And God is able to make all grace abound toward you;
that you, always having all sufficiency in all things,
may abound to every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8
Are you in need of some encouragement? Would a shot in the arm, a boost from the Lord do you some good? If so, God has an important word for you and for anyone seeking to live for Him and serve Him. God’s encouragement comes in the apostle Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, wanting to encourage them to assist poor Christians in Jerusalem. Paul’s words come on the heels of James, Peter, and John asking him “to remember the poor” in Jerusalem(Galatians 2:10; Acts 11:27-30). Thus, Paul writes asking Corinthian Christians to dig deep and be generous. While Paul’s words address giving money, they apply to any service given to the Lord, whether teaching a children’s class, serving in a homeless shelter, or witnessing to a neighbor.
Note that Paul begins where we always need to begin in the life of faith, with the power of God: ‘God is able.” The power of God in the believer is one of the Bible’s great themes. Repeatedly, New Testament writers remind us, “God is able” (e.g. ” (Romans 14:4; Jude 24). Paul tops it off in his magnificent doxology praising God for His super ability: “God is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).
Paul then explains that God’s extraordinary power is “to make all grace abound to you.” He wants readers to know that God will supply whatever is needed in money, material goods, and ability to get God’s work done. And, this is all grace: unmerited, undeserved, unearned by you and me!
God’s grace in our lives ensures that we have “all sufficiency in all things.” Paul’s enthusiasm repeats the word “all”: “all sufficiency” and “all things.” Whatever we seek to do in service to the Lord, grace will abound to supply all sufficiency. We can confidently say with David: “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.”
As Corinthian Christians dither about giving, Paul wants them to know they can never out give God. God is no tight-fisted miser. God “will make all grace abound” to them. See how often God’s “all sufficiency” for “all things” is pictured in Scripture. There is manna in the Wilderness! Water from rock! Bread and fishes multiplied so that everyone has what is needed, with leftovers! God’s grace abounding to us means God’s people always having enough as they give themselves in service to Him. How beautifully we discover that grace is “sufficient” as God’s power is perfected in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12: 9).
Paul wants readers to know that God’s showers us with abounding grace so that we “may abound in every good work.” This was something the Corinthians were missing. They thought God’s blessings were just to make them happy. But God gives grace so that we might, in turn, grace the lives of others. We are, after all, God’s “workmanship….created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life” (Ephesians 2:10).
Paul’s words really speak to me today, and I hope they do to you. If God has put something in our hearts to do for Him, let’s do it! Let us find His grace always abounding toward us, making us sufficient for His good works in the world.
A fellow traveler,