Sent: Friday, December 14, 2001
Subject: The Best Investments (Part 2)
Dear Ethan & Emily:
Well, as I pointed out yesterday: God has promised that as we are faithful in giving, we “…will be enriched so that we can give even more generously.” (2 Cor. 9: 11) Not knowing what would happen yesterday, I went to work as usual and saw the owner of our Company who proceeded to give me a very generous year-end bonus! Wow!
What I didn’t finish in our devotions yesterday, I would like to do so this morning and the truths are found in the remainder of the passage in 2 Corinthians 9. Starting in v. 11, Paul outlines the blessings God gives to the “cheerful (albeit ‘hilarious’ )” giver:
1. “…you will be enriched so that you can give even more generously.” (v.11a) Amen to that!
2. “…when you take your gifts to those who need them, they will break out in thanksgiving to God.” (v. 11b)
3. Summarizing the above, Paul says that “two good things will happen—the needs of the Christians (or recipients of the gifts)…will be met, and they (the recipients of the the gifts) will joyfully express their thanksgiving to God.” So…needs are met and God will be praised!
Furthermore, Paul says that our generosity has additional significant results: First he reminds us that as we share “you will be glorifying God through your generous gifts.” (v. 13a). Additionally, the generosity shown “…proves that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they (the recipients) will pray for you with deep affection because of the wonderful grace of God shown through you.” (vv. 13b – 14) So, in our generosity, we glorify God, we demonstrate our obedience, and we end up having other praying for us. What a deal!
Paul closes this passage on gifts and giving by reminding us that we can’t outgive God…that He set the standard in generosity by giving the “best” gift He had to all mankind: “Thank God for His Son—a gift too wonderful for words!” (v. 15)
“Too wonderful for words”…and that’s how I would like to end our study this morning. Get the giving spirit and never let it go…
All my love,
P.S. The scholarship fund I am setting up at Appalachian Bible College in Bradley, WV, will be named after your grandfather. It will be called the “Thomas D. Montgomery Scholarship” and will honor Tom’s lifelong commitment and love for world missions. As you know, I also share a love for missions worldwide, and I would like this scholarship to assist students that want to get to the mission field but lack adequate funds to receive their college training. As you know, a high number of ABC graduates go into full-time Christian work, and many of them come from poorer families with limited income opportunities. I would like to focus this scholarship on those with a heart for missions. You might remember Dan Anderson, who spoke several times at Grace Gospel, is now the President of ABC and a tremendous person. As an extra “fun” thing, I am also going to set up the scholarship so that the recipient or recipients are also provided a round trip ticket to Colorado so that your mother and I can get to know them and then provide a ski or mountain hiking experience weekend for that person. Serving the Lord brings a lot of fun along with the sacrifices, and we want to be a bright spot in someone’s life. Do likewise with what you have and make the right and best “investments” today.