So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words! —2 Corinthians 9:12-15
In his second letter to the church at Corinth, Paul reminds the believers of a commitment they had made the previous year to take up a collection for the poor saints that lived in Jerusalem. He wanted to make sure they remembered how enthusiastic they had been at the opportunity to give and they would want to finish what they started. The topic was so important to God that Paul devotes two chapters of the letter to a teaching about giving.
In 2 Corinthians 9 Paul calls this giving a “ministry.” The Greek word translated “ministry” is diakonia, which means “the ministration of those who render to others the offices of Christian affection; especially those who help meet the need by either collecting or distributing of charities.” When Paul is talking to the church at Corinth, he is addressing all believers and not just those with the “gift of giving,” so this is a church-wide ministry. He is encouraging all to participate with what they can give and instructs them not to give what they don’t have but out of what they do have. It’s never been about the amount…only about the heart!
Then Paul shares with them what will result from their ministry of giving:
1) The needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met
2) These believers will joyfully express their thanks to God
3) They will give glory to God
4) They will pray for you with deep affection
Obedience to the ministry of giving reaps more in rewards than the amount that is actually given. We’ve seen this time and time again when we have taken the donation of the saints in Tulsa, to the poor believers in Myanmar. God’s Word is timeless and what was true for the saints in Corinth are exactly the same for you today! There really is nothing left to say except, “Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!”