One of the best byproducts of starting a new healthy habit is beginning to see the results. When you start eating healthier or cutting sugar out of your diet, the pounds start coming off. When you start working out at the gym, you begin to see more muscle definition, and you feel stronger. Every time you start a healthy new habit, you will get good results, and the habit of being generous and giving to God is no different.
In 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul is teaching the church at Corinth the importance of living with open hands and what it looks like to give in a way that honors God. At the end of his instruction, he tells them what they can expect to happen in their lives when they begin to do it:
1. When we give, we will have all we need. And God will generously provide all you need. 2 Corinthians 9:8. When we prioritize the things that are important to God, he takes care of the rest. God always makes sure we have enough to live on when we give to further his kingdom. It seems counter-intuitive to give away more and still somehow have enough, but it’s how God works. If you feel like you don’t have enough to live on, it may not be an income problem but a giving problem.
2. When we give, we will bless others.Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 2 Corinthians 9:8. Giving toward what is important to God will always bless other people because people are what is important to him. Whether it is a regular gift to the church, an offering to missions, or investment in ministry, God’s priorities always impact people for good.
3. When we give, we will be equipped to be more and more generous. 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.2 Corinthians 9:10-11
It’s a basic biblical principle of stewardship—when we are faithful with a little bit, God will trust us with more. Generosity causes God to invest more in us because he knows we will continue to be generous. It’s a cycle of God blessing us so we can give that goes on and on and on and on.
4. When we give, the people we help will be thankful.
And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God they will joyfully express their thanks to God. 2 Corinthians 9:11-12
Doesn’t it feel good to be part of making a difference in someone’s life? Whether your giving helps someone learn about Jesus or feeds hungry kids around the world, they will be thankful. You changed someone’s life for the better with your giving, and that means something to them.
5. When we give, people will be drawn to Jesus and respond to the Gospel. As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 2 Corinthians 9:13
Your giving is directly tied to your testimony. The generosity of followers of Jesus draws people to Jesus because it reflects the generous heart of God. What this literally means is that when you give toward the ministries of the church, you are directly involved in leading people into a life-changing relationship with Jesus. It strengthens the testimony of the church and proves the Gospel to the world at large.
6. When we give, people will pray for you.And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you.2 Corinthians 9:14.
Who doesn’t want people praying for them, asking God to bless them. I’d love to have a bunch of people praying for me all the time. How much more could God do in my life if people were asking him all the tim.When we are generous toward God, it causes other followers of Jesus to see the work he has done in your heart and want you to have more of it.
Healthy spiritual habits bring results. Living with open hands is a crucial spiritual habit that all followers of Jesus must embrace. The best part is the results are so worth it.
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