Sowing and Reaping in the Kingdom of God – 2 Corinthians 9:1-15


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“Sowing and Reaping in the Kingdom of God”
2 Corinthians 9
July 23, 2017
Faith Presbyterian Church – Evening Service
Pr. Steven Nicoletti

Last week we looked at Second Corinthians 8, where Paul launched into his appeal to the Corinthians to give what they said they would to the collection Paul is taking up for the poor and persecuted Christians in Jerusalem.

We discussed how these poor Christians in Jerusalem were in a tough spot because they were cut off from the Jewish support structures for the poor, due to their faith in Christ. Sometime before Paul wrote 2 Corinthians, the Christians in Corinth had pledged to contribute to the collection, but news has gotten to Paul that they have not been gathering it. In 2 Corinthians 8 Paul discussed this, and gave them five things to consider, to encourage them to give what they pledged.

Paul now continues on the same topic in 2 Corinthians 9. I’ll read 2 Corinthians 9:1-5 and briefly comment on it, and then I will read 2 Corinthians 9:6-14, which will be our focus for tonight.

You may note some thematic overlap with our sermon this morning. It worked out that the two texts we are considering have some elements in common, but I think Paul comes at it from a different angle in this text, and I hope tonight we can consider some different related elements.

So, with that said, hear our text tonight, 2 Corinthians 9:

Now it is superfluous for me to write to you about the ministry for the saints, 2 for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year. And your zeal has stirred up most of them. 3 But I am sending the brothers so that our boasting about you may not prove empty in this matter, so that you may be ready, as I said you would be. 4 Otherwise, if some Macedonians come with me and find that you are not ready, we would be humiliated—to say nothing of you—for being so confident. 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to go on ahead to you and arrange in advance for the gift you have promised, so that it may be ready as a willing gift, not as an exaction.

Paul here is concluding the discussion about the specifics of the collection which he focused on in chapter eight.

Here he lays out more specifics as to who will be coming to the Corinthians, and in what order, and how they hope to take up the collection. He wants them to know what to expect. Again, we get a clear picture here that he is not trying to catch them off guard and so pressure them to give on the spot. He says he doesn’t want to do that because he doesn’t want their giving to be an “exaction.” Instead, he wants them to give willingly, so he lays out the timetable so they can consider it and decide what they will do when.

Having finished his specific instructions and timetables, Paul now turns to one last discussion on giving, in verses 6 through 14.

He goes on, in verse 6:

6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 9 As it is written,
“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.”
10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 13 By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you.15 Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

This is God’s Word.

A little over two years ago author Zac Bissonnette wrote a book titled The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute. It is a book that chronicles and analyzes the Beanie Baby craze that swept the country from 1995 to 1999. I’m not sure how many of you remember that, but it was kind of a big deal.

Now, I have not read Bissonnette’s book … though it does sound kind of interesting, I have had a few more pressing things to read … but in an interview with MSNBC Bissonnette summarizes the main points of what happened with the Bennie Baby craze of the 90s.

For those who don’t know, or are too young, Beanie Babies are this line of relatively small (maybe about eight inches tall) stuffed animals. Their bodies were filled with little plastic pellets (hence the “Beanie” part of the name), and they were under-stuffed to make them more flexible.

In 1993 Beanie Babies were launched by a man named Ty Warner, who launched the company out of his own condo. By 1995 they were a national craze. By 1997 Beanie Babies were 10% of all eBay sales. In fact some claim now that eBay would not have taken off to become what it became had it not been for Beanie Babies.

Beanie Babies retailed for $5 each. But the average price they sold for on eBay was about $35, which means that people were buying them and then turning around and selling them at a 600% mark-up on average. At the height of the craze, many Beanie Babies in short supply but high demand sold for four or five thousand dollars. The most Bissonnette has heard of anyone paying was $10,000 for one Beanie Baby.

Bissonnette explains what was going on, saying: “People were buying these as an investment … I mean it’s really, really hard to imagine that.” he says. But that’s what they were doing.

