Sow Bountifully, Reap Bountifully (2 Corinthians 9:6-11)

2 Corinthians 9:6-11, “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.” 10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.”

One of the questions declining churches tend to ask is “Why are we in decline? Why are we not growing?” The church is to be a living organism growing and thriving. Like a vine, the church is supposed to grow and bud new shoots and bear fruit (John 15:1-6). Like a body, the church is supposed to mature and develop over time rather than stagnating in a state of infancy (Ephesians 4:15-16). So, lack of growth is concerning.

So, why, at times, is the church not growing? The answers may be multi-faceted but one simple reason exists too. Churches will not grow for the same reason some plants may not grow. Plants cannot grow if no one plants the seed or waters it. Bodies will not grow without being fed. Churches, likewise, will not see growth if they are not planting and feeding the seeds leading to such growth.

This is the key point Paul strives to make in the context of 2 Corinthians 9:6-11. He lays down a simple contrast in verse six, “He who sows sparingly, will reap sparingly. He who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” In the context of 2 Corinthians 9, he is asking the Corinthians to “sow” through their financial giving. It takes funding to support preachers, fund overseas evangelism, and help fellow brothers and sisters in need. If we do not sow, we will not be able to enjoy the fruits which come from these worthy causes. Because we want to “reap bountifully” we should be a “cheerful giver” (9:7). As we do so, the “fruits of righteousness” will increase, we will be “enriched” and full of “thanksgiving” (9:11). Yet, it all starts with pouring ourselves into the work.

Paul did not want to see churches suffering from a shortage. He knew they would function better when they had “a sufficiency in all things” and “an abundance for every good work” (9:8). So, he encourages them to give as they “purpose in their heart” (9:7). The more bountiful the giving, the more bountiful the harvest of blessings. Before we begin to ask why we are not reaping bountifully, ask “are we sowing bountifully?” Little effort leads to little results. Seed it and feed it and God will increase it!