Wednesday, February 1, 2017
I feel led of God today to write about a subject that is controversial and strikes a nerve every now and then even among church folks. I am referring to the matter of giving. I could bombard you today with many bible verses that relate to giving but I choose instead to expand a little bit on this bible verse only, and give it a brief analysis: “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) This verse is virtually impossible to misunderstand no matter which version of the bible you are reading.
Whenever I preach or teach in church, I try to remember who my audience is and what the purpose is or the goal I am trying to reach. If this was a class of bible students I would be mindful of including many scripture references, history, illustrations, biblical examples, commentary by several bible scholars on the subject, etc. This is not to imply that, in church, many members would not want to hear and learn these things, its just that on Sunday or mid-week services, there are visitors who do not know too much bible or have not yet heard or understood the simple message of the gospel. In these blogs, on the other hand, my main objective is to encourage and remind our readers of things they know already about God’s Word and to maintain some sort of fellowship with them.
Back to the verse: After knowing what we know about giving, each of us should determine and decide what we can or will give. This is a matter between God and ourselves and as the verse simply points out, it is a matter of the heart. We may be willing to tell others why we give what we give or don’t give, but God will always know our heart. If we are going to give grudgingly or because we are pressured into it, it won’t be pleasing to God. There are other reasons people give. It could be we are expecting something in return or are trying to impress others. Whatever the reason, if we do not give with a cheerful heart, we will not be honoring God. This means we give gladly, sincerely, or even gratefully, and because the verse says that God loves the cheerful giver, please don’t thing for one moment, that he doesn’t love those who don’t. God loves all of His creation, and especially His children. To me, and because I know the character of God, and because I am a simple minded man, this is another way of saying the last part of the verse: “God loves it when His children give with a cheerful heart.” Now, who wouldn’t want to please the One who loves us the most?
God’s word for today: (Luke 6:35) “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”