So what kind of people would treat these small, cheap, stuffed animals like they were a serious financial investment? Bissonnette reflects on those he talked to in his research – he says “That was the thing that was so weird to me was that I thought that when I interviewed all these collectors, that these people would be obviously insane; I mean, I interviewed a soap opera star who lost his kids’ six figure college funds on these things, and I talked to him, I talked to the son … and they were two reasonable, intelligent, successful, high-functioning people … and oh, by the way, he lost $100,000 on Beanie Babies.”

And people did lose a lot of money.

In late 1998 the company retired ten types of Beanie Babies. Previously, when the company would retire a kind of Beanie Baby, when they would stop making a certain one, that particular type would shoot up in value online. But this time, in late 1998, these ten newly retired Beanie Babies did not go up in value. And then people sort of stepped back and re-evaluated the craze, and after that, according to Bissonnette “every month the sales just cratered.” The bubble burst.

In terms of sales, he points out that in late 1998 some of the commissioned sales people for the company, who were in their 20s, were making $800,000 a year on commission … selling little stuffed animals. By late 1999 and early 2000, they were down to $40,000 a year.

And values of Beanie Babies that people had collected also dropped hard. People lost most of what they had “invested” in them.

When one interviewer asked about how the collectors think of their behavior now, Bissonnette says: “The collectors often had relatively little insight into their own behavior. I mean they kept saying ‘Oh, it was fun … it was a lot of fun … it was so exciting, we just remember hearing about how much they were worth and looking in the price guides, and we just kept accumulating and kept accumulating them.’” He concludes “I mean a lot of them, I think, were sort of bewildered by it.”

So why did the market for Beanie Babies crash? Why did this “investment” that so many made crater and amount to nothing? When asked, Bissonnette can discuss a number of market factors that shaped the development and the eventual collapse of the bubble. In some ways, there were complex reasons for it. But on another level Bissonnette offers a simple explanation, when he shrugs, looks at the interviewer and says: “I mean the reason Beanie Babies crashed, on some level, was that the whole thing was stupid, right?”

The whole thing was stupid. People were paying thousands of dollars for a little plush bear that cost 35 cents to make, and thinking of it as an investment. Of course not everyone took it that far. But a lot of ordinary people spent a lot of money “investing” in these cheap stuffed animals. Why?

Bissonnette’s subtitle seems to give us a hint: It was a mass delusion. A massive number of people were delusional about what these objects were worth, and over the idea that they were a good financial “investment.”

It’s easy to look back at people who tried to treat Beanie Babies as an investment … and as long as you weren’t one of them, it can be easy to look down on them. “What was wrong with them?” we might ask. “What were they thinking? How stupid.”

But what I think is interesting to consider is that the Bible tells us, again and again, that we are prone to treat the gifts God gives us the same way. We too are prone to mass delusions about how we should invest what God has given us.

The delusion we buy into is that it is better to invest in the things of this world than in the things of the kingdom of God.

And we make decisions about how to invest what God has given us based on this delusion.

This is often true with our money. We are often tempted to spend large amounts of money on worldly things, treating those things as if they are a more of a solid investment than giving our money away, which seems like a net loss to us.

We thought about that some last week. But our tendency to foolishly invest what God has given us is not limited to money. Think also of our time.

According to sociologists Philip Zimbardo and Nikita D. Coulombe, “the average American male teen plays video games 676 hours each year.” That comes out to about 10% of their waking hours, using the stat that the average American sleeps 6.8 hours per night.

Peter Leithart points out that, with that time, a young man could do many things. He could learn a new language. He could learn to play an instrument. He could learn a sport. He could learn all sorts of things. “He could, in short,” Leithart writes, “become the most interesting man in the world.”

Zombardo and Coulombe point out what would be possible if all the gamers devoted just one percent of their gaming hours to something with a real world impact. They write “Considering Wikipedia represents roughly 100 million hours of human thought, hypothetically 15.6 Wikipedia-size projects could be accomplished every year if each gamer invested that 1 per cent into a crowdsourcing project” [Leithart, “The World’s Most Interesting Man”].

