2 Corinthians 9:7, 15; Acts 20:34-35

Open your mind and heart as you read the passage of Scripture aloud and then again quietly to yourself. Listen for God’s word to you.




2 Corinthians 9:7-15

People will often give out of a sense of duty. It may make them feel good about themselves when they give to a needy cause. They may even have a sense of prestige from such giving. But when giving is done in this way, the one thing that is never given is the donor’s self. God’s people should not give to gain either honour or self-importance. They are to give for the joy it brings and for the love they have for God.

Every Christ-follower is to decide what they should give because often God has placed a desire in their hearts to do so. Matthew, in his Gospel, wrote ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’ (Matthew 6:21). The way Christ followers give and the recipients to whom they give speaks a great deal about where their priorities and purpose lie.

No one who follows Christ should give grudgingly or because someone has manipulated them into making a donation. Instead their donations should be made in a cheerful manner. The Greek word used in this instance for cheerful is hilaros from which the English word hilarious is derived. God Himself gives with a happy heart and He wants those who follow Him to do the same. He is delighted when people, made in His own image, give in the same way.

Paul thanks God for His indescribable gift. God willingly gave His Son and the salvation He brought to all who would accept Him. It is the greatest gift He could give. A gift is not something anyone can earn. It is given freely with joy. In fact, Paul says, this gift is so amazing he is unable to describe it. The Greek word Paul used for the English word ‘indescribable’ does not appear in ancient literature before his use of it. It seems as if Paul made up the word to describe the indescribable. Paul ends his discourse on giving by thanking God for the greatest gift of all!

Acts 20:35

Luke attributes these words to Jesus, although they are not recorded in the Gospel. However they are words Jesus could well have said. John says in his Gospel, that many words of Jesus are not recorded (John 21:25). The sentiment describes how any minister, leader or Christ-follower needs to be more concerned about why they give (then what they are called to give and how they can bless others), than about what they will receive in return. Only joyful, sacrificial giving can advance effective, eternal ministry. In the Beatitudes Jesus tells His disciples how to be blessed (Matthew 5:3-11). Now Paul tells all those who follow Christ how they can be even more blessed.

Daily Reflections

Day 1

2 Corinthians 9:7

What gift have you given that offered you the most joy? What made it so special? Why did you feel that way about it? What was the response from the recipient? Thank God for the joy of giving such a gift. Ask Him for opportunities to do the same again, that His love may be spread to others, especially to those who may not know Him.

Day 2

Matthew 6:21

What does the way you use your money say about your priorities and your purpose? Spend some time with God today asking Him how He wants you to use the financial blessings you have received. What does He tell you, and how could it alter the way you spend and/or give?

Day 3

2 Corinthians 9:15

Spend some time in silence today. Ask God to sit with you and consider with Him the indescribable gift of His Son and your salvation that He has given to you. What will you say to Him? What does He reply? End your time with a song or hymn of praise (recorded or spontaneous) as you worship Him today.

Day 4

Acts 20:35

How do you receive a gift – especially a generous one? Would you prefer to give such a gift or receive one? Why? What do you want to say to God about the gifts He gives you with such delight? Spend some time telling Him how you feel today about all the blessings you have recently received from Him.

Day 5

Matthew 10:8; Ezra 2:69; Nehemiah 5:8; 2 Corinthians 8:3, 12; 2 Corinthians 9:6, 7, 15; Acts 20:35

How has this series on Giving Up impacted your own giving? What has been the most important lesson you have learned during this time? Prayerfully read through these Scripture verses again. What is God saying to you at this time that stands out for you? If you are not sure, ask Him. What does He respond?


Think of a time when you last saw a small child reacting with uninhibited joy about a gift or something that happened. How do you feel about giving and receiving in Christ’s name in the same way? Why do you respond this way?


  • How do you give to others? What word would you use to describe your giving? Planned, generous, budgeted, spontaneous, wise, limited, extravagant? What other ways would you describe it? Why do you choose this word or words?
  • The sermon focused on the ‘why’ of giving. If someone asked you why you give, what would you respond?
  • Are you prepared to take risks in your giving, so you become vulnerable in your financial world? Why/why not?
  • What do you hold in your hands on a day to day basis that you can use in God’s service? How does it make you feel to consider doing this? If you already do this, how do you feel? What is God saying to you as individuals as you discuss these questions?
  • Jesus has no hands but our hands. What is your response to this statement?
  • What does your answer to the question in the Icebreaker say about your present attitude to life, your giving and your relationship with God?
  • How could the ‘why’ you give affect the ‘how’ and the ‘what’ you give?
  • How can the group help you with the struggles you have mentioned during this session?


Lord God, You are faithful. We can rely on You. You have given us time,
talents and treasures. Help us to give freely, cheerfully and sacrificially so
we may become more like Jesus, giving with cheerful generosity just as You
do. May we grow in faith and trust as we do so.

Pray for one another in regard to the issues that have been raised during your discussion time, and in regard to other needs of the group.


Ask God to reveal to you how you give during this coming week in regard to your attitude, your joy, your generosity, your likeness to Christ. Ask Him to show you how He would like you to give so you can grow more like Jesus in your giving. Share any response you may receive from Him with the group next week.


2 Corinthians Chapter 9

Acts Chapter 20

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