of their longing and deep concern for him so his joy became greater than ever (2 Cor. 7:1-7). Allow joy to triumph through conflicts and fears as you minister sacrificially to others.
Lead People Toward Godly Sorrow
Paul's letter caused temporary sorrow and hurt leading them to repentance. Godly sorrow brought repentance leading to salvation without regret while worldly sorrow brought death. Godly sorrow produced earnestness, eagerness to clear themselves, indignation, alarm, concern and readiness to see justice done. Paul wanted them to see how devoted they were to his team before God. They refreshed Titus' spirit and Paul's boasting was true concerning them. Titus' affection for the Corinthians became greater as he remembered their obedience in receiving him with fear and trembling. Paul was thankful for his complete confidence in them (2 Cor. 7:8-16). Lead people toward godly sorrow that produces repentance and salvation enhancing heart relationships with one another.
Encourage People to Give Generously
Paul shared about God's grace given to the Macedonian churches in their severe trial and extreme poverty overflowing with joy through rich generosity. They gave beyond their ability and begged for the privilege to share in serving believers. They gave themselves first to the Lord and then to Paul's team according to God's will. Titus was urged to complete the grace of giving on their part. Paul wanted to test the sincerity of the Corinthians' love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. Knowing the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ that even though He was rich, yet for their sakes He became poor so they through his poverty would become rich. Paul encouraged them to fulfill their desire to give according to what they had. His desire was for equality that their plenty at this time would supply what others needed. It fulfilled Ex. 16:18 that he who gathered much did not have too much and he who gathered little did not have too little (2 Cor. 8:1-15). Encourage people to give generously by following Christ's example of one's plenty supplying the needs of others.
Administer Gifts with Integrity
Paul thanked God that Titus had the same concern he had for the Corinthians since he came to them with much enthusiasm on his own initiative. An esteemed brother accompanied Titus as they carried and administered the offering to avoid criticism and do what was right in God's and men's eyes. Paul asked that they prove their love for Titus, his partner and fellow worker, and his brothers, representatives of the churches, so they could see it (2 Cor. 8:16-24). Administer gifts with integrity and love to avoid criticism by doing what is right in God's and men's eyes.
Give Generously, Purposefully and Cheerfully
The Corinthians' eagerness to give stirred the Macedonians to action. Paul sent the brothers to them so his boasting would be true and make sure they were ready with their generous gift. Whoever sowed sparingly reaped sparingly and he who sowed generously reaped generously. Each man should give what he decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loved a cheerful giver. God was able to make all grace abound to them so in all things at all times they would abound in every good work. Psalm 112:9 said He scattered abroad His gifts to the poor and His righteousness endured forever (2 Cor. 9:1-9). Give generously, purposefully and cheerfully to reap and show grace bountifully in every good work.
Gain Increased Resources, Righteousness and Prayer
God supplied seed to the sower and bread for food to increase their store of seed and enlarge the harvest of their righteousness. They would be rich in every way in order to be generous on every occasion resulting in thanksgiving to God. Not only was their service supplying the needs of believers but was overflowing in thanks and praise to God.
They would be recipients of heartfelt prayers because of the surpassing grace of God in them. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift (2 Cor. 9:10-15). Gain increased resources, righteousness and prayer for generous and heartfelt giving.
Answer the following questions as you consider the dynamics of generous giving:
1. Is your heart breaking with godly sorrow?
2. Is your gift being administered with integrity and love?
3. Are you giving generously?
4. Are you experiencing increased resources, righteousness and prayer?