It’s easy to pick on young men of course. But according to Neilson, in the first quarter of 2017 the average Baby Boomer in the US spent an average of over six hours a day in front of the television. That would be over 30% of their waking hours. Gen Xers were over four hours. Millennials were at three. All of those amounts are more than the average American teenage male’s video game time.

And of course there are other things we spend our time on. In 2016 Facebook reported that the average Facebook user spends 50 minutes a day just on Facebook and Instagram. That’s almost 5% of their waking hours, and that does not take other social media platforms into account. The statistics can go on and on. [The New York Times]

Or maybe you would respond that you are more responsible. But even when we are being responsible in some ways, we can still fall into this trap. In his sermon on Titus 1, John Chrysostom turns to take aim at fathers. He points to certain fathers who, in his words, “occupied in the pursuit of wealth, he has made his children a secondary concern, and not bestowed much care upon them,” so that “he thought more of his wealth than of his children.” The importance of fathers investing in their children is not a new idea. Chrysostom saw both its importance and how it was neglected over a millennia ago. Of course Chyrsostom expects fathers to work to supply what their children need. But he also recognizes when that work has gone from providing for one’s family to chasing after one’s own selfish desires. [Chrysostom, 525]

Trivial entertainments. Selfish pursuits. This is how we often spend our time and money.

Now – the point is not that these things, whether entertainment, greater income, or something else are inherently bad or that they should never be enjoyed. The point is that they’re kind of like Beanie Babies.

They can be good gifts when enjoyed just as that – as a nice thing that is fun to enjoy from time to time.

Spending $5 here or there on a Beanie Baby is not a problem. But if you spend 30% or 10% or even 5% of your annual income on Beanie Babies, that is an investment – and a delusional one.

In the same way, spending time here or there on entertainment is not a problem. But spending 10-30% of your waking hours playing video games or watching television, that is an investment – and again, a delusional one.

We are tempted, in a variety of ways, to invest God’s gifts to us in worldly pursuits, which yield nothing in the long term … or maybe even yield a loss.

And that is the same problem the Corinthians seem to be facing in our text. We covered this some last week, so I won’t spend too much time on it tonight, but the Corinthians were hesitant to give to the Christians in need in Jerusalem from their surplus, from what they had over and above what they absolutely needed. Instead, spending that money for their own benefit and purposes seemed like a better investment to them. And so they were not passing God’s gifts to them on to others. That is the situation Paul is dealing with. They were tempted to invest God’s gifts to them in worldly pursuits. They were tempted to spend it on themselves.

We saw last week that in chapter eight Paul suggests several things for the Corinthians to consider.

Here in chapter nine, he takes a different approach. Here he zooms out a bit and talks big picture about how we invest what God gives us. Paul is of course focusing on money, and we should think about our money as we read this text, but what he has to say here is also bigger than that. It applies to all the gifts God has given us. And Paul wants us to think about how we will invest them. And to do that well, he wants us to think about sowing and reaping.

Sowing and reaping is the picture that comes up again and again in this passage.

Paul begins with it in verse 6, writing: “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

He goes on in verse 7: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Now without getting into all the details, both of these verses seem to be alluding to Proverbs 22:8-9. The first half of 2 Corinthians 9:6 seems to allude to the first half of Proverbs 22:8, and the line “God loves a cheerful giver” in verse seven is actually a paraphrase of an alternative translation of Proverbs 22:9 that was included in the Septuagint as a sort of variant reading, but which, since it is not in the original Hebrew, is not in our English translations. [Cook, 13-16, 29-31, 35-36; Brenton, 808; Barnett, 438 n.14; Delitzsch, 88]

The point is that by pointing twice to Proverbs 22, Paul is indicating that he wants his readers to turn there as well. And when we do, we find more of the theme of sowing and reaping. There we read:

In verse 1: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.”

In verse 2: “The rich and the poor meet together;
[Yahweh,] the LORD is the Maker of them all.”

In verse 16: “Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth, or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.”

In verse 22-23: “Do not rob the poor, because he is poor, or crush the afflicted at the gate, 23 for the LORD will plead their cause and rob of life those who rob them.”

