I joined in with Good Morning Girls the past 2 weeks to study Thanksgiving in the Bible. It was the first time they offered one of their plans on the YouVersion Bible app. This was SUUPPER helpful because I had the plan and verses on my person always (what does that say about me and my phone??).
As we reflect on giving thanks this Thanksgiving Eve, I couldn't help but share my S.O.A.P. thoughts on 2 Corinthians 9:11-12. Much of the first two weeks were spent thinking about what it means to give thanks, how thanks and praise are always hand-in-hand, and making sure God receives the glory of our thanksgiving. This verse, however, shifted our focus on to helping others give thanks to God as well.
2 Corinthians 9:11-12 (NLT): "Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those in need, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving--the needs of believers...will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God."
I hope just by reading those wonderful words alone you can feel the meaning and action they call for. If not, let me help you think of it another way by sharing my observations.
First, this isn't a verse that is about me giving thanks to God, but rather helping others 'joyfully express their thanks to God'.
This is magnificent. Personally, we have too much to give thanks and praise to God about, but don't we want others to find joy in the same way?? Shouldn't our friends and family find the same joy we do in giving thanks to our Lord? And as a friend and family member we should help them find joy!
This verse claims we will be enriched (by God...our personal blessings!) so that we can be generous towards others with those same gifts. Our blessings are not to be harbored, put up on some sort of shelf to admire and dust off every few months when we remember. God blessed us in every way so that we can turn around and be generous! And this doesn't just apply to our blessings of time and money. Too many people think 'God hasn't blessed me with an abundance of money lately. Oh well!' and forget that we can share any and all blessings God has given us. Do you have the blessing of a new stove?? Bake a gift for a friend who is down in the dumps. Did God bless you with some sweet new knitting needles? Knit some baby hats to donate. Did God bless you with two bathrooms to clean? Share them with neighbors or pamper a new mom. The possibilities are endless!
And when we share our gifts with those in need, they in turn will turn to God with thanks and praise. That should be our goal and motivator. Not the warm fuzzy feelings we get for helping others, but for the fact that our generosity could bring glory and praise back to God our Father.
Before we part ways and celebrate by eating 100s of pounds in food, may I suggest two things?? First, consider checking out Compassion International's Gift Catalog. They have so many wonderful options for helping others around the world at different price points. Consider donating and making it your gift for a family member!
Also, Good Morning Girls are doing a similar study for Advent! It also will be offered on your YouVersion app! Surrounding myself daily with verses on thanksgiving was such a blessing and really kept my mind on the season and God. Join in! It starts next Monday!