2 Corinthians 9:6-8 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
- Is Paul saying “God is able to make all grace abound to you so that you can drive a Cadillac”?
- Is he saying, “God is able to make all grace abound to you so that you can live a life of ease”?
- Is he saying, “God is able to make all grace abound to you so that you can give 10% of your money away and spend the other 90% on whatever suits your fancy”?
- Is he saying, “God is able to make all grace abound to you so that you will climb the career ladder and end up with the most prestigious job in your profession”?
No! God gives us grace so that we can be content in whatever our circumstances might be. And knowing that we are content, knowing that we will be content at all future times, knowing that God will supply our every true need, knowing that He will guide us and direct our paths and bring us safely to His heavenly kingdom, we are free to give and love and take risks.
Paul was content in the Philippian jail not because he knew God would send an earthquake and free him – but because He knew that God was in control. He believed God’s promises. And being content he could give of himself, of his time – and not worry about the consequences. As Scott Hafemann says, “Giving to others is simply what trusting in God’s promises looks like in a different dress.”
You too can be content in every circumstance – at all times, in all things. – by the grace of God. We thus can abound in every good work – no matter what it costs us in time, in position, or in money.
Why does God love a cheerful giver? Because the cheerful giver trusts Him, loves Him, believes in Him. The grudging giver does none of those things. The cheerful giver gives out of His joy in God.
Listen to George Mueller, the 19th century pastor in Britain who is best known for raising the equivalent of $150 million in today’s money for good causes – mainly for orphanages – by prayer, without ever asking directly for money.
According to my judgement the most important point to be attended to is this: above all things see to it that your souls are happy in the Lord. Other things may press upon you, the Lord’s work may even have urgent claims upon your attention, but I deliberately repeat, it is of supreme and paramount importance that you should seek above all things to have your souls truly happy in God Himself! Day by day seek to make this the most important business of your life. This has been my firm and settled condition for the last five and thirty years. . . the secret of all true effectual service is joy in God . . .
“I saw more clearly than ever, that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was, to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not, how much I might serve the Lord, how I might glorify the Lord; but how I might get my soul into a happy state, and how my inner man might be nourished.”
Do you want to be a cheerful giver? Get to know the Lord of the universe! Read His Word! Meditate on it! Then read how He has worked in the lives of great Christians! Turn off your TV, turn off the radio, turn off the music, close the newspaper, and focus on the truths of Who God is and what He has done.
Then ask yourself: What step of faith do I need to take in giving of myself?
Believe in God’s future grace to you – and then step out!
I warn you: you won’t feel complete confidence. Satan will tempt you to worry about the consequences. But “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all contentment in all things at all times you may abound in every good work.”
So hold on to that promise! Trust him! And even if your faith is as the size of a mustard seed, take that step of faith – asking God to increase your faith through it.
God loves a cheerful giver –
- a giver of blessings who is confident of blessings in return;
- a giver who is content even under severe danger, persecution, and difficulty;
- a giver who receives God’s grace today and is confident of all God’s grace in the future.
Will you be a cheerful giver?