Money: God’s Kingdom

September 6, 2023

Series: Money

Bible Passage: 2 Corinthians 9:1-15

This morning we are finishing a short series on MONEY.  Two weeks ago, we looked at 2 Peter 3 for the reminder that Jesus is coming back, which shapes how we view money.

Last Sunday we looked at 2 Corinthians 8 about the Macedonian people who were overwhelmed by God’s grace in their life, so that they were begging to help followers of Jesus in Jerusalem.  Remember?

The church in Jerusalem had gone through a massive famine, around 46AD, about 15 years after Jesus’ resurrection and the brothers and sisters in Jerusalem were in need, so that the Apostle Paul is inviting the Macedonian people and the Corinthian people to serve followers of Jesus in Jerusalem, because we’re all the body of Christ.

We talked about this last Sunday, it’s weird for us to gather on Sunday mornings, lift our hands in worship while brothers and sisters in Christ in our church in Austin are struggling to meet basic needs.  We’re jumping in deep this morning!  That’s weird.

It’s weird that brothers and sisters in Christ in one part of our world are living in luxury while in other parts of the world there are brothers and sisters in Christ who are struggling to survive.  It’s weird.  What do we do with that information?

Twenty years ago, we didn’t technically know about those brothers and sisters in Christ, so that it was easier to block it out but today because of the world wide web we get constant information from around the world, so that it is often times paralyzing information.

Do we just block it out and act like we didn’t see it?  Do we just walk around in guilt and shame?  Do we sale all our possessions and give everything away?  If we do help brothers and sisters in Christ, how do we get started?  What organizations are trustworthy?  This is why we need God’s Word.  Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 9:1-2:

2 Corinthians 9:1-2, “1 For it is superfluous for me to write to you about this ministry to the saints; 2 for I know your willingness, of which I boast about you to the Macedonians, namely, that Achaia has been prepared since last year, and your zeal has stirred up most of them.” 

Remember, First and Second Corinthians is written by the Apostle Paul.  In the first letter, it’s rebuke, rebuke.   In the second letter the Apostle Paul is primarily casting a vision for what it looks like practically to follow Jesus.

Therefore, in verse 1the Apostle Paul writes to the Corinthian church, “I know you are willing.”  Your willingness has been shared with the Macedonians.  Everyone is excited.  Look at verses 3-5:

2 Corinthians 9:3-5, “3 But I have sent the brothers, in order that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this case, so that, as I was saying, you will be prepared; 4 otherwise, if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to mention you—would be put to shame by this confidence. 5 So I considered it necessary to urge the brothers that they go on ahead to you and arrange in advance your previously promised generous gift, that the same would be ready as a generous gift, and not as one grudgingly given due to greediness.” 

Do you see the tension? The Corinthians made this promise of a generous gift, the news has been shared, the people have been encouraged, so that the Apostle Paul says, “It’s time to finish.”  Doesn’t that happen in our life sometimes?

Illustration:  A number of years ago there was an organization that was incredibly helpful to our family when we were taking care of my mom.  My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Schizophrenia while she was living with us and it was incredibly difficult.

We couldn’t leave my mom at home because she would just walk off, we couldn’t put her in assisted living because we didn’t have legal authority, so for two weeks my mom would come to work with me.  It was awkward!

I would go to meet with people.  Sometimes my mom would sit with us, sometimes I would sit my mom down at another table and hope that she would stay there during the meeting.  It was incredibly difficult.  But, then, someone told me about this organization where I could take my mom from 10am – 2pm and they would meet with her, play games, provide crafts.  It was amazing.  It was a huge blessing to our family.

Ever since the first day I dropped off my mom I have been wanting to make a donation to their ministry.  It’s on my to-do list but till this day I haven’t finished.  It’s a desire that I have and I need to finish.

Therefore, in the same way, I am sure we all have people in our life, commitments in our life, things we have said, “I want to do this, I want to give to this”, so that God’s Word is calling us, “Don’t just desire it, do it!!”  Look at verse 6:

2 Corinthians 9:6, “6 Now I say this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows generously will also reap generously.” 

In verse 6 we see an agricultural illustration of sowing and reaping, so that the farmer doesn’t sow one seed and then go inside to take a nap, right?

No, the farmer sows far and wide.  The farmer has been entrusted with a specific number of seeds and the farmer wants to sow every one of those seeds with the anticipation that the seed will produce a harvest.

This is an important part of our passage this morning; our generosity in life brings a harvest.  Our culture says things like, “You have to manifest it.  You have to speak it.  You have to give to get.”  That’s not what this is teaching.

There are religious people on television who will teach things like, “If you give God $100, God will give you $1000.”  C’mon brother, the one who sows generously, reaps generously.  That’s not what God’s Word is teaching.  Run from those people!

Sometimes they will say things like, “The reason you are financially poor, in hardships and struggles in life is because you didn’t trust God and give generous.”  That’s not what God’s Word is teaching.

The harvest in verse 6 is not for our glory but for God’s glory.  When we sow generously to God’s Kingdom, there is a harvest but the harvest isn’t to our glory but God’s glory.  You with me?  The Lord gives us seeds; resources, abilities and talents and when we sow those seeds generously for His glory a generous harvest for His glory will come.

