5th January 2024
'Candice Lucey offers'
"Reasons God Loves a Cheerful Giver"
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7
Giving is not always easy, but God wants us to give and to do it happily.
Why is God so concerned about how we feel when we hand over our resources?
An act done "cheerfully" is done with a happy heart.
Usually, spending money isn't fun unless we're buying chocolate or books, but sometimes we spend money for a purpose.
We support worthy causes. We tithe to our churches.
That feels good, right?
Maybe you write a check, or perhaps you give food, clothes, time, or expertise.
Paul is telling believers at Corinth to give resources to the church; not with a bad temper but a genuine smile.
Money, food, and other essentials were to be distributed by the church leadership where it was needed.
Believers were told to do this to please God and serve each other.
This act of generous obedience was supposed to feel good and bring joy.
The Apostle Paul wrote 2 Corinthians.
The Lord had graciously revealed himself in a special way, setting Paul on an anointed path.
He possessed nothing except whatever he wore on his back and the sandals on his feet.
People fed him and gave him somewhere to sleep - or they didn't.
He relied on the grace of God and the generosity of strangers.
Paul knew what luxury looked like from his time as a leading Pharisee;
he also knew what it felt like to give up wealth and privilege.
When he encouraged the church at Corinth (or any church for that matter) to do something,
he had already set the example, both in deed and in heart.
Paul gave up every earthly thing to follow Jesus, but he did so joyfully with his eye on a greater reward in heaven.
God isn't only testing our obedience. He has plans for our money.
When we give cheerfully, we demonstrate that we love Jesus more than our money.
Matthew 6:21 quotes Jesus saying
"wherever your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
Ask God for more love, more faith, and he will help you to love your Messiah more than your money.
When we give cheerfully, money doesn't have a hold over us.
Does money mean too much to you?
Jesus is calling you to choose freedom in the Spirit.
In "How Do I Become a More Cheerful Giver?" Heather Adams writes,
"I need to believe that God's grace takes whatever I give and increases the blessing.
A new level of joyful anticipation will result."
We need to expect God to multiply our gifts by making us more spiritually fruitful and increasing the usefulness of gifts in the way they are used.
That takes faith because we don't always see the results directly.
If we cheerfully share what we have to alleviate financial pressure or support a cause that lines up with biblical principles, this should feel good.
God wants our hearts to expand. This is a sign of fruitfulness: happy, cheerful generosity.
A Prayer to Give Cheerfully
It's not always easy to give, Lord.
The more we have, the more we want, but it all belongs to you.
Oh, Lord, help us to want to be generous:
not merely because you command us to do so,
but because it pleases us to obey you.
Father, enlarge our hearts;
open our eyes to the needs of others;
and show us how to be humble,
to give without expectation of earthly reward,
knowing that you will reward us in heaven.
Let me never forget that you have already rewarded me with your presence
and have given the greatest and most sacrificial gift:
your Son, Jesus.
This is an edited version.
The full article and Bible references are avaiable on request
is a freelance writer from British Columbia, Canada, where she lives with her family.
She is a contributing Writer to Crosswalk.com
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