And in the center of all these is verses eight and nine, which read:
“Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
and the rod of his fury will fail.
9 Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed,
for he shares his bread with the poor.”

So both overtly in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 and in his allusions to Proverbs 22, Paul is trying to focus us on the picture of sowing and reaping.

In verse eight of 2 Corinthians 9, he more subtly uses this picture. He talks about an overflow in one thing leading to an overflow in another: that an overflow in grace should lead to an overflow in good works. Coming right after verses six and seven, I think it is fair to see this verse playing off that sowing and reaping picture as well: The Corinthians are given a picture of God’s grace being sown, leading to a harvest of good works.

Verse nine quotes from Psalm 112:9. And if we follow Paul’s lead and look to Psalm 112, there we find not just a call to be generous, but the repeated affirmation that generosity leads to something – it produces a certain kind of harvest.

Psalm 112, especially in verses 5-10, does not just encourage giving. It lists what kind of harvest generosity will yield from the Lord. It follows the pattern of sowing and reaping.

Finally, in verse 10 Paul appears to be alluding to Isaiah 55:10, when he writes of “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food.” He is not only pointing out again that everything the Corinthians have comes from God. He is directing them once more to the Old Testament passage he alludes to, this time from Isaiah 55. And when we turn to Isaiah 55:10-11 we find once again the picture of sowing and reaping. First Isaiah describes how sowing and scattering seed leads to a harvest of food. And then, in the next verse, he uses that pattern to describe how God’s Word scattered over his people leads to a harvest in their lives.
[Balla, 776]

Sowing and reaping, sowing and reaping – both with his words and his allusions, Paul is hitting both us and the Corinthians over the head with that picture again and again. So what does he want us to take from it?

Well first, what does he want us to sow with?

In the immediate context with the Corinthians it seems clear that he wants them to sow with the money they don’t absolutely need, by giving it to the collection for the poor Christians in Jerusalem.

But Paul is talking big picture here, and the pattern he draws out, while it certainly includes financial giving, goes beyond it too. This pattern Paul is sketching out for us applies to all forms of sacrificial service that we sow in the lives of others. That service can be in financial giving. It can be in time invested in the lives of others. It can be in works of service for others. What Paul is telling us is that we are called to take God’s gifts to us and sow them in the lives of other people.

That is what he has in mind with the sowing.

Now what about the reaping? What does Paul say the harvest of such sowing will be?

Well, he mentions four things in this passage.

The first is in verse ten. He says that when we rightly sow what God has given us it will “increase the harvest of your righteousness.” What does Paul mean there? Paul is saying that we will grow in holiness. He is saying that we will grow in sanctification. He is saying that God will note our righteous deeds, and he will reward us, in a harvest that will come at the resurrection, when we stand before him at his return, in the life to come. This is what Jesus is talking about in Matthew 6:19-20, where he urges his followers to lay up treasure in heaven, not on earth. That treasure in heaven is the harvest of righteousness. It is our reward from God, and we are told by Jesus that it is more solid and secure than anything we might possess in this life. That is the first harvest Paul mentions from sowing God’s gifts in the lives of others.

The second comes up in verses eleven and twelve, where Paul says that sowing this gift for the Christians in Jerusalem will “produce thanksgiving to God” and result in the saints in Jerusalem “overflowing in many thanks to God.” Paul is saying that their giving will produce a harvest of glory for God. And it does this by showing God’s power. Paul Barnette makes an interesting comment along these lines – he writes: “It is one thing for God’s power to provide amply what is needed to his servants, but perhaps a greater outpouring of divine power is needed to impel those servants to overflow in generosity to others, as witnessed by the resistance of the Corinthians to be open-handed to others. There are few evidences of God’s power so impelling as the transformation from tightfisted meanness to openhanded generosity.” [Barnette, 439] In other words, God is glorified more when he gives extra blessings to one group of his people, and they then sacrificially share it with those in need, than he is if he just gave everyone what they needed directly at the beginning. So when we sacrificially sow God’s gifts to us in the lives of others, we increase the glory given to his name. Do we think of that as important? Do we live like it is? That is the second thing Paul says we reap from sowing in this way.

