July 11 I Monday
“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.”
—2 Corinthians 9:8, NKJV
The opening verse of this devotion gives us much comfort, and sometimes, we have the tendency to isolate it. We say, “God is able to make all grace and all things abound to us at all times for everything we need.” But if we look closely, this verse begins with “and,” which is a conjunction. A conjunction connects what is coming with what has gone before. It is not a statement that stands alone but follows with what is already stated.
For example, “I will give you $500” and “And I will give you $500” convey two different messages. The first is a statement that one would give another $500. The second statement connects with what has gone before; the full statement may be, “Give me your car and I will give you $500.” Now, what does the “And” in 2 Corinthians 9:8 connect with? We would have to look at what Paul wrote before. “Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 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” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). Paul is emphasizing do not be sparing, be generous; do not be reluctant, be cheerful. We will discover from doing so that we will never out-give God. He will make sure all grace for all things at all times to cover all that we need will abound.
Philippians 4:19 is another example that reminds us to take note of what “And” connects with at the beginning of the verse: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” As we look to the context, we find the answer, “When I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need” (Philippians 4:15-16). The church in Philippi had been supporting Paul when no one else had. Paul commends them for their generosity and penned verse 19 to encourage them that their needs are going to be supplied because they have been supplying for the needs of others.
As we read Scripture, let us not overlook “And…” at the beginning of verses, but read Scripture as a whole in context. From 2 Corinthians 9:8 and Philippians 4:19, we are reminded that God is a giving God, and therefore, our ability and desire to give is a response to His giving nature.
Prayer: Generous God, allow my heart to give generously and cheerfully to others and to You. Thank You that no matter how much I give, I will never out-give what You have given me. Praise You!
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