2Co 9:12-15 “For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men; And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”
It is a blessing to have assurance given that our labors are not in vain. Here Paul is telling the brethren that the service they have rendered has brought relief (see Strong’s definition of administration) to the saints. Their efforts have fully furnished (supplieth) that which was lacking (want) of the saints. However, that is not all this administration of service accomplished.
There was a greater abundance present in this labor. It produced many thanksgivings to God. Whether you read this as meaning a lot of thanksgiving by the saints or the giving of thanks by many individuals, it abounded to God’s glory. The reasoning behind Paul’s joy in the Lord over all of this is quite simple.
Most all of us have some thing or some story about a family member (parent, grandparent, brother, sister, etc.) who achieved something that caused others to remark about it. It give us great joy to be able to say for instance, “Yes, my grandfather made that!” or “Yes, my mother performed that act of kindness!” Should it be any less exciting to us to be able to say, “Yes, our God did that!”?
The saints at Jerusalem were moved to give God glory because of what they had experienced at the hands of the Gentile churches. In their obedience to serving the needs of others, they had acknowledged that they were subject to the gospel of Christ. The good news of Jesus, declared in both word and deed, displays the liberty that is in Christ Jesus. This liberty is embraced in the “liberal distribution” to the saints of God.
Furthermore, as we walk in the gospel of Christ, the saints of God are moved to pray for us. It brings great comfort to us to hear from some dear brother or sister in Christ and have them tell us they have been praying for us. We recognize in this the moving of the Holy Spirit. This is the cause for us to have a great desire (long) for the good of our brethren and for them to feel the same for us.
It is glorious to know that this longing is not born out of human emotion. It is rather the product of the evidence of God’s exceeding grace in us. There is great joy in the heart of His children who understand they have been blessed to manifest His exceeding grace. Bounty, freely given (whether physical, spiritual, or emotional), manifests that the giver is God. It is given by His grace and received by His grace.
May we always know to thank God for His indescribable gift!