The third comes up in verse 14. Paul says that, if the Corinthians do this, the Christians in Jerusalem will long for them and pray for them. Sacrificially sowing God’s gifts to us in the lives of others will often lead them to hold us closer in their hearts and to pray for us. Do we think prayer is valuable enough that the prospect of having more people pray more earnestly for us would motivate us to sow in their lives sacrificially? Paul seems to think we should. That is the third thing he says we will harvest when we sow in this way.

The last thing comes in verse eight. There Paul writes that as God makes grace overflow in us, he is able to turn that grace into an overflow of every good work. In other words, it’s not just that their sowing in the lives of others is a good work, but that God will make it lead to more future good works in their lives. We have a growing cycle here. Like the farmer who sows, then reaps, then takes what he harvested and sows it in an even bigger field, yielding an even bigger harvest, and so on, God tells us that our good works grow. They snowball. Sow some good works, harvest more. Sow those, and harvest even more. This is how we grow spiritually.

Taken altogether, what is Paul saying?

Paul is telling us is that we are called to take God’s gifts to us, and to sow them in the lives of others, so that they might yield a harvest of righteousness and blessing in our own lives.

Let me say that once more: We are called to take God’s gifts to us, and sow them in the lives of others, so that they might yield a harvest of righteousness and blessing in our own lives.

And to get this, I actually think that stepping back and meditating a bit on actual sowing and reaping is a helpful thing to do.

If you watched a farmer sow seed … and you didn’t know or believe how it worked … then sowing seed looks insane. It looks like a waste. It looks like a loss.

I mean, imagine you are observing a first century farmer like those the Corinthians would be familiar with. He gets a sack of grain. He could grind that grain to make bread. He could invest that grain into his own belly right now. And maybe he does set some of it aside for that, and that is a good thing.

But then he takes some of this grain, some of this food that can be eaten now, and he takes it out to a field, and he throws it in the dirt. He scatters it all over the ground. And then he walks away from it and leaves it there.

What a waste. What a loss. What a foolish thing to do, one would think. He could have eaten it and enjoyed it himself, but instead he just threw it in the dirt and left it.

That’s what it looks like.

The only reason we don’t think of it that way is because we know, we believe, we have faith, that grain, that seed, that is sown, under normal conditions, will grow. It will grow into a crop. It will grow into a crop that yields a harvest. It will grow into a crop that yields a harvest far beyond the amount the farmer scattered on the ground in the first place.

Farming is an act of faith. The farmer has to have faith that the seed will grow and yield a greater harvest. Without that faith, sowing looks like a loss – a foolish waste of what one has been given.

And giving is often the same way for us. To us, giving our time, or effort, or money away, even if we think it is a good cause we are giving it to, even if we do it faithfully, far too often we think of it like a net loss for us. We think of it like throwing away what we have. Sure, maybe we believe that what we give in money, or time, or effort will help those who receive it. But we think that once we give it away, it no longer has anything to do with us. It leaves our hands and vanishes from us.

Paul says that when we think that way we are wrong.

Paul says that when we give the gifts that God has given us to others, whatever they may be, then we are sowing. Paul says that those gifts are planted. And we might not see much of them for a while. We might not see much of them in this life. But there will be a harvest. There will be a harvest of righteousness for us. There will be a harvest of thanks and glory towards God, which we will be responsible for. And even in this life there will be a harvest of prayer for us, and of more opportunities for good works. That is what Paul tells us.

And he tells us that each one of those four things: righteousness, glory to God, prayer for us, and future good works, that each of those things actually has more value, for us, than whatever worldly endeavor we had planned to invest those gifts of God in in our own lives.

Do we believe that?

Do we believe that investing a sizable chunk God’s gifts to us in worldly things is like investing a chunk of our income in Beanie Babies?

Do we believe that investing a sizable chunk of our time, or effort, or money, into the lives of others, will yield a harvest of far more value for us?

And again, as my seminary professor Dr. Collins liked to say: don’t hear what I’m not saying. And, I’ll add, don’t hear what Paul is not saying. The message here is not that Christians are to live bare, bland, joyless lives, where they refuse to ever enjoy the gifts God sends them. That is not the picture Paul is painting for us.

