If you’re looking to dive deeper into what the Bible says about this topic, here’s a suggested Reading Plan, one passage per day for a whole week, based on the sermon:
- MONDAY: 2 Corinthians 8
- TUESDAY: 2 Corinthians 9
- WEDNESDAY: Luke 6:27-42
- THURSDAY: Matthew 14
- FRIDAY: Genesis 22
- SATURDAY: Acts 4:32-37
- SUNDAY: Exodus 16:11-18
eGroup Discussion Questions – Great for personal reflection/journaling, too!
Sermon Notes: “Needers and Feeders” ⤵️
Preacher: Steve Furtick
Passage: 2 Corinthians 9:6-10
Title: Needers & Feeders
Date: November 10, 2019
2 Corinthians 9:6-10, NIV
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.
- It’s not about your ability, it’s about your availability.
- (There is a talent factor, though.)
- Paul is collecting an offering. (Explained in detail in 2 Corinthians 8)
- He’s asking the Gentile believers in Corinth to support the Jewish believers in Jerusalem.
- The believers in Jerusalem are spiritually rich but physically poor. (It’s possible to be the opposite: Physically rich but spiritually poor.)
- Paul has been working on this offering for years during his missionary journeys. The work is important to him!
- Paul tries to stir a spirit of competition by mentioning to the Corinthians that the Macedonians have given much but are not as well off as the Corinthians. (2 Corinthians 8:1-7)
A. God Loves a Cheerful Giver
6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7, ESV
- God has no needs!
- Did someone ever do something nice for you but did it in a way that you wish they hadn’t?
- Pastor Steven shares about getting fat off of his wife’s cooking
- We can get “fat” off church
- In a church like this you can start to feel unneeded and unknown.
- We don’t contribute, we just consume.
- God loves a cheerful giver.
- Pastor Steven talk about how he was washing dishes in order to earn praise from his wife when she replied: “I’d rather you not do it than hear you talk about it”
- Alternative title: “God Doesn’t Want It”
- He doesn’t want us to do things to earn praise or do it because we feel like we have to.
- My presence isn’t honored, but God’s is.
- God was God before a celebrity shouted him out. [I’m sure this is a reference to Kanye’s new album “Jesus is King.”]
- He doesn’t need anything.
- Paul: I want to give you the privilege of giving to something bigger than yourselves.
B. God Responds to Our Need with a Seed
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 9 As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” 10 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.
2 Corinthians 9:8-10, ESV
- Do you believe that “God is able to make all grace abound to you”?
- The question isn’t “Is God able?” but “Are you sowing?”
- People get stuck at “What I need”—It’s okay to come to God with our needs but don’t stay there.
- God doesn’t respond to our needs with a harvest.
- God responds to our need with a seed.
- DO RE ME FA SOL LA TE DO [Nick: I looked this up to see where these came from and learned that it’s from an old hymn to St. John the Baptist.]
- Get out of ME mode
- Get into SO(W) mode
- “Give, and it will be given to you.” (Luke 6:38)
- God responds to your need with a bigger need.
C. Needers to Feeders
13 When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. 15 As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” 16 Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” 17 “We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. 18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people.
Matthew 14:13-18, NIV
- John the Baptist is beheaded by Herod the Tetrarch. (Matthew 14:1-12)
- After hearing this Jesus and his disciples “withdrew by boat privately” (14:13a)
- When they get there they run into needy people. (14:13b)
- He is about to take them from Needers to Feeders (14:16). From ME to SO(W).
- The disciples have a need: they likely hungry too, so they want to send the people away to get some food.
- Jesus says that the people do not need to be sent away, that the disciples should feed them.
- You’ll never know how much you have until god asks you to meet a need bigger than you.
- The disciples brought what was available and God multiplied it. (14:17)
- Jesus fed the 5000 by enabling the disciples to feed the 5000 (14:19b)
- Jesus takes what little you have and multiplies it.
D. What Is Sacrificed is Sown
- Pastor Steven shares a story about someone who has given sacrificially to the church. Their reply: “It’s not a sacrifice, it’s a privilege.”
- In Genesis 22, God commands Abraham to sacrifice Isaac (Who God provided to Abraham and Sarah even in their old age; but provides the sacrifice in the form of a ram caught in the bushes). Because Abraham obeyed, God said he would multiply Abraham’s offspring/seed (22:18)
- God doesn’t ask us to sacrifice anything, because what is sacrificed is sown.
- Abraham was willing to let Isaac go. Anything that we sacrifice to God was given to us by God in the first place.
- God will multiply whatever you’re willing to sacrifice.
- The more we focus on consumer Christianity, the more the world starves.
- Are you available?
- Pastor Steven wraps up with a prayer where he quotes Romans 12:1-2:
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:1-2, NIV