Saturday, January 10, 2015

January 10 – Cheerful and bountiful giving

But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.  (2 Corinthians 9:6-7 NKJV)

There’s a false idea going around that once a churchgoer gives his tithes, “it’s all good” between him and God.  But money in an offering plate or bag is really not what God is looking for.  He’s looking for four things: giving bountifully, giving purposefully, giving without a grudging attitude, and above all giving cheerfully.  This promise has everything to do with the state of a giver’s heart.  No one has the right to proclaim that God is obligated to bless them, just because they write out a well-calculated check.  True giving is an act of our whole being, body, mind, heart and spirit.  

When God’s people worshipped Him in the past, offerings and sacrifices were always present.  That teaches us that what we give is a form of worship, it’s when we speak to God by denying ourselves a portion of our physical wealth as a symbol of love and devotion to Him.  Giving tithes and offerings should be the most joyful time of our worship to Him in church.  Along with that is the giving of our time and efforts to reach out to others, to pray for the sick, to show kindness against the will of our flesh and even to wake up early and seek His face.  They should all be viewed as an honor and a joy to give to the one who sustains our lives every moment of every day.  Cheerful and bountiful giving is the only rational form of giving there is.  It should be a natural and purposeful response to all He has given us.

In church we regularly teach the principles of tithing, offerings and sacrifices.  The devil despises the idea of God being honored by His people.  He also hates the fact that if we give bountifully and cheerfully, we’re guaranteed to receive bountifully from God.  One way he can circumvent our blessings, is to get us to feel a sense of dread or compulsion when it’s time to give, to resent the pastor for his teachings.  Another common trick is to create a false pride in those who give their ten percent down to the penny, but who have all kinds of sin hidden in their hearts.  The devil isn’t stupid, he knows all the ways to blind us and then blame God or the church when our finances go down the drain. 

Prepare yourself in advance before your next visit to church. Don’t worry about what the pastor might think or about the people you imagine are watching you (most people really don’t care what others are doing during offering time).  Prayerfully think about what you want to give - if it’s time for giving a tithe, or if you want to give beyond that as well.  Make sure your giving is a form of cheerful and humble worship to the God who created and saved you, not out of obligation or guilt.  Why waste your earnings on an empty donation when there are so many amazing blessings that God has promised you because of your giving?  If you realize that you’ve been giving in an empty or prideful way, change today and watch just how God keeps His word every time.

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