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A Cheerful Heart

So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NKJV)

One of my favorite stories within the Old Testament with regard to selfless giving has to be that recorded in Exodus 35-36:1-7.  Moses had summoned the people and told them, “Take from among you an offering to the LORD. Whoever is of a willing heart.”  God had given Moses the job of pastoring His people, as well the building of the tabernacle so He may dwell among the people (Ex. 25:8).

What I find so compelling about this story is Moses asked the people to make a freewill offering, and whoever had a willing heart would then bring in the various supplies, or provide the skilled labor needed to build the Tabernacle.  The people responded with an overwhelming heart to give and work cheerfully.  It wasn’t long before Moses had to command them to stop coming to serve, or from giving any more of their possessions (Ex. 36:4-7).

We can clearly see this same type of giving as well by the first Christian believers, as recorded in the book of Acts.  We are told, Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need” (Acts 2:44-45).  These new believers had an incredible love for Jesus, and it showed, as they chose to take their possessions and share with other new believers who were in need. 

The Apostle Paul wanted to encourage this same type of giving in the early church, but he also wanted for believers to do it for the proper reason, so he told them, “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7).  And we can see Jesus gave a warning against giving simply for the sake of human applause or recognition as well (Matt. 6:1-2).

I think it is important for us to remember, we can only give what the Lord has already given and entrusted to us—we are to be stewards of these things He has entrusted to us.  This includes our physical resources as well our talents and abilities.  I have personally found that the people who tend to be focused on Heaven and kingdom work, are the same ones who tend to use their personal resources and abilities for kingdom work, rather than just trying to stockpile or hoard what they have.  I think it makes it much easier to give and to help others when we understand we are only here for a short time to potentially make an impact for eternity. 

One more thing about our giving; it should always result from a heart that is committed unto the Lord (Col. 3:17, 23; 1 Cor. 10:31), and not from a casual or impulsive decision.  And our giving should always be done with a cheerful heart, knowing our cheerful giving will always receive God’s approval.  I believe this type of giving comes from having a proper perspective of God’s will (cf. Rom. 12:1-2).   When we choose to make God’s will our heart's desire as a body of believers, we will likely find ourselves much like the early church—having all things in common.

I want to encourage you to think and pray upon these truths today. 

STUDY QUESTION: According to 2 Cor 9:7, how are we to give, and what kind of giver does God love?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you willing to use the resources and abilities God has entrusted to you for kingdom purposes?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Choose to be a distributor for God—willing to invest your resources into the lives of other people as the Lord leads you.

MAKE THIS YOUR PRAYER TODAY: Father, thank You for Your abundant blessings upon my life.  Thank You for allowing me to be used to help others in need.  Show me whom I am to help, and in what way I am to help.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…

Pastor Scott Wright

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000