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Following through (2 Corinthians 9 v 1-5)

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Explore God's Word Daily

Most of us are very good at making promises to do things—and we fully intend to keep them. But sometimes it can be a little harder to actually follow through with some action…

An unnecessary letter?
Read 2 Corinthians 9:1

• What do we learn about how the Corinthians had felt the previous year?
• Why is Paul sending the brothers (v 2-3)?
• So he doesn’t need to write (v 1)—but why does he want them to read these words before the brothers arrive?

Paul is all for enthusiasm, and making promises. He has no problem with the Corinthians saying how much they want to help with the collection. But he does want them to follow through on their promises. We probably all know people who are all words and no action, and we see how difficult they can make things at home, at work and at church. We don’t want to be like that—especially not when it comes to promises we have made before God.

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APPLY
Ask someone close to you, who you can trust to be honest with you, how good you are at keeping your promises. If the answer isn’t so good, think about how you might promise less but keep your promises more.
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A necessary visit
Read 2 Corinthians 9:4

• What had the Corinthians’ initial attitude inspired in the Macedonian churches (look back at v 2 and then 8 v 1-5)?
• What does Paul want from the Corinthians now? What does he not want (v 5)?
• Look back at 2 Corinthians 8:9. What is the ultimate motivation for giving in the way God wants?

Paul is saying to them: Come on, finish what you have started! Follow through on your good intentions! When it comes to giving, as we see in the example of the Macedonians and of Jesus Himself, it’s not the thought that counts—it’s the action! But Paul remembers their initial enthusiasm. And so he’s confident that the brothers will find them ready to give, and looking forward to being able to give.

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APPLY
• If Paul were writing to your church, is there anything he would look at and say: Follow through on your good intention —let’s see some action!
• What about if Paul were writing to you as an individual Christian?
• Is there any good intention you need to put into action today? How will you do it?
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Originally published April 16, 2012.

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