God loves a Cheerful Giver

2 Corinthians 9:7 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.

In the Bible, people gave various gifts to God, for various purposes. People had a duty to give, both for the work of God and to help poor people. In particular, God’s people gave a tithe, which was a tenth part of their income.

God wanted his people to give with glad and grateful hearts

So God made wonderful promises to his people if they obeyed him. He would show his kindness to them; they would see that their wealth came from him.

St. Paul was not teaching people to obey rules, but to serve God gladly. He wanted Corinth’s Christians to give as an act of love, and not because of shame, fear or a sense of duty. He cared much more about their relationship with God, than about the amount of money that he collected.

Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 

“Give, and it will be given to you. . . . With the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Lk 6:38).

The principle is clear: we harvest in proportion to our planting–or, to use a contemporary maxim, “we get as good as we give.”

St. Paul offers the Corinthians three guidelines for giving beyond what he has already listed in 2 Corinthians 8:11-15.

First, giving is to be an individual matter that is settled in the privacy of one’s own heart. Each, Paul says, should give what he has decided in his heart to give. Each is placed first for emphasis. “How much?” is a question that each person must answer for herself. And it is never to be determined by how much “the Joneses” are contributing.

Second, giving requires resolve. The text reads what he has decided (literally, “as each has purposed”). This means “to choose deliberately” or “to make up one’s own mind about something.” It is a well-known fact that telethons that play on people’s emotions to solicit contributions often end up with donors who pledge impulsively but not deliberately enough to follow through on their pledge. Paul says that giving is to be based on a calculated decision. It is not a matter to be settled lightly or impulsively.

Third, giving is to be a private, not a public, decision. It is to be decided in the heart. It is an unfortunate reality that some Christians will give only if there is some form of public acclaim or recognition involved.

This desire is in fact to give should be the way God gave; it was because he so loved the world that he gave his only Son.

 It is God Almighty who provides the means to be generous. God’s abounding grace extends beyond the mere replenishment of resources. He is powerful not only to replace resources spent in evangelical services but also to multiply them to the point that at all times and in all things we have all that we need.

Psalms 112:5: “Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely”

Sow a thought and you reap an act; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny. The destiny of the person who gives liberally is a righteousness that endures forever.

We have beautiful example around us a Farmer, I am from India an agricultural based country (60%).

God provides not only for his immediate physical needs in the form of a harvest of grain for his daily bread but also for his future needs in the form of seed for next year’s planting.

If God routinely does this for the farmer, he surely is able to do it for us–provided that we have good intentions. God supplies our seed and even increases it so that we can be generous on every occasion.

The general principle is thus that the more we give, the more we will get from God. And the more we get, the more we are expected to give.

We observe what Paul does not say. He does not say that wealth or surplus income is a sign of God’s blessing. Nor is it giving per se that is applauded. It is, rather, a lifestyle of generosity that Paul commends.

For those who give cheerfully and willingly, the promise is that God will provide all that they need to continue doing good.

 

Amen

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