And it’s not the picture the Bible paints for us. In the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon tells us that we should enjoy and delight in the food, the drink, the spouse, the family, and the work that God sends us in this life.

The question Paul is raising for us is not whether it is good and proper for us to enjoy any of the gifts God sends us, but how we view them in relation to the rewards God offers for sacrificial service.

How do you view thing like:
– Climbing up to the next rung on the socio-economic ladder?
– Or possessing the next new technological toy?
– Or being up to date on the latest new series on Netflix?
– Or keeping up your social media persona?
– Or any other host of things like these?

Do you appreciate that they are a lot like Beanie Babies in the late 1990s? They are nice, maybe fun things to receive or to spend a little bit of your resources on … but a really foolish long-term investment … especially if we think of long term in terms of eternity. That is what Paul wants us to do here.

And that is not all – he wants us to especially see the opposite. He wants us to consider how we view sacrificial giving and service.

Do you see giving and serving as a drain, as tossing your seed to the wind … or do you see it as sowing? Do you desire what Paul tells you you will reap from such sowing? Do think about how your sacrificial sowing in the lives of others now will lead to a reward at the last day? Do you think about how your sowing in the lives of others will lead to God being glorified by others and how that would delight God’s heart? Do you think about how it will lead to those you serve praying for you more, and what those prayers might do for your life? Do you think about how you will grow spiritually, and how this good work will lead to more good works, thirty, or sixty, or a hundred fold in your life? [Matthew 13:1-23]

That is what Paul wants us to think about with this text.

It is easy to get caught up in the mass delusions of this world. It is easy to take up and focus on and obsess over and invest all we have in the trinkets of this world – to treat them as if they were worth thousands … when really they were put together for 35 cents apiece. What are the ways we do that? What are the ways you do that?

And what would it look like instead for us to invest God’s gifts to us in the lives of others, so that they might bless them, and then yield in our lives, both now and in eternity, a harvest of righteousness and blessing. What would it look like if we lived our lives and invested God’s blessings to us as if we really believed this text were true? What would the church look like? And how might it increase the glory given to God in this world thirty, or sixty, or even a hundred fold?

Amen.

This sermon draws on material from:
Balla, Peter. “2 Corinthians” in Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament. Edited by G. K. Beale, D. A. Carson. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2007. 753-785.
Barnett, Paul. The Second Epistle to the Corinthians. NICNT. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1997.
Bissonnette, Zac. Interview on “The Book Report with Richard Wolffe” on MSNBC: “The Beanie Baby Bubble … And Burst / Shift / MSNBC” published on YouTube on January 20, 2015. Accessed on July 22, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1dpsxcyK1Y
Chrysostom, John. “Homily II: Titus i.5,6” in NPNF, First Series, Vol 13, p.524-527.
Cook, Johann. The Septuagint of Proverbs: Jewish And/or Hellenistic Proverbs? : Concerning the Hellenistic Colouring of Lxx Proverbs. New York, NY: Brill, 1997.
Delitzsch, F. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon. Commentary on the Old Testament in Ten Volumes. Volume VI. Translated by James Martin. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1872 (Reprinted 1982).
Leithart, Peter. “The World’s Most Interesting Man.” FirstThings.com. Posted May 28, 2015. Accessed July 22, 2017. https://www.firstthings.com/blogs/leithart/2015/05/the-most-interesting-man-in-the-world
The Nielsen Company. “The Nielsen Total Audience Report – Q1 2017.” Accessible at: http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2017/the-nielsen-total-audience-report-q1-2017.html
The Septuagint Version of the Old Testament: Greek and English. Translated by Sir Lancelot C. L. Brenton. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1970.
Stewart, James B. “Facebook Has 50 Minutes of Your Tie Each Day. It Wants More.” The New York Times. May 5, 2016. Accessed July 22, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/06/business/facebook-bends-the-rules-of-audience-engagement-to-its-advantage.html
Wright, N.T. Paul for Everyone: 2 Corinthians. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2004.