2 Corinthians 9:1-15 A Willing Gift

The heart of the giver matters more to God than the content of the box.

I want to break from routine and cover two subheadings today instead of just one. The reason is that these two sections belong together, in my opinion. We will look at Paul’s advance preparations for the gift that was promised and his exhortation about how to give.

Paul starts out by telling the Corinthian church that he is proud of their promised generosity. He is so proud of them that he has been bragging on them to some of the other churches. For some reason though he is concerned that they may not make good on their promise. I don’t know if it is because of the conflict they have recently undergone or if he is a natural worrier. He doesn’t want to look bad and he doesn’t want them to look bad either. So he sends an advance team to make sure all is ready when he gets there. Read more »

2 Corinthians 8:16-24 Faithful Servants

Be faithful with what He gives you now; then He will trust you with more.

We meet, some for the first time, several faithful servants. Some are not even named but their company is a blessing to all.

Paul is our first faithful servant. He has been sharing the word continually since his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damasks. Titus is the only other one in our reading today that is named. Paul is especially fond of him. He was the one who took at least one of the letters to the Corinthian church and brought back a report of their response to Paul’s correction.

Titus cared so much about this body that he chose to go to them on his own. He didn’t wait to be asked but volunteered for this task. Paul had told him a lot about this group of believers and he wanted to see for himself this wonderful group. Read more »

2 Corinthian 8:1-15 Matter of Fairness

Giving from the heart as a matter of fairness.

Paul is encouraging the Corinthian church to make good on their promised gift of support. As a body they had pledged help but they had not yet delivered on their promise.

I’m assuming that because of the split in this church the promised gift was harder to give. It could also be that their attention had been diverted from the promised gift with all that they were dealing with in the church.

Paul recognizes that situations have changed but reminds them of their promise anyway. He doesn’t insist on the full amount originally pledged. Instead he asks them to give “according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have” (verse 12). Read more »

2 Corinthians 7:2-16 Good Grief

Godly grief leads to joy!

Paul shares his happiness with his readers about their grief. It almost sounds cruel to be happy that someone else is grieving but the grief that they suffered was short lived and for a purpose. I guess you could call it “good” grief.

There was a lot going on in the church at Corinth that was contrary to what was being taught by the apostles. Freedom was being perverted. Divisions were rampant. And rampant sin was not being addressed. Paul wrote to this group to address these issues. My bible helps tell me that Paul actually wrote three letters before the one we are reading. The first was prior to the letter of 1 Corinthians. Then the letter of 1 Corinthians, which we already looked at. Read more »

2 Corinthians 6:14- 7:1 Yoked Together

This pairing is headed for trouble.

Paul’s words, through the Holy Spirit, today speak of two sharing a burden or path in life. Many have used this passage to reference a believer and an non-believer marrying one another. That is not the entirety of his meaning.

Those of us who aren’t farmers have a harder time with the concept of “unequally yoked.” A yoke is an apparatus that binds two animals together to share a job that is too difficult for one animal alone. This works best when the animals are of the same type, general size, temperament and training. The burden of work is equally shared between the two like animals and is easily accomplished. Read more »