Friday, 30 October 2015
For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, 2 Corinthians 9:12
Paul, in describing the gift which is being gathered, had just mentioned that it is one “which causes thanksgiving through us to God.” To explain this further, he says, “For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints.” In this, he uses the word leitourgia which is translated as “service.” It is the basis for our word “liturgy.”
In this sense, the giving of the gift is not just to be considered a beneficent act of humanity, but one of religious significance. This is evident from the second half of the verse. In supplying the desperate needs of the saints, the gift “also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God.” Thus this verse is a fuller explanation of the words of the previous verse.
Another word to consider is translated as “supplies.” Vincent’s Word Studies explains the meaning of the word prosanapléroó –
“Lit., fills up by adding to. … Supplementing what the saints lack. Through many thanksgivings. The need of the poor is filled, like an empty vessel, to the brim, and the supply overflows in the thanksgiving which it calls out. Thus Christian beneficence does a double work, in giving relief and in generating thankfulness.”
The “double work” of Christian giving here is 1) taking care of the desperate needs of the saints in Jerusalem, while 2) producing many thanksgivings to God. As can be seen from this, there is a marked difference between the giving of believers and that of non-believers. God is glorified through such giving when it is done by His faithful people.
Life application: God is deserving of all praise and glory for the wonderful blessings He provides among His people. James says that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” As this is so, let us remember to give Him the thanks that He is due. It is right and proper to do so.
Lord God, Your word tells us that every perfect gift is from above. Help us then to see Your hand in the perfect gifts we receive and to return thanks to You for them. Something as simple as a perfectly placed flower on the side of the path of life may be just what we need to lighten our burdens. If that does it, then help us to remember to thank You for providing the flower for our comfort. May our praise never be lacking in the good gifts You supply. Amen.