It’s because you give generously to our church in north Austin that we are here today.  It’s because of men and women sowed seed money 2 years ago to build out this space, sign a lease on this space, that we are here today.

There is a harvest of people walking through our doors in the middle of the week.  We get to help people, pray with people, share the gospel with people.

On Sunday mornings we get to invite people into the body of Christ, we get to swap stories, we get to sing songs of worship, we get to share God’s Word, we get to invite them into faith in Jesus and this is key, they didn’t do anything, they just walk through the doors but it’s because seeds of generosity that were planted 2-3 years ago.

It’s possible that some might be thinking, “But if the harvest is generous then shouldn’t we see thousands and thousands of people?”  We have no idea what the Lord will do with every person who walks through our doors.

We don’t know the souls that will be touched.  We don’t know the marriages that will be transformed.  We don’t know the children that will come from their family.  We don’t know where people might end up in the world.

There is a young woman here this morning that heard about our bible believing church in Austin through a woman who doesn’t believe in Jesus, doesn’t attend our church family today, isn’t even in our country today but she met someone and told them about our church family and she is here this morning, therefore, the one who sows generously will reap generously.

It’s why the Apostle Paul quotes Isaiah 52 in Romans 10, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news?”

It’s because God’s Word will not return void.  We might never see those people again but we know when we give generously to the Lord, the Lord will bring a generous harvest for His glory.  Look at verses 7-9:

2 Corinthians 9:7-9, “7 Each one must do just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace overflow to you, so that, always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; 9 as it is written: “He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor, His righteousness endures forever.”

In verses 7-9 you could just write out to the side of your devotional, “You can’t out give God.”  Do you see that in verse 8, “God is able to make all grace overflow?”

Sometimes we think, “I better hang on to what I have.”  Sometimes it feels so hard to get ahead in life, to pay the bills in life, so we cling to every dollar.

But God’s Word reminds us over and over.  The Lord will take care of you.  Philippians 4 the Apostle Paul writes, “The same God who takes care of me, will take care of you.”

Jesus teaches us in Luke 6, “Give and it will be given to you.”  In the Old Testament the prophet Malachi writes, “Bring all the tithes and the Lord will open the windows of heaven.”

Again, it doesn’t mean give to the Lord so that He will make you wealthy and only bring blessings into your life.  It’s give generously and trust the Lord to take care of you!  Do you understand the difference?

It’s why verse 7 says, “Each one is to decide.”  It’s not my job to guilt you into giving.  Our level of generosity should always be between us and the Lord.  If you are giving to North Village Church in north Austin because you have felt pressured, then please stop giving.

The God of Scripture doesn’t need our money.  It’s why the end of verse 7 says, “The Lord loves a cheerful giver.”  It’s as though the giver is skipping with joy to give, because our giving is never to earn God’s favor but in response to God’s favor.  Does that make sense?

It’s at this point that some people are asking the question, “How much?”  How much generosity does it take for it to be considered generous giving?  Have you thought about that?  Wouldn’t it be nice if we have a little meter on our arm that said, “Generosity achieved!”

Some people rely on 10% because 10% comes from the word tithe and tithe shows up in the Old Testament but Jesus gave His life and invites us to follow Him, so what does that look like practically for us to give our lives generously, cheerfully and willfully?

10% for some people might be too little.  Some people could give 10% and not even feel it.  10% for others might too much, so we can rely on a percentage.

Personally, I lean on a little principle I got from someone else who said, “As a follower of Jesus we want to give as much as we can, save as much as we can, and spend as much as we can, so that those three areas are always held in tension.”

It’s wise to save.  We don’t want to be so generous that we don’t develop a savings.  God’s Word teaches us to save.  Proverbs 6, “Consider the ant, she gathers her food in the harvest.”  Proverbs 13, “A righteous man leaves an inheritance for his children’s, children.”  Therefore, invest in your retirement, invest in your emergency savings, invest in short-term savings.  It’s wise to save.

It’s also wise to spend.  It’s good to buy things we enjoy.  We have a Heavenly Father who gives good gifts, so that He delights in giving us resources to buy things we enjoy.

It’s wise to save, it’s godly to spend, but spending shouldn’t be all that we do.  Especially in our culture.  We love to spend and those trinkets are fun but they are just trinkets.  The clothes fade.  The toys break.  The car gets older.  The vacations are forgotten.  The food is fleeting, so that God’s Word is teaching us to give generously and give broadly.

Let’s just make it practical:  Spend money on your spouse.  Sow generously into your marriage.  Sow generously into your children.  This is different for each family, but look for ways to bless your children, just because they are our children.

Sow into your extended family.  Find creative ways to be an extension of God’s blessing in their life.  Sow into friends.  Invite your friends into your home.  Cook them a great meal.  It doesn’t have to be expensive.  It doesn’t have to be possessions.  Write them notes.  Send them a picture.  Become an extension of God’s grace in their life for His glory!  It isn’t for people to think more highly of us but to think more highly of God’s glory!

When we go out to eat, tip generously.  Bless those who serve you, accept those who stand at a cash register and ask for 20% tips.  That’s where I draw the line.

In verse 9 we see the heart of God bends toward those who are in need, therefore, as a follower of Jesus we want to find ways to give generously to those who are hurting.

If you go to our QR pages in the hallway you will see some organizations that we have vetted but God’s Word calls us to sow generously and sow broadly to all people for His glory.

Let’s touch on the homeless community in our city.  It would be easy to close our heart to this part of our city because we know addiction is involved, we know poor decisions are involved, but aren’t we glad the grace of God didn’t shut us out because our failures in life?

I know it’s difficult.  We know mental health is involved.  We know there are needs that are outside our capacity, so we need to be wise but I would encourage you, God’s Word encourages us, not to close our heart toward those who are hurting, so that each follower of Jesus needs to wrestle with this, for the condition of our own heart, and find ways to sow generously and broadly for His glory.  Look at verses 10-11:

2 Corinthians 9:10-11, “10 Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; 11 you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.” 

It’s possible that some might hear this language “harvest of your righteousness” and think to themselves, “Does this mean when we give generously we are earning God’s favor?”

But, the gospel teaches us through faith in Jesus we have already been given everything we could imagine.  We have already been made rich in Christ, therefore, our giving isn’t to earn His favor but a response to His favor.

That’s what we talked about last Sunday.  After all Jesus has done for us, how could we not look for ways to extend His grace to others?

Especially in our world today.  Right now, our world is so intoxicated by fear.  Everything in our world tells us we need to be afraid about climate change ruining the world.  We listen to podcasts and there is fear about our economy ruining our nation.  We talk to our friends and it’s about black people and white people hating each other.  It’s everywhere.

There is fear around nuclear war with Russia and China.  There is fear around food shortage, water shortage, over population, under population.  Did you know there is concern about our soil now?  Oh yeah, we’ve ruined our soil over the years, so that we are all going to die.  It is an infatuation with fear, so that we are giving our life to fear.

The God of Scripture didn’t create us to live in fear.  Yes, the world is a scary place.  Jesus came to conquer fear at the cross and defeat fear in the resurrection.  Jesus came to set you free from fear.  Jesus took the scariest thing, death and said, “You’re done!”  Now follow Me into life!

If you have never believed in Jesus, do so this morning.  Generous giving doesn’t originate with you being altruistic.  Generous giving originates with you seeing all that Jesus has done for you at the cross and giving your life to Him.

The hope of Jesus is that He comes to defeat all fear.  Jesus comes to call you His.  Jesus comes to conquer death.  Jesus comes to give you His righteousness, so that any of those fears might happen but He will never leave you, He will never forsake you.  Why would you not give your life to Him?  Look at verses 12-15:

2 Corinthians 9:12-15, “12 For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. 13 Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, 14 while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”

In verses 12-15 the Apostle Paul closes with encouragement, because he knows the Corinthian church will finish.  It’s the same in our church in Austin.  It just seems like the Lord has brought us too far to stop now.  I think the Lord has positioned us here to sow generously and broadly into His Kingdom for His glory.

We would love to build out a more robust plan for how we come alongside the homeless people in this part of our city.  We would love to provide a church planting internship to start more churches in Austin.  We would love to send more money to churches getting started in Central and South America.

We love the Elementary children being in worship but we would love to have an outlet for them on Sunday morning, a place to invite their friends, more resources for parents, and outreaches for the community.

We would love to invest more into areas of recovery, addiction, counseling for those who are hurting.  We would love to invest more into our Audio and Visual.  Isn’t our worship team doing great with the resources we have today?  Can you imagine how much better it will get with more resources of a harvest that is to come?

When you give financially to North Village Church in north Austin you are saying to your heart, I believe in North Village Church but you are also partnering with us in the gospel.

Does that make sense?  When people come to faith in Jesus, you might not be in the conversation but because of your financial generosity, it’s as though you are there.

When people are baptized, you might not be getting wet but because you give financially, you are a partner in the baptism.  When we send money to other churches in north Austin, when we counsel, when we raise up leaders, when we work through conflict, we might not be there physically, but when we give, we are partnering in the gospel for His glory.

I want to invite the worship team up.  I want to ask the lights to be lowered.  The application of our passage this morning is two-fold.  First, there is an invitation to be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus.

Jesus is the One who comes to make you rich in Him.  Jesus is the One who takes our sin.  Jesus is the One who conquers death.  Jesus is the One who calls out to you now, “Believe in Him.”

If you have never done that, do that this morning.  Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord.  We will have people at the back to pray with you.  You can come talk to me.  You can just start talking to Jesus right now, but please believe in Jesus.

The second invitation of our passage is that we would be a people who are growing in our generosity.  Don’t sit on God’s Word in this area of life.  Don’t delay in this area of our life.  Finish!


Look at what the Lord has entrusted to you.  Make a budget.  Take an account before we spend money on vacations, debt, food, cars, and clothes but instead asked the Lord, “How might I sow financially into your kingdom generously